Veteran-Led Upstate NY Startup awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant from the United States Air Force

EMPEQ recognized for potential to play a crucial role in U.S. Department of Defense efforts to fight climate change

Ithaca, NY – EMPEQ (Empower Equity, Inc.) was named the winner of a Phase I SBIR Grant from the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program in the most competitive solicitation in the history of the Department. EMPEQ’s focus on helping the Department of the Air Force (DAF) transition to a greener, cleaner future was the key to the application’s success.

On his first day in office, President Biden issued Executive Order 13990, Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, requiring all federal agencies to incorporate climate exposure and sensitivity in cost-benefit analyses; included in this analysis is
consideration of the social cost of greenhouse gas emissions in applicable cost-benefit decisions. To this end, the Order required all agencies, including the DAF, to account for efficiency of all existing infrastructure and to incorporate climate exposure and performance metrics into enterprise-wide data
analytics efforts.

It was in responding to this challenge that EMPEQ’s Fast Site Survey® rose above the competition. EMPEQ’s revolutionary software solution reduces the time spent on this initial energy assessment process by 80% and substantially lowers the knowledge barrier to conducting these assessments. The product’s native intelligence and growing body of data identifies, digitizes, quantifies, and organizes equipment and other energy-consuming infrastructure with one-click of a smartphone’s camera – providing even the most novice user powerful insights on energy usage and emissions. This means that Fast Site Survey will both make experienced military engineers more efficient while also providing less knowledgeable Airmen the ability to perform the most rudimentary parts of an assessment with little-to-no training.

Before the award, the solution had already been used to quantify energy consuming equipment on a number of military bases across the world. The AFWERX opportunity provides EMPEQ an opportunity to take this initial interest to a whole new scale. With a need this acute, the grant has tremendous
potential for Fast Site Survey’s usefulness to be felt across the DAF and beyond.

Having begun his career in the United States Marine Corps as a National Security Agency (NSA) tasked cryptanalyst, the award has special meaning for EMPEQ CEO Herbert Dwyer. “America’s military faces tremendous challenges at home and abroad. For our company to be chosen to contribute to force
readiness out of such a competitive field is truly a humbling reality.”

Dwyer also had strong words on the aims of EMPEQ’s award. “The Department of Defense that I know and love never backs down from a challenge. Seeing the Air Force move so sharply against climate change is both exciting and inspiring.”

Details about the AFWERX program are available at


America needs to decarbonize over 7,000 buildings every day for the next 28 years if we are to reach our 2050 climate goals and the first step in each of these projects is on-site data collection in existing buildings. EMPEQ’s revolutionary Fast Site Survey® SaaS product reduces the time spent on this initial
energy assessment process by up to 80% – bringing critical additional bandwidth to a clean energy engineering and contracting industry that will quickly become a bottleneck in the fight against climate change. Learn more about EMPEQ at and Fast Site Survey at

As the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force and powered by the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX accelerates agile and affordable capability transitions by teaming innovative technology developers with Airman and Guardian talent. The three core arms of AFWERX – AFVentures,
Spark and Prime – serve to expand the defense industrial base for advanced technologies, empower Airmen and Guardian talent, and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. AFWERX teams internationally across academia, industry and government to develop technology, expand talent, and transition dual-use capabilities. Learn more about AFWERX at