Looking to the Future, BIG Sells Its Utility Business

Oct. 1, 2019

Christopher Becker
Interim Executive Director of Build It Green

On September 17, Build It Green’s (BIG) Board of Directors finalized the sale of its utility program implementation and government consulting business to Franklin Energy. The sale allows BIG to refocus on our core mission of promoting healthy, sustainable homes through our GreenPoint Rated system and related services and professional training programs. It also provides our nonprofit organization with capital to develop new market transformation initiatives.

Franklin Energy, a leading energy efficiency program provider, is headquartered in Port Washington, Wisconsin, and will operate the newly acquired programs from BIG’s current Oakland location. After many years as BIG’s Director of Program Services, I’m excited to take the reins as Build It Green’s Interim Executive Director. Karin Burns, our former Executive Director, is now Franklin Energy’s Pacific Regional Vice President. By and large, the role of former BIG employees who work on utility program implementation will remain the same within Franklin Energy.

On Friday, September 20—the same week we finalized the sale of our utility business—an astonishing outpouring of youth-led climate activism took place around the world. By some estimates, over four million people—many of them not old enough to vote—participated in the Global Climate Strike.

As the father of an 11 year old, the Climate Strike was a stark reminder that the work we do at Build It Green ultimately isn’t about us adults. It’s about today’s youth and future generations who will inherit a life-threatening climate crisis.

Since I joined Build It Green more than 10 years ago, I’ve witnessed California’s building industry make meaningful improvements in home health and comfort, energy and water efficiency, and waste reduction. But it’s clear that incremental steps will only take us so far. If we are to succeed at limiting the consequences of devastating warming, we must take bolder action to advance regenerative design practices that achieve a net-positive impact on ecosystem health and human well-being.

Divesting ourselves of our utility business frees our nonprofit organization to take on a more transformative role in helping the housing sector respond to the climate emergency. Over the next few months, our team will be connecting with the Build It Green community to share more about our plans and hear your ideas on how we can work together to rise to the challenges our industry faces. In the meantime, feel free to email me and let me know your thoughts.

Christopher Becker
Interim Executive Director


Read our press release about the sale of our utility business.

Questions? Check our Reorganization FAQs.