Can Business Models Accelerate Sustainable Energy Transitions in the Commercial Sector Without the Need for Government & Utility Incentives or Feed in Tariffs? The Budderfly Case-Study

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Matthew Nemerson
Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Budderfly


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For the last five years, Matthew has been part of the team creating the Energy Efficiency commercial building outsourcing company Budderfly, handling roles such as strategy, marketing, client sector selection and sales targeting. For the past year he has led the company’s business transition from equipment upgrades based on new but conventional packaged HVAC RTU to replacements based on Air Source Heat Pumps.

Budderfly has grown to over $120M in annualized revenue with over 275 employees and is one of the fast-growing sustainability firms in the country, reaching number 10 on the 2021 Inc 5000 list. It is now part of the Founders Group private equity family of global businesses.

A graduate of Yale and Columbia, Matthew has had leadership positions in Government, technology start-ups, trade associations and real estate development. He lives with his professor wife in New Haven CT.


There are over 6 million commercial buildings in America, and a surprisingly few of them have undertaken any form of major energy efficiency upgrades compared to the rest of the developed world. If they did, experts believe they could save about 30% of the $150 Billion they spend in energy every year.  

There are many reasons why efficiency is not a high priority for businesses, from globally low US energy costs to confusion over how to do it and mismatches between who owns equipment for a building and who pays the energy bills. Many energy service companies (ESCOs) have tried to introduce business models to convince more building and institutional owners to invest in these projects.

 Budderfly introduced a new model that buildings on the ESCO efforts to simplify the decision making and reduce the performance risk to zero but taking on almost 100% or the responsibility and funding to undertake a wide range of energy efficiency projects.  They have also offered their services to the 50% of the commercial buildings that are under 20,000 SF, and often ignored market.

Matthew Nemerson will give an overview of the commercial efficiency marketplace, look at market failures, compare various business models and discuss the unique aspects of the Budderfly approach.  

Note: This talk will be presented remotely via Zoom Webinar and on the Energy Institute's YouTube channel. If using Zoom, viewers must register for an account with Zoom and log in to Zoom using that registration in order to use the meeting link and participate. Faculty, students and staff of UT, please use your personal UT Zoom account. 

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Date and Time
March 26, 2024, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Crum Auditorium (RRH 1.400)
Event tags
UT Energy Symposium