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.