Project Finance Startup Unety Partners with ecoAmerica to Save 16 Million Metric Tons of CO2

September 2020

Leveraging Unety’s SaaS-enabled marketplace powered by AI, the partnership can save more than the annual emissions of over 116 respective countries

NEW YORK - September 22, 2020Unety, a novel platform that democratizes financing to upgrade commercial buildings, today announced the launch of a nationwide partnership with ecoAmerica, one of America’s largest environmental non-profits serving several sectors including the faith community. As the technology backbone for ecoAmerica’s Blessed Tomorrow program, a nationwide initiative that helps faith denominations and their 87,000 houses of worship to lead on climate and reduce their carbon footprint, the Unety platform will make it easy for member organizations to achieve their environmental commitments, upgrade their buildings for future generations, and better leverage their properties to survive these hard times.

“By combining recent innovations in project finance and newly available datasets with our AI platform, Unety empowers commercial property owners of any size and type with the most advanced techniques and tools in real estate project development” said Unety’s Founder, Parker White. “Putting this power into the hands of those that need it most has been our driving force since our beginning. And, no organization embodies that inspiration better than ecoAmerica.”

The program is designed to make a global impact. If 80% of ecoAmerica’s houses of worship achieve a 30% carbon reduction that is typical through the Unety platform, then the program will have generated more than $1B of clean energy projects, saved over $1.3B in energy costs, and mitigated 16 million metric tons, the equivalent of planting a forest larger than the state of West Virginia.

“We are proud to partner with Unety to bring transformative resources to our faith partners, to help them lead on climate and support their communities during a time in which it is needed most. We are confident that our program will help partners strengthen the efficiency and sustainability of their sanctuaries, with welcomed new avenues of financing,” said Executive Director of ecoAmerica, Meighen Speiser.

About Unety

Unety is a SaaS-enabled marketplace leveraging AI to improve access and understanding of project finance. Driven by a proprietary data engine that automates financial underwriting and origination for the average person, Unety makes it possible for even the smallest business owner to get access to clean energy solutions and helps to level the playing field of a lending system that favors big corporations.

ecoAmerica expands climate leadership beyond traditional environmental circles. The organization is building a diverse network of major institutions and thought leaders in five sectors – faith, health, communities, higher education, and business – who have the power to inspire tens of millions of Americans on climate change, in counties and communities nationwide including our heartland.

Blessed Tomorrow is a program of ecoAmerica and a coalition built by people of faith, for people of faith, offering ideas, tools, and language to act on climate change that are familiar and compelling. Faith leaders work with us to reach 100% clean energy, prepare for a changing climate, and engage communities while maintaining their distinct voices.

Related ArticlesSee other similar articles

New Retrofit Program to Support Portfolio of 87,000 Houses of Worship Nationwide
<p>ecoAmerica is the largest nonprofit association of faith-based organizations in the country, representing over 87,000 houses of worship as members of the Blessed Tomorrow program. Unety is the exclusive technology partner for ecoAmerica’s Blessed Tomorrow program. Members in the Blessed Tomorrow program have made aggressive commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p>By participating in this program, you will be introduced to the property owners in your area who are seeking contractors to help them upgrade and repair their properties. Projects range in size from $5,000 up to $2 million and include roof replacements, all types of energy system upgrades, renewable energy installations, and more. The program launches in August 2020.</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/xU_Q7zjW_VQ" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> <br /><br /> <a href="https://app.unety.io/auth/sign-up" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferer">Sign up today</a> to participate and unlock the benefits of the program. </div>
Read more
The future of project finance in a post-COVID world
<p>The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to greatly impact all areas of the economy, sparing no sector, including project finance.</p> <p>As we speak with our contractor community, we notice that traditional lending is tightening up. However, the credit crunch is not evenly distributed. Some forms of project financing and capital are flowing as actively as ever.</p> <h3>3 Financial Trends We’re Hearing About</h3> <h4>Refinancing old projects to keep the lights on</h4> <p>The current turmoil means that many property owners are short of cash to pay the bills. The media has been all over this story, focusing their headlines primarily on federal government solutions, such as the paycheck protection grants and disaster relief loans; however, behind the headlines a new trend is emerging - driven by contractors. Projects that were completed up to three years ago may qualify a property owner for rescue capital being offered by a select group of energy finance lenders. Available in Florida, California, New York, and a dozen other states, this new form of rescue capital is available with low, fixed-rates and repayment terms up to 25 years. Through government-certified lenders, property owners can borrow up to 20% of the value of their property. For many of the contractors in our community, being able to inform their clients that help is available has taken on a new sense of urgency.</p> <h4>Transition period drives small retrofits</h4> <p>As people begin to return to work, caution and uncertainty are driving property owners to reconsider how they manage their space. Over the coming 12 to 24 months, capital is expected to be diverted from large traditional projects to restacking interior spaces both in order to accommodate the new demands of social distancing and also in response to tenants who vacate or reduce their occupied space. There is less and less of an appetite for large open space environments where office workers or retail patrons are close enough to rub elbows. As occupants push property owners to provide safe and healthy environments, it will fall on the contractors to do the work and capital providers will be needed to fund it. Increasingly, unconventional sources of capital that many contractors are well acquainted with, such as PACE, are being applied to this new need for fit-out financing.</p> <h4>The new normal drives large retrofits</h4> <p>Once the economy begins a full-speed recovery, a new norm will set in. Trends that have been undercurrents of commercial real estate for the last several years - such as the move away from shopping malls; the need for affordable housing; and the practice of remote working - will have accelerated to such an extent that there will be an imbalance of supply-demand across entire asset classes within commercial real estate. To reset the balance between supply and demand, many properties will need to be repositioned and fully retrofit as new types of properties. Some offices will become apartments and shopping malls will become logistic centers. Nearly all new construction will be on hold as excess supply is repositioned. This will be the age of large retrofits.</p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>We are holding firm to the belief that we are all in this — and will get through it — together. And if history is any guide, the eventual aftermath of this shock event will see renewed success for our economy and communities.</p> <p>We are here for you and the many contractors and property owners throughout the country.</p> <p><a href="mailto:sales@unety.io" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Contact us today</a> to learn about Unety’s financing options, competitive rates to start, continue or restart your projects with lower monthly payments.</p>
Read more
Top five ways to help the community during crisis
<p>We are currently living through a period of uncertainty and concern that we'll never forget. Like many of you, we are trying to do what we can to help the community navigate this challenging time.</p> <p>As contractors your ecosystem includes property owners, lenders and other contractors in the community. During this time all of them need support to ensure that buildings have appropriate ventilation, water, heat, roofing and other essentials for their new usage patterns during the pandemic.</p> <h3>Top 5 ways you can help the community:</h3> <h4>Ventilation of Multifamily, Healthcare Facilities, and Assisted Living Facilities</h4> <p>Ventilation and air filtration systems are more important now than ever. Faulty or suboptimal systems could in the worst cases facilitate COVID-19 transmission, but also impact general indoor air quality and daily respiratory health and resilience -- which are particularly important to upkeep in order to mitigate COVID-19 impacts to individuals. ASHRAE <a href="https://www.ashrae.org/news/ashraejournal/guidance-for-building-operations-during-the-covid-19-pandemic" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recommends improving air filters to MERV-13 and increasing outdoor air ventilation during the mild weather season</a>. Yet, these systems are often de-prioritized or run-to-fail, risking suboptimal performance. This risk increases the more the system is used, and now that people are staying home more and hospitals are strained, these systems are working overtime. During these times of heightened risk, building operators cannot afford for these systems to fail. Contact your neighboring businesses to remind them of the importance of proactive maintenance and optimal performance. Ask them to check on their system status or offer to check for them.</p> <h4>Refrigeration of Cold Storage Facilities</h4> <p>In a matter of just days, the demands on Cold Storage Facilities increased dramatically. Grocers and medical suppliers need to restock more frequently, requiring more delivery miles and more stock churn per week than ever before. This puts increasing demands on refrigeration systems. For systems that are already near or beyond their recommended useful life, property owners should be on the look out. You can help them look for signs that systems are nearing failure and understand the higher cost of emergency repairs, so that repairs or replacements can be made during scheduled downtime instead of during a critical period that puts their much needed supplies at risk.</p> <h4>Managing downtime at under utilized facilities</h4> <p>For many commercial building owners, now is a difficult time. Their buildings are not being used. Their tenants may be struggling with rent. And yet they still need to pay the bills. Helping these buildings save money and manage costs quickly are urgent needs. You can help them to manage the downtime of critical equipment that they would be unable to manage on their own because you know what can be completely shut down, what can operated at a minimum energy consumption level beyond the conventional specification, and what must continue to be operated within specifications. Ramping down HVAC systems with variable speed motors and pumps, adding “pony” or smaller chillers/boilers, balancing and tuning building management controls, fixing or replacing broken VAV boxes, and adding lighting timers or sensors are just a few ideas to improve building performance and reduce costs of under-utilized spaces.</p> <h4>Managing uptime at overly utilized facilities</h4> <p>The way we use buildings fundamentally changed almost overnight. Offices and retail facilities that once buzzed with occupants during daytime and early evening hours are now quiet, while multifamily properties, groceries, and other essential businesses are suddenly running at full capacity 24/7. Many property owners do not have the extra time or the extra hands to manage the extra demands suddenly placed on their systems. You can help by providing a quick site inspection and a review of the system operations schedule to ensure that the added equipment utilization is not putting their systems at risk. Dependable backup generators and adding redundancy to their systems can be critical to ensuring maximum uptime to serve their customers</p> <h4>Cost savings upgrades that don’t disrupt occupants</h4> <p>As some buildings such as schools and malls sit idle, this can be an opportunity to help building owners who had been putting off major energy system refreshes or upgrades because they either didn’t have the time or they didn’t want to disrupt their occupants. As tough economic times descend across the country, these infrastructure investments are a source of cash savings that could make a big difference once buildings return to their standard operation. There are many financing programs that ensure that utility savings exceed the cost of the project, providing the owner with positive cash flow once the building is operating again.</p> <p>In this crucial time it is important to remember that we are all in this together. We shouldn’t compromise on the essential needs of shelter.</p> <p>We look forward to supporting our communities with upkeep and efficiency of their building infrastructure.</p>
Read more