John McGrath — The Hale Center for Journalism
Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced a new initiative to cut climate pollution from the city’s buildings. It’s a 10-city effort that, over time, could save Kansas City businesses as much as $55 million annually and cut energy consumption by the equivalent of 29,000 households each year, according to a press release issued by the mayor’s office.
This effort, the City Energy Project, is an initiative from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation. It will concentrate on where the real energy consumption comes from: buildings. According to the Institute for Market Transformation, 60 percent of Kansas City’s carbon emissions come from the actual buildings that make up the city’s skyline, far exceeding what is produced by transportation and industrial areas. Much of the energy that these buildings use is wasted and wastes millions of dollars, the institute said .
The City Energy Project aims to solve that problem by working with city governments and business leaders to promote efficient building operations, advocate private investment and encourage transparency on each building’s energy efficiency.
Cliff Majersik, executive director at Institute for Market Transformation, said, “This is a great way for all the cities to come together and pick each other’s brains on ways to make their buildings more energy efficient.”
He said The City Energy Project will hire an energy efficiency expert to work in Mayor James’ office to help guide the city and its businesses on retrofitting old buildings to become more energy efficient.
“The skyline is the solution to the (energy) waste problem in almost every large city,” Majersik said.
For more information about the City Energy Project, visit www.cityenergyproject.org.