Decarbonizing Buildings in NYC’s Low-Income Communities: Going Beyond Local Law 97


Donnel Baird, Founder of BlocPower, in conversation with Rich Kassel, Group Leader of Clean Energy and Sustainability at Capalino

New York City has taken some of the most ambitious climate steps of any city in the nation. Local Law 97 of 2019 will place carbon caps on most buildings larger than 25,000 sq. ft., and will require more than 50,000 commercial and residential buildings to take additional steps to meet increasingly stringent carbon caps between 2024 and 2050. The law provides different requirements for rent-regulated buildings and other affordable housing, many of which are concentrated in the City’s low-income communities of color. Most of these buildings are exempt from the annual carbon caps of the coming decade, but will have to take other steps to save energy.

Donnel Baird is a national leader in the movement to decarbonize buildings in low-income communities of color. Since founding BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based climate technology startup, the company has retrofit more than 1,000 buildings in NYC, and has projects underway in 24 cities nationwide. Its projects save energy and improve building profitability, while providing a better quality of life and improved health for building residents.

Join Donnel and Rich Kassel, a leader in New York’s energy and environmental field, for an exciting conversation about going beyond Local Law 97 to make sure that emerging climate solutions are shared by everybody.

Key takeaways include:

BlocPower is a Brooklyn-based climate technology startup that is making American cities greener, smarter, and healthier. Since its founding in 2014, the company has retrofitted more than 1,000 buildings in disadvantaged communities in New York City, with projects underway in 24 cities. Learn more at

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