photo by: Deval Patrick
Governments all across the United States and essentially around the world are always looking for ways to lower taxes or cut budgets. States and local communities are struggling to do both of things, because our decades of wasteful spending and no accountability has put the new generation of government leaders in a real bind.
These 8 Sustainable Energy Technologies have the potential to save money for our struggling local governments and also save tax payer money. This is being done by great startup companies using analytics and technology to create amazing tools to better local government metrics and give local officials amazing options to save money and time.
Strawberry energy is a young company that is motivated by a simple vision: to make renewable energy sources more accessible to all people. Recognising that the best way to raise awareness about the issues of clean green energy is to present the benefits through practical example, Strawberry energy engages in research and promotion of renewable energy sources and sustainable development.
Strawberry energy has been recognised internationally for its work to invent new ways and green technologies to improve lives and protect the environment. The development of the Strawberry Tree – the world’s first public solar charger for mobile devices – is its main success to date. Four main direction pillars of Strawberry energy Company:
“Part of the Sun in your pocket”
Providing people with an opportunity to charge their mobile devices using energy from the Sun. In this way, they can symbolically pocket a piece of the Sun
Raising awareness about the importance of using renewable energy sources as well as behaving in an eco-friendly manner
LocalData makes digital tools to collect and analyze information about urban infrastructure. Across the country, urban planners in non-profits and government agencies collect street-level information about neighborhoods. Typically, the process for collecting, transcribing and cleaning this data is confusing, lengthy and disempowering. LocalData is technology designed to make a cumbersome process simple.
In 2012, LocalData began as a Code for America project with the City of Detroit’s Office of the Mayor. Three Code for America fellows (Matt, Alicia and Prashant) identified a need for local data in Detroit. Though community groups were actively surveying neighborhoods and using this data — neighborhood level surveys took a long time and further stressed the under-resourced technical assistance providers that were assisting this effort.
BlocPower’s online marketplace will connect impact investors to institutional networks of energy efficiency projects in churches, synagogues, non-profits, and small businesses in under-served communities.The main objectives are these:
1)BlocPower works with community leaders and institutions to assemble 4 or more non-profits, houses of worship, schools, small businesses or multi-family residences in financially under-served communities into a “Bloc” of potential retrofits.
2)BlocPower performs a rigorous analyses of the financial strength of each customer, to establish the likelihood that customers will pay their energy bill over time.
3)Experienced engineering partners perform a comprehensive energy audit of each property to determine the correct mix of solar and efficient technology that will reduce each customer’s energy consumption.
4) A “Bloc” is a micro-portfolio of projects that meets BlocPower’s financial and engineering criteria. Each “Bloc” spreads out the risk of default, creates pricing discounts, and increases transactional size–improving the economic feasibility of installing solar and energy efficiency technology in all projects.
5) Investors concerned about climate change and job creation will be able to invest in clean energy projects on BlocPower’s online platform.
6) Investors who provide upfront project financing will be repaid out of the energy savings generated by each solar and energy efficiency project.
7) BlocPower creates jobs for local underemployed workers from vulnerable populations. However, each worker must graduate from a rigorous, third party certified green jobs training program at the top of their class.
Early in 2013, the founders of VeloMetro began looking at the possibilities of enclosed bicycles to act as a functional alternative to the automobile in urban scenarios. VeloMetro was formed by our team of innovators and is dedicated to designing and building state-of-the-art velocars – three-wheeled enclosed bicycles with electric assist that function like cars. VeloMetro will offer its velocars primarily through sharing networks, but also by outright purchase by consumers.
Their vision is to make velocars the leading personal transportation alternative to automobiles in urban centers around the globe. VeloMetro’s mission is to provide people with human-powered vehicles that parallel automobile functionality for urban use. We build modern, lightweight, and thoughtfully-designed electric-assist velocars that take the best features from both bicycles and automobiles. For users, we provide easy, low-cost access through shared fleets, or ownership through the sale of personalized made-to-order vehicles.
Ohmconnect alerts you when dirty, expensive power plants switch on nearby and pays you for reducing your electricity use. With Ohmconnect you can receive alerts when local peaker plants switch on, reduce your electricity use for about 30 minutes, and earn money for optimizing energy in your neighborhood.
Ohmconnect works with the best smart devices and electric vehicles so you can reduce your energy at the right time without lifting a finger. No fancy devices? No problem, you can still respond to the alerts by manually turning things off in your home. When your neighborhood reduces energy in response to our notifications, we add up the savings, which we sell into your regional energy market.
The energy market buys and sells all types of power—coal, gas, solar… even saved power. That’s where we come in. To the market, saved energy is a clean, low-cost form of newly available energy, which means we can pay you for timely energy reductions.
MuniRent is a platform that makes it very easy for local governments to lease heavy duty equipment to other local governments. The main advantage is to save time and taxpayer dollars. When a participating municipality registers with MuniRent’s program, we will check each municipality’s Certificate of Insurance, have an agreement signed ahead of time and establish payment process.
Once a municipality is approved, leasing transactions are executed between any participating municipality at the click of a button. Municipalities are under a lot of pressure to operate public works departments efficiently with constantly shrinking budgets. Public Works directors and fleet managers are trying to get their job done with fewer resources and creative use of their equipment and personnel. MuniRent has emerged to help local communities serve the public more efficiently by enabling equipment and resource sharing amongst neighboring communities.
Dropcountr connects people and their utilities on the mobile devices they use everyday. Their unique mobile and web applications help water utilities and their customers save water, save money and save time. In a world dominated by mobile apps, we connect utilities and consumers on mobile, as well as web and paper to help everyone conserve water.
Dopcountr can deliver customized drought and water budget messages instantly. Users are notified of damaging leaks immediately. Users see how much water they use and how they compare to others like them. Dropcountr can generate usage and compliance reports.
Dropcountr educates users by presenting intuitive information on their current water consumption, show them if their usage is above average, and help them set a reasonable water budget. Many consumers don’t know about utility rebates on energy and water efficient appliances. Dropcountr connects users with these rebates, helping them to save water, energy and money – and upgrade their home too.
ProductBio reads through all eco-labels, corporate social responsibility reports, SEC filings, and Material Data Safety Sheets to cross-reference highest impact areas of thousands of goods and services based on how it was made. Their data platform simplifies finding and comparing products for sustainability features, by automatically cataloging product information and analyzing high concern areas by product category. Knowing what’s most important for each kind of product is the the first step to giving you the superpowers necessary to evaluate things you buy.
Founder of Causeartist // Social Entrepreneur