A proposal to require Kansas City, Missouri building owners to make energy efficiency figures on the buildings public met mixed reactions at a city council committee hearing Wednesday.
The plan would require owners to compile energy usage figures and submit them to the city or face a fine for not doing so. Proponents representing environmental groups, civic groups and some building owners said the ordinance would further enhance Kansas City's image as a sustainability-focused community while helping to improve air quality, reduce energy use and make lower rents possible for many low or fixed income apartment dwellers.
Opponents called it government meddling. They said the proposed ordinance would increase business costs, devalue property and lead many owners to sell their Kansas City, Missouri buildings and invest in Johnson County.
Councilman Scott Taylor disagreed.
“We heard that same argument with the no smoking ban that the previous council put in place – that if you implement this no smoking ban at restaurants you'll have restaurants shutting down and moving to Kansas and business is going to suffer in Kansas City, Missouri. That proved to be not true," he told the committee.
Supporters also emphasized that the ordinance does not set standards or mandate upgrades, but admitted they hope after seeing the numbers many owners will voluntarily make their buildings more energy efficient.
A second hearing is scheduled for next week