Kansas City Benefits from Collective Action for Data Standardization and Access

The City of Kansas City, Missouri was competitively selected to participate in the Standardized Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Collaborative, a 3-year partnership with cities who are innovatively reshaping the information landscape in the building sector by compiling energy and water performance data on public and private buildings. The adoption of the Energy Empowerment Ordinance by the City Council of Kansas City prompted the need for a new type of data infrastructure for buildings within the city. The Department of Energy created the SEED Collaborative to enable cities with tools to combine data from multiple sources (e.g., tax assessor’s records and utility company’s databases) using the SEED Platform and standardize datasets nationwide using the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES) tool. BEDES is used in the city’s project, and can also be used to align data fields in any building energy data management system. Further, the SEED Platform is open source, so data enthusiasts can access the source code to use and develop applications.

In a complementary program, the Kansas City government and KCP&L electric company are participants in the Energy Data Accelerator (EDA) program, a city-utility partnership to overcome informational barriers to energy efficiency by improving access to energy data. Some of the recommendations being entertained locally include digital data transfer between utility company’s databases and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Portfolio Manager software via a mechanism called web services and promoting a threshold in terms of number of tenant units at which aggregated whole-building data does not reveal individual energy usage patterns.

To discuss these projects locally, contact JC Martel at JC.Martel@KCMO.org.

seed_platform_diagram

Climate Corps Program

 

Interested in accelerating your organization’s clean energy project but need help getting started?  The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) may have just the program you need –EDF Climate Corps.  EDF is looking for new companies interested in hosting a Climate Corps fellow this upcoming summer.

This fellowship program embeds trained graduate students into organizations to help meet their energy goals by accelerating clean energy projects in their facilities.  They are interested in organizations and buildings just getting started, as well as those who have completed extensive work and need a fresh perspective to get to the next level.  Fellows are trained to provide you the hands-on support needed for energy management initiatives.

Since 2008, EDF has:

  • Worked with +350 companies (including one-third of the Fortune 100)
  • Identified nearly $1.5 billion in energy savings
  • Identified over $60 million in clean energy investment (in 2015 alone)!

www.EDFClimateCorps.org.

If you are interested in learning more about the Climate Corps Program, EDF has a webinar coming up on January 12th on corporate clean energy trends that will include specific Climate Corps project examples.

Webinar:

Accelerate and Accomplish Your Energy Goals with
EDF Climate Corps
Tuesday January 12th, 11am-Noon CST
No cost to attend, registration is required
Register today

 

Boston Releases New Website for Energy Metrics and Analysis

The City of Boston’s Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) was enacted in 2013 and as of 2015, requires buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to report energy and water use.  Today they released their first report on energy metrics and analysis covering 2013 data received from municipal, commercial and institutional buildings.  Check it out at http://berdo.greenovateboston.org.

In this compliance cycle, the BERDO had more than 1,300 buildings report representing over 30% of Boston’s built space.  Boston shared that key findings from that data include:

  • In the first year, 84 percent of the floor area required to report complied with the ordinance.
  • The properties that reported in 2014 represent approximately 31 percent of all the energy used by buildings in Boston.
  • Buildings of the same type can vary greatly in energy use intensity. Among Boston’s large office buildings, for example, the most energy-intensive buildings reported using over ten times more energy per square foot than the least energy-intensive buildings.
  • On average, older buildings perform well. Office buildings built before 1950 used significantly less energy per square foot on average than those built after 1950.

Boston is one of fourteen cities, like Kansas City Missouri, nationally with a policy for transparency on building energy performance.  Kansas City’s program staff is reviewing Boston’s findings, especially their ‘Observations on Implementation’ and will be following up with Boston’s program staff.

In the meantime, I highly recommend you visit http://berdo.greenovateboston.org and use the ‘View the Map’ tool to check out your favorite Boston landmarks.

How Kansas City is Leading Energy Efficiency Action in the Heartland

 

Bloomberg Philanthropies, an organization at the forefront of solving city issues, interviewed Kansas City’s Chief Environmental Officer, Dennis Murphy about the city’s approach to energy efficiency, sustainability, and climate protection. Mr. Murphy explained the role of the city’s Climate Protection Plan and greenhouse gas inventory to facilitate decision-making. The Climate Protection Plan provided a process for stakeholder engagement in shaping the city’s sustainability outlook, while the greenhouse gas inventory provided the data to facilitate decision-making about how to achieve sustainability goals collaboratively set by the community. Ultimately, the city’s largest non-single family buildings were identified as the highest energy users. Strategically, the Kansas City government joined the City Energy Project with the “hope to make significant progress toward our ultimate greenhouse gas reduction goal,” Mr. Murphy said. Click here to read the full interview.

 

Links to references:

Article: http://www.bloomberg.org/blog/how-kansas-city-is-leading-energy-efficiency-action-in-the-heartland/?utm_content=buffer5378d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Climate Protection Plan: http://kcmo.gov/citymanagersoffice/climate-protection-plan/

GHG inventory: https://kcstat.kcmo.org/Sustainability/2013-GHG-Inventory-5-2015-FINAL/5eqa-9amg

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.