Reduce energy use, create jobs and improve Kansas City’s economic competitiveness. Pretty lofty goals, but that’s what KC’s City Energy Project aims to do. How?
First, we convened an Advisory Committee packed with invested stakeholders. That group held its first meeting on Feb. 28. Dennis Murphey, the City’s Chief Environmental Officer, told the team some of the targets include:
– Identifying resources to assist local building owners/managers in implementing energy efficiency improvements.
– Encouraging cutting-edge approaches.
– Sharing best practices.
The project will be overseen by an employee hired by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) who will work at City Hall with Dennis, his team and the Advisory Committee. The IMT is currently reviewing applicants and conducting interviews.
Then, the initial focus will be on existing large buildings which, given their percentage of total square footage in KC, have a significant effect on energy use and potential energy savings.
According to the IMT, buildings are the largest single source of U.S. carbon emissions, representing 40 percent nationwide – more than either the transportation or industrial sectors. That number is even more dramatic at the city level, with more than half of carbon emissions in most U.S. cities coming from buildings – and in some cities as much as 75 percent.
So we have our work cut out for us. But we’re seeking bold solutions that can be replicated by other municipalities nationwide to advance economic development and reduce pollution. We want energy efficiency to be the norm in Kansas City, and across the country. This project will help get us there.