Taking on Climate Change One Bulb at a Time

Can money vanish into thin air? For some businesses, the idea is a ghastly specter; for others, a sober reality.

Carbon Lighthouse, a startup based in San Francisco, works to plug up the money pits that curse operations directors. The company’s founders, Raphael Rosen and Brenden Millstein, act as the Ghostbusters of energy efficiency: sporting unusual equipment, such as giant spinning tops and current transformers, they measure the energy activity within buildings, and then reveal and stamp out problem areas.

So far almost 100 buildings along the West Coast have contracted Carbon Lighthouse to install retrofits. San Francisco’s historic Flood Building, for example, sends thousands of energy data points through Carbon Lighthouse’s monitoring center, where Millstein and Rosen can model, in advance, specific changes to its infrastructure.

“What we’re doing is, really, optimizing the way these different systems interact,” Millstein said.

Millstein’s customers get the most of their efficiency upgrades. Flood Building manager Sheila Marko said the building conserves 565 tons of carbon, thanks to Carbon Lighthouse, and she anticipates at least $50,000 in savings.

When there’s something strange on your energy bill--Who ya gonna call?

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