The Energy Entrepreneurship Panel

The Five Thousand Pound Life: The Energy Issue was a symposium on energy and architecture organized by The Architectural League and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) in May 2014.

The Energy Entrepreneurship panel focused on two start-ups, The Megawatt Hour and Radiator Labs, and their innovation in the energy sector. The founders of these companies are in conversation with Jeremy Leggett, Kate Gordon, and Rosalie Genevro, participants from earlier in the day, as well as Mark Wigley, former Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.


The Five Thousand Pound Life: The Energy Issue (Part 9) | Deirdre Lord | Recorded May 10, 2014 | Running time: 14:54

Deirdre Lord, Co-founder of The Megawatt Hour, details how a subscription service brings transparency to utility bills for consumers of electricity and natural gas when everyone should be wanting to save energy. By making data on these deregulated markets accessible and actionable, The Megawatt Hour helps to align business goals with energy decisions. While applauding this transparency, the panel also debates the potential merits of communicating a cultural or social impact — “who died to put the oil in your car” — when considering transparency in energy markets.

Prior to starting The Megawatt Hour, Lord was a co-founder of Juice Energy and was on the management team at Constellation New Energy.


The Five Thousand Pound Life: The Energy Issue (Part 10) | Marshall Cox | Recorded May 10, 2014 | Running time: 08:05

Founder and CEO of Radiator Labs Marshall Cox details how his retrofit for an old energy system, the steam radiator, can increase operational efficiency and climate comfort. The insulating radiator sleeve, connected to a building-wide wireless system, evens the distribution of heat between apartment units, eliminating the need to open windows due to overheating, which causes significant energy loss. The panel responds to Cox with discussion on the importance of increased cultural pressure for energy consciousness, and the regional differences in attitudes toward energy consumption in the United States.

Cox is also an alumnus of InSITE, an organization that helps early-stage start-up companies. He holds six US patents. To learn more about Radiator Labs, read an interview with Marshall Cox published in June 2014 on the League’s Urban Omnibus.


The Five Thousand Pound Life: The Energy Issue (Part 11) | Marshall Cox, Rosalie Genevro, Kate Gordon, Jeremy Leggett, Deirdre Lord, Mark Wigley | Recorded May 10, 2014 | Running time: 07:30

The day’s closing conversation touches on two repeated themes from earlier discussions: the need for increased social consciousness regarding climate issues — and the promise of younger generations in this regard — and the dominating role of capitalism and corporations in the narrative on energy use.


The Five Thousand Pound Life (5KL) is an initiative of The Architectural League on new ways of thinking, talking, and acting on architecture, climate change, and our economic future.

The Energy Issue is a GSAPP initiative to make energy a cultural issue, launched in partnership with Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®. Follow the initiative @theenergyissue.