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.

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