NYC Cleantech Startup A Big Deal In California

For the longest time it has been playing catch-up, but New York City may at last be taking a forward role in the development of green technology.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced this week that a company born and raised in the city has won a major contract to provide energy saving solutions to nearly 5 million homes and businesses in California.

CEO of Efficiency 2.0 Tom Scaramellino with Mayor Bloomberg

Efficiency 2.0 CEO Tom Scaramellino with Mayor Bloomberg (image via Beckerman PR)

The cleantech start-up Efficiency 2.0 has launched its energy advisor software on the website of Southern California Edison (SCE). The software uses a mix of consumer advise and incentives to help home and business owners to reduce their energy costs.

The Home Energy Advisor and Business Energy Advisor tools draw on a database of more than 500 million energy data points to offer targeted energy improvements for SCE customers based on their energy profiles. The tools then present energy savings recommendations to customers, as well as suggestions on efficiency upgrades and solar power installations.

“Efficiency 2.0 is one of the nearly 1,000 tech startups that are making our city the place to be for innovative entrepreneurs,” said the mayor during a visit to the firm’s new headquarters this week in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.

The mayor met with the CEO Tom Scaramellino, who founded the company in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis. The company now boasts a client list made up of around 20 utilities and has plans to double its workforce by the year-end.

In an interview with EarthTechling, Scaramellino said the city offered two distinct advantages for green startups: unique access to capital and an immense pool of talent from which to draw.

“We raised $10 million from hedge funds and high network individuals,” Scaramellino said. “Those kinds of funding opportunities are just not available elsewhere. It’s the same with the talent. This city has a huge number of skilled and motivated people that you don’t find other places.”

Scaramellino said City Hall had also provided the fledging firm with advise and access to funding opportunities.

There’s no doubting the commitment of Mayor Bloomberg’s administration to improving the green status of the city. Bloomberg has become known as the “green mayor,” and the city has passed almost a dozen bills in 2010 and 2011 that promote sustainability.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.