Kansas City has 550 commercial and institutional buildings of 100,000 square feet or more, and another 480 buildings of 50,000 square feet or more. That is a lot of square footage contributing to carbon emissions. It bears repeating: buildings, not transportation or industry, represent the largest single source of carbon emissions. That fact is surprising, but when you consider that in Kansas City, Mo., alone, the more than 1,000 buildings of 50,000 square feet or larger represent 70 percent of the total commercial and industrial building space, it starts to make sense. The Kansas City CEP will focus its efforts on buildings which will provide the greatest opportunities for energy reductions.
Getting there will involve a concentrated effort of folks from various segments working together and sharing opportunities. For example, at the first CEP Advisory Committee meeting, KCP&L shared that it has filed new tariffs with the Missouri Public Services Commission for programs which can provide $15 million per year for residential and commercial energy efficiency incentives. The Kansas City, Mo., City Council approved affiliation with the Missouri Clean Energy District (MCED) for the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program. The city is already in discussion with the MCED for loans to make investments in energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy facilities. By bringing various stakeholders to the table, the KC CEP will identify a range of incentives which will not only help existing Kansas City businesses know what’s in it for them, ultimately the opportunities should help attract new businesses to KC too.
Energy efficiency shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be integrated into business plans from conception to daily operations. The KC CEP will make it easier for Kansas City businesses to identify where and how they can make that a reality.