BlocPower, an energy technology company with a mission to make city buildings greener, healthier, smarter is partnering with the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact and Common Ground to launch “Retrofit Milwaukee” on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

It’s a campaign to help hundreds of small businesses, faith institutions, schools, health clinics and apartment buildings in Milwaukee transition to cleaner, healthier and more cost-efficient heating and cooling equipment. The campaign offers building owners access to the BlocPower Lease, an engineering and finance tool which enables qualified building owners to obtain energy system upgrades for little or no money down.

This offers a direct way for Milwaukee residents to help address climate change.

Building owners and contractors who are interested in participating in the campaign can sign up at

BlocPower is a New York City-based energy company that, since its founding in 2012, has completed energy projects in nearly 1,000 buildings.

“We are extraordinarily excited to partner with local leaders in Milwaukee to promote cleaner heating and cooling solutions.” said Jahi Wise, Head of New Markets for BlocPower. “This partnership makes modern, clean and efficient heating and cooling systems affordable for hundreds of building owners who might not access them otherwise.”

In many American cities like Milwaukee, building-related emissions are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Upgrading a building’s energy system is a great way to cut greenhouse gas emissions while delivering cost-savings, increased property value and additional comfort and control to the building owner. Further, when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the “Retrofit Milwaukee” campaign will directly lead to more Milwaukee residents getting jobs in the energy efficiency industry, which is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. The “Retrofit Milwaukee” campaign will hire local Milwaukee contractors and HVAC workers, to complete the energy system upgrade projects resulting from the campaign.

Greenhouse gas emission reductions and job creation are key focuses for the AmFam Institute which focuses on economic development in Milwaukee.

“The AmFam Institute is thrilled to be an investor in BlocPower and support its growth nationally,” said John McIntyre, Investment Director at the Institute in Madison. “The Institute is dedicated to closing equity gaps in America, and by backing BlocPower we are helping to provide Milwaukee and other communities’ access to the company’s technology and financing opportunities.”

Common Ground, a non-partisan coalition of congregations, schools, non-profits, small businesses and neighborhood associations dedicated to creatively solving problems facing Southeast Wisconsin joined the campaign to help educate the communities they represent about the climate and jobs benefits of energy system upgrades and to enable their members
to access the BlocPower Lease.

Common Ground member Invisible Reality Ministries, located in the Sherman Park neighborhood, has already signed its church up for an evaluation and dozens of Common Ground institutions expressed interest during information sessions held around the City.

“Our ministry will benefit greatly from this program,” said Pastor Willie Davis of Invisible Reality Ministries. “BlocPower’s model will not only ensure that our church is energy efficient, but also help us regain the financial resources to strengthen our model—which is to be the hub of the community, whereby the community benefits when the church is activated accordingly.”

The Retrofit Milwaukee campaign is working closely with the Environmental Collaboration Office of the City of Milwaukee to support the work that the city has already undertaken through the Me2 and Better Buildings Challenge programs. “Although the world is currently focused on the COVID-19 crisis, climate change threatens to further disrupt our economy if we don’t take action now,” said Erick Shambarger, the City of Milwaukee’s Director of Environmental Sustainability. “As we get back on our feet, Milwaukee is getting ready for a brighter future by supporting investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

“Retrofit Milwaukee” is also coordinating closely with the Energy Efficiency Services program run by We Energies. The We Energies Energy Efficiency Services program provides free expert energy advisory and engineering assistance to business customers, to help them make wise energy decisions.

Milwaukee building owners can leverage this campaign to replace their old heating and cooling systems, which will increase their building value, lower operating costs, increase profits, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce tenant complaints, and improve the health and comfort of tenants. If the owners choose to take advantage of the BlocPower Lease, they can also enjoy the benefits of having the equipment designed and installed for no money down,
with low monthly payments, and a 15-year performance warranty.

Former President Bill Clinton recently visited a BlocPower renovated church in New York City: