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Mayor issues benchmark Energy Star challenge

The challenge is on! From now through February, Kansas City Mayor Sly James is asking local building owners to track their energy use and strive to achieve ENERGY STAR certification as one of the first steps of the City Energy Project. A variety of businesses, universities, hospitals and schools have already have committed to benchmark energy use in their buildings.

“You can’t manage what you don’t know,” said Ashok Gupta. “The difference between the best energy efficient buildings and the worst buildings is not 20 to 30 percent—it’s three to five times that amount.” Gupta, programs director and senior energy economist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), facilitated a City Energy Project summit on benchmarking at Union Station earlier in the summer.

The City Energy Project is a new program designed to lower the energy bills of local buildings by millions of dollars, create local jobs and reduce climate change pollution. Kansas City is part of a 10-city initiative to craft customized energy efficiency plans while sharing expertise. The city is partnering on the project with the NRDC and the Institute for Market Transformation.

Building owners who sign up for the challenge must commit to benchmarking their properties using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. All metro area buildings may participate. The goal is to get 200 buildings signed up for an ENERGY STAR rating, and have 50 of these achieve ENERGY STAR certification.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Gunby, Kansas City community energy program manager, at 816-513-3473 or [email protected]. Or visit the City Energy Project blog at

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