UConn Health pilots Budderfly all-electric HVAC technology to slash energy use, bolster air quality

Posted by Janet B. Stroud — March 7, 2024 — Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently announced the approval of a 12-month pilot program launching at UConn Health’s Child Care Center building in Farmington that will involve the deploying of an innovative new technology developed by the Shelton-based company Budderfly to assist in helping the healthcare system and hospital achieve a net-zero carbon footprint and deliver a substantial energy cost savings.

UConn Health - Budderfly HVAC tech for net zero carbon

Budderfly’s UHP solution installed at UConn Health is an all-electric system that reduces energy costs by separating airflow management from the heating and cooling system. Image courtesy of Budderfly

Under the pilot, the company will install, deploy, and manage its proprietary Ultra High Performance (UHP) heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to demonstrate its ability to decarbonize and deliver energy savings for healthcare facilities, government agencies and other organizations.

Funded by Connecticut Innovations (CI) through its CI Innovations Lab, this pilot is the latest initiative and investment by the State of Connecticut as it aims to achieve a zero-carbon electric supply by 2040. CI, the state’s strategic venture capital arm and the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative growing companies, will cover initial costs for equipment and installation. Budderfly is a CI portfolio company and backed by Partners Group.

Governor Lamont stated:

This UConn Health pilot program is the latest example of our continued commitment to reach zero emissions and bring a carbon-free electricity supply to Connecticut by 2040. In addition to achieving our broader carbon reduction goals, the successful execution of this pilot will lead the way to the creation of new sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy jobs across the state while deepening our commitment to addressing the climate crisis. One of the best parts about this pilot is that we’re able to launch it using technology developed by a company headquartered here in Connecticut.

Budderfly’s UHP solution is an all-electric system that reduces energy costs by separating airflow management from the heating and cooling system. Along with its full suite of energy management services and software, Budderfly will also deploy its billing platform at UConn Health to create transparent invoices and validate energy reduction and cost savings. The pilot showcases the commercial viability and energy-conserving capabilities of Budderfly’s energy solutions for government entities and agencies.

Al Subbloie, founder and CEO of Budderfly, remarked:

We are looking forward to demonstrating how we can reduce energy use and costs right here in our home state. UConn Health’s Child Care Center is currently heated with natural gas, and the pilot will eliminate the use of this fossil fuel in favor of heat pump technology and a reduced total energy footprint.

UConn President Radenka Maric noted:

We are constantly challenging ourselves to find ways to deliver on our state’s climate action plan and UConn’s net carbon neutrality goal. This partnership not only upgrades our equipment and maximizes efficiency, but also allows UConn Health to realize savings.

Governor Lamont continued:

With more than 150 employees based in Connecticut, Budderfly is an innovative energy management company that has demonstrated its commitment to growing its business and customer base in our state. This is exactly the type of synergy we were hoping to identify when we launched the Governor’s Innovation Lab at CI. We look forward to seeing the results of the pilot and then deploying the solution across dozens of government buildings here at UConn and across Connecticut.

Budderfly has been named on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America from 2021 to 2023, and on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 list in 2023. The company uses the energy-as-a-service (EaaS) model to install, monitor and manage a combination of patented technologies, equipment upgrades and proprietary energy software for its customers. Budderfly recently announced that it has secured a $400 million debt facility from leading global infrastructure investors Vantage Infrastructure and Nuveen (a subsidiary of TIAA). This capital adds to Budderfly’s $500 million investment from Partners Group in July 2022 and underscores Budderfly’s ability to accelerate clean energy technology adoption across middle-market businesses, generating impressive returns for investors and critical energy savings to help meet climate goals.