Did you know that Kansas City has 32 buildings that are ENERGY STAR 2013 certified? (See the entire list here). This represents over 16 million square feet of space. While that is a good start, Kansas City could be doing much more. Currently the city is not even in the top 25 cities for ENERGY STAR rated buildings. But Mayor Sly James’ Energy Challenge is working to change that.
ENERGY STAR is an important metric that allows a good “apples to apples” comparison between buildings. Building owners and operators enter their information into portfolio manager – a free online tool offered by the EPA. Once the information is entered, a rating is generated, from 1-100. The number equates to the percentage of energy efficiency. For example, City Hall had a rating of 92 in 2012–which means it is more energy efficient than 92% of similar buildings – a very impressive feat.
Buildings that achieve a score of 75 or better can apply for ENERGY STAR certification. (Look here for specifics on the: verification process. )The verification process requires that a licensed professional review and stamp the application.
So why go through the process? First and foremost, it can save building owners and tenants a lot of money. The EPA estimates that top 25 cities in 2013 saved over $1.4 billion in energy. Second, it is good for the environment- those same top 25 cities reduced 7.3 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions. Lastly, it is good publicity for the building owner and tenant.
Mayor Sly James recently issued a challenge to get buildings benchmarked in the ENERGY STAR Portfolio manager. While that goal is daunting, it is very obtainable – and by doing so, more buildings will have the opportunity to be ENERGY STAR certified. The City Energy Project is a great resource for building owners and managers to achieve this goal.
A recent New York Times article about young professionals moving to downtown Kansas City has created quite the buzz in town. As the article mentions, the millennial generation is rejecting the suburbs for high rise apartments in the downtown corridor. According to the article, a full 25% of downtown residents are from the millennial generation (defined as individuals from 25 to 34 years of age).
This is great news for Kansas City. Having a younger demographic in the heart of the city helps create jobs, spur economic development and increase tax revenues.
But what if Kansas City were to take the extra step and really cater to the millennial generation? How you ask? By providing the most energy efficient buildings available. Study after study has shown this generation cares deeply about the environment and expects both their place of business and their home to be good environmental stewards.
The Kansas City Energy Project is a tremendous resource that developers could tap into as they build and remodel residential space in downtown. By providing the most energy efficient space available, building owners would be able to tout their environmental record and provide lower utility costs for their tenants – a distinct advantage over their competitors.
Millennials moving downtown is a great story. It could be an even better one if building owners and managers take advantage of the resources provided by the City Energy Project to provide the most energy efficient units possible.
Knowing your building’s energy performance helps you start reducing your energy consumption and lowering your energy bills. The Mayor’s Energy Challenge is a commitment to that first step, a commitment to benchmark your energy consumption in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
There are a substantial number of reasons to benchmark your building’s energy consumption. Join the discussion on our LinkedIn Group and share why you are benchmarking.
Commit to the Mayor’s Energy Challenge today by completing the online Challenge Commitment Form. Then create a profile in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and enter in your building’s information. Each month, enter in the information on your recent energy bills. Once you know how your building is performing, you can identify ways to improve the performance. The higher your ENERGY STAR rating, the lower your energy bill.
More information is available under the ‘Mayor’s Challenge’ tab above.
On our last post, we mentioned that we are having an Energy Efficiency Financing seminar on Wednesday, August 27 at 3 p.m. at KCP&L. We are happy to announce we have confirmed our panel for the event:
KCP&L : Business Energy Efficiency Rebate program: Kevin Brannan, Product Manager Energy Efficiency, Kansas City Power & Light
Brightergy : BrighterSavings : Tyler Staebell, Brightergy
PACE program : John Harris, Financial Advisor Missouri Clean Energy District
Energy Savings Companies (ESCo) : Dave Barber, JE Dunn
Federal Tax Incentives : Tom Poeling, Director of Energy Solutions, US Engineering Company
Please join us for a workshop on Wednesday, August 27 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in the KCP&L Auditorium on the second floor of 1200 Main Street. The topic for this workshop is Energy Efficiency Financing . There will be a brief introduction and update on the City Energy Project, followed by presentations from panelist representing
- KCP&L : Business Energy Efficiency Rebate program
- Brightergy : BrighterSavings
- PACE program
- Energy Savings Company (ESCo)
- Federal Tax Incentives
Time will be reserved at the end for you to ask questions of the panel.
City Energy Project Workshop: Energy Efficiency Financing
Wednesday, August 27 • 3-4:30 pm.
KCP&L Auditorium (2nd Floor)
1200 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Please check in at the Security Desk in the Energy Center
Parking will be validated for the garage between Main and Baltimore
There is no cost for this workshop, but space is limited; please RSVP as soon as possible to Schopp@kcchamber.com or 816-374-5461.
Today’s the first day of the Mayor’s Energy Challenge!
The Mayor’s Energy Challenge invites Kansas City businesses and institutions to benchmark their energy consumption with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. Our Goal: 200 buildings will commit to getting an ENERGY STAR® rating, and 50 buildings will achieve ENERGY STAR® certification.
Steps to Participate
- Submit your Challenge Commitment Form to the challenge manager, Jennifer Gunby, at Gunby@imt.org. You are now officially a challenge participant.
- Enter your building and energy data into Portfolio Manager.
- Confirm you completed the challenge and (optional) share your 2014 benchmark.
A Details and Instructions flyer with more information and the Challenge Committee Form are below. For more information or to sign up for the Mayor’s Energy Challenge, contact the Challenge Manager Jennifer Gunby at Jennifer.Gunby@imt.org or 816-513-3473.
2014 Mayor Energy Challenge_Challenge Commitment Form_v1
2014 Mayor Energy Challenge_Details and Instructions_v1
Kansas Citians learned recently that President Barack Obama will deliver a speech about the economy at the Uptown Theater this Wednesday. The timing of the speech could not be better, with Kansas City Mayor Sly James sending a letter to the President just a few weeks ago.
(Mayor James’ letter to President Obama)
In the letter, the Mayor states “I believe that Kansas City, Missouri – and especially our business community as led by the chamber – can be a model for the rest of the country and I invite to visit and speak with some of our civic and business leaders about our efforts.”
While the President’s trip was not scheduled as a direct result of Mayor James’ letter, it is a serendipitous coincidence. Kansas City is moving full speed ahead with its implementation of the City Energy Project. Much of the progress of the initiative will lead to great economic gains, including the creation of local jobs to conduct energy audits, retrofit buildings and train building operators on how to run their buildings more efficiently.
Kansas Citians can be proud of all these efforts and perhaps the President will hear about them during his time here.