Greetings from J.C. Martel, now supporting Kansas City’s Energy Empowerment Ordinance

Hello, I am now supporting Kansas City’s Office of Environmental Quality to assist with the Energy Empowerment Ordinance adopted by the City Council in June 2015. I have been in the energy efficiency field for 10 years, with experiences ranging Martelfrom building retrofits to city and state level public policy. I have an educational background in Urban Planning and Public Administration, professional accreditation in LEED for green buildings and a realtor’s license in Missouri and Kansas.

I have been captivated by opportunities to elevate energy efficiency using data science to gain new perspectives on the built environment. I believe that the digital age in which we are living shows promise for energy and water measurement for better city management, but we still have a long way to go in terms of data collection and knowledge gathering. Benchmarking building energy and water consumption supports this process. Once we have the data, we can analyze it in all sorts of ways using spatial imagery and statistical techniques to better understand how our city works.

Kansas City’s new Energy Empowerment Ordinance requires the disclosure of energy and water consumption data for private buildings of at least 50,000 square feet and municipal buildings of at least 10,000 square feet, affecting approximately 1,500 buildings. These buildings, while comprising only 3-4% of the building stock, account for almost 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions used by Kansas City’s commercial buildings sector. The City has the goal to reduce community emissions by 20% by 2020, and has to-date only achieved 4% of the desired emissions reduction. Improving the energy and water consumption in the largest buildings is the only way that we, as a city, can feasibly reach our goals. Ultimately it is up to building owners to make their properties more sustainable for the betterment of the city as a whole in addition to achieving individual cost savings. Benchmarking jump starts retrofits. The reality is that property owners and tenants often do not know how much natural resources their building uses compared to similar properties unless buildings are benchmarked. Further, the consumption data must be analyzed and visualized in various ways to be useful to property owners, tenants, city managers, and others. It is this market transformation that I will support over the coming months.

I look forward to working with many of you to improve data transparency, city management, and environmental outcomes in the building stock of Kansas City.

Metropolitan Energy Center looks to reopen Project Living Proof

Our friends at Metropolitan Energy Center have launched a crowd funding website to reopen Project Living Proof.   Find more in formation and a link to their page below.

Project Living Proof (PLP), a demonstration home in a historic neighborhood, teaches visitors how to lower energy bills, make their homes more comfortable, and protect their families from unseen pollutants and contaminants. At PLP homeowners can see different heating and cooling systems, solar water heaters, solar photovoltaics with battery storage, reused and sustainable lumber, alternative fuel uses, urban gardening. They can access information about costs and savings and find resources they need to make greener, more cost-effective decisions when retrofitting their own homes.

Due to a shortage of operating funds, we need your help to re-open the space and assure that its educational services will remain available to the public for years to come. Please support MEC and PLP to transform the way we use energy in America’s heartland!

  • Realtors and appraisers can learn about increasingly common energy efficiency and renewable energy features of homes, and how those features can impact home valuation.
  • Our alternative fuel vehicle demonstration features will expose potential customers to alternative fuel technologies and savings.
  • Homeowners will learn about energy efficiency techniques and technologies, becoming inspired to invest in their own improvements by energy efficiency professionals.
  • Urban gardeners can volunteer to work with Master Gardeners in Project Living Proof’s no-mow yard.
  • Situated where active transportation features include nearby transit stops, Brush Creek trail system, and wide sidewalks in a walkable community.
  • Beyond energy and environment, PLP hosts a variety of cultural, academic and artistic events that will keep it vibrant and consistently draw visitors.

Energy conservation, water conservation, alternative fuels and energy. Project Living Proof has everything—except your financial support. Donate today! Metropolitan Energy Center is a 501c3 nonprofit. Your donation is tax deductible. We are grateful for your support.

Top Certifiers for ENERGY STAR buildings have a heavy Kansas City presence

Recently, the ENERGY STAR program recognized the top certifiers of ENERGY STAR rated buildings.  A total of 13 companies have earned ENERGY STAR certification for 2,600 buildings. Those companies were able to :

  • Saved $562 million on their utility bills
  • Prevented 2.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
  • cut their energy use by 20.5 trillion BTUs.

Several of the top performers have a heavy Kansas City presence.  They include:

  • CBRE – 420 buildings certified in 2014
  • Target Corporation – 346 buildings certified in 2014
  • JLL – 199 buildings certified

ENERGY STAR is celebrating its 15th year of existence.  The program offers a free, online tool that allows building owners to benchmark their energy use.  Those who earn a score of 75 or higher are eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.

The recently passed KCMO Energy Empowerment ordinance requires buildings over a certain size to benchmark and report their energy usage.  The program will be phased in over time.

Minneapolis releases its latest benchmarking report

The City of Minneapolis recently released its second annual report on the results of its benchmarking and reporting ordinance.  This is the first year that privately owned buildings over 1000,000 square feet had to report.  The report states that buildings in Minneapolis have the potential to save $11 million on energy costs per year and avoid more than 62,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by increasing their energy efficiency and reducing consumption by 10%.

The key findings of the report include:

  • Building age did not relate to the amount of energy the buildings used
  • Of the 146 largest properties in Minneapolis, 27 are high-performers, 51 are considered above-average, and 68 are below-average performers.  The below-average performing buildings could save 43 percent on energy costs if their performance improved to the current average.
  • Of buildings reporting, hospitals, hotels and schools have the greatest potential for energy savings.  Office buildings are generally high performers with an average ENERGY STAR score of 87.
  • The median ENERGY STAR score for all buildings was 64.

City Council Approves Energy Empowerment Ordinance

Ordinance requires large commercial and multi-family residential buildings to benchmark and report their energy and water usage

Kansas City, MO, June 4, 2015– The Energy Empowerment Ordinance was approved today by the Kansas City City Council in a 12-1 vote. The Ordinance requires large commercial and multi-family residential buildings to benchmark and report their energy and water usage. The Ordinance does not mandate any energy retrofits.

“Energy efficiency can reduce utility costs for everyday working families in Kansas City,” said Councilman Scott Taylor, co-sponsor of the ordinance and co-chair of the City Energy Project Advisory Committee. “By saving a working mom with two children or a senior on a fixed income $30 to $40 a month by reducing their utility costs, this ordinance will make a difference.”

The ordinance was sponsored by Councilman Taylor, Mayor Sly James and Councilwoman Cokethea Hill. All felt strongly such an ordinance was needed to keep Kansas City on the progressive edge of sustainable cities around the nation.

“I want Kansas City to be known as an energy efficient town,” said Mayor Sly James. “Energy efficiency not only saves money; it helps improve the air we breathe, making Kansas City a better place to live. Thanks to Councilmember Taylor, who has been a great champion of energy and other issues.”

Experts in the field of energy efficiency see the Energy Empowerment Ordinance as being the next logical step to help drive job creation in Kansas City.

“There are 40,000 clean energy jobs currently in Missouri,” said Ashok Gupta, Senior Energy Economist for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The Energy Empowerment Ordinance will create even more jobs here in Kansas City. It will put people to work like electricians, HVAC technicians, architects and engineers.”

BOMA 360 Workshop on June 9

The Kansas City City Energy Project and USGBC Central Plains Chapter are hosting the BOMA 360 Performance Workshop on June 9th.

BOMA 360 is a commercial real estate designation developed by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International that recognizes all-around excellence in building operations and management.  The program benchmarks building performance in six key areas;

  • Operations and management
  • Security and safety
  • Training and education
  • Energy, environment and sustainability
  • Tenant relations

Individual buildings that satisfy the requirements in all 6 areas are awarded the BOMA 360 designation.

Register Now