Kansas City Council Committee Advances Building Energy Review Ordinance | KCUR

Kansas City Council Committee Advances Building Energy Review Ordinance

May 14, 2015

A Kansas City, Missouri city council committee has endorsed a plan to require owners of buildings over 50,000 square feet to audit their energy consumption each year.

The ordinance requires calculating energy usage and making the data available to the public.

Supporters say that will encourage energy efficiency, but not mandate it.

Still, it would require owners of buildings over 100,000 square feet to start calculating energy usage in 2017 or face fines.

The smaller buildings between 50,000 and 100,000 square feet would have an additional year to comply.

Some owners support the idea, but others fear it will be revised into a plan to force them to meet mandated energy standards, and that public “shaming” of older, less efficient buildings would lower their market value and drive rents downward.

Some want a voluntary program similar to one now in place in Denver, but the city's chief environmental officer, Dennis Murphy, says in Denver voluntary participation is progressing too slowly.

“If you narrow it down to the 1800 buildings that are 50,000 square feet and you are able to maintain that pace continuously, they would reach their voluntary goal of 90 percent of those 1800 buildings in 20 years,” Murphy said.

At that, he says, half the buildings signed up for the Denver program are government owned.

The full council will vote on the plan next week.