Philip VanHorne, CEO & President, BlueRock Energy
BlueRock Energy Holdings is an award-winning, privately held energy solutions company located in Syracuse NY that provides electricity, natural gas and renewable energy products to more than 19,000 business and residential customers across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Over the last two years BlueRock has raised $2 million through the use of the EB-5 direct investment program.
Since 2014, when BlueRock Energy first began participating in the EB-5 program, we have added 35 new direct full-time jobs. In addition to adding the jobs and expanding into five states, BlueRock has launched an energy efficiency company and a solar energy company. That combination of products and services positions BlueRock uniquely in the energy market.
The job creation included individuals representing diverse skill sets ranging from recent college graduates to more experienced people. Employment positions included salespeople, analysts, accountants, energy traders and office management staff. Some came with an energy background while others came with no energy experience at all but had a desire to work for a vibrant growing energy company transitioning from a local footprint to a Northeast Regional presence.
BlueRock Energy’s expansion also included purchases of equipment, software, as well as appropriate marketing dollars to support the continued revenue growth for the company across all divisions, and a move to a new 15,000 square-foot state of the art office in downtown Syracuse which is located in a single TEA zone. The move allowed all of the divisions at BlueRock Energy to be united under one roof, with plenty of room for continued growth and additional hiring. This relocation supports the continued revitalization of the downtown area of Syracuse. The direct investments from EB-5 investors contributed directly to BlueRock Energy’s ability to secure this location.
It is also noteworthy that all BlueRock Energy’s EB-5 direct investors have received their I-526 approvals, making the program a win-win for everyone. Moving forward, BlueRock has plans to continue the corporation expansion and is looking forward to continued availability of EB-5 as a source of growth capital. The current proposals for renewal of the program are a positive step. While it makes sense to increase the minimum investment levels, the threshold should remain achievable. For example, a $1 million or more minimum, would have eliminated the four investors who successfully invested in BlueRock. Whatever new minimum is chosen, the need to update the value needs to be balanced with the practical considerations of achievability.
We are in support of the proposals to continue the EB-5 program and bring more SEC type regulation and transparency to the EB-5 industry. One additional change we would suggest is to allow participants in the Direct Investment Program of EB-5 the ability to avail themselves to the indirect job count as is afforded Regional Center investments.
ABOUT BLUEROCK ENERGY
BlueRock Energy is a privately held energy solutions company that provides electricity, natural gas, renewable energy products, energy efficiency services and solar energy solutions to more than 19,000 customers across New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The team at BlueRock provides business and residential customers with unique energy plans and services designed to meet customer specific needs.
To learn more about BlueRock Energy, please visit: www.bluerockenergy.com
Philip R. VanHorne
President & CEO
125 E. Jefferson St., Suite 800
Syracuse, NY 13202