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Excerpted from Business InsiderArticle by Benji Jones, July 13, 2020
Dandelion Energy's Kathy Hannun, for example, has found carbon savings in holes dug under homes in the Northeast. Swift Solar cofounder Joel Jean is developing a new generation of solar cells. Opus 12 co-founder Etosha Cave wants to turn carbon emissions into fuel and plastic products rather than pumping oil out of the ground. And Christine Ho leads Imprint Energy's innovation in printable batteries.
Now, when Carbon Lighthouse co-founder Brenden Millstein walks into a building, he can't help but stare at the lights and then dash over to the thermostat to see how the building's HVAC system is controlled."I've ruined buildings for myself," Millstein said.A Berkeley, California native, Millstein spends all day thinking about buildings — or more specifically, how to make them more energy-efficient. That's core to the mission of Carbon Lighthouse, a startup he founded in 2010 along with Raphael Rosen, another Harvard alum.Carbon Lighthouse set out to help buildings — which are responsible for more than a third of US carbon emissions — save energy, and thus money. While the San Francisco-based firm will do things as simple as replacing inefficient lights, it also deploys as many as 400 small sensors throughout buildings to gather data, such as from fans and compressors involved in the HVAC system, to ensure the whole building is running efficiently.One of Carbon Lighthouse's most innovative features is how it charges customers. Millstein's firm guarantees a certain dollar amount in energy savings in exchange for a fixed monthly fee. If the building owner ends up saving less than that fee, Carbon Lighthouse will make up the difference.The firm, whose patented CLUES® AI proptech platform is proven in 100 million square feet of commercial real estate, says its partners can see as much as 20% savings across a whole building.
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