Kansas City officials are discussing a plan to require owners of many large local buildings to report how efficiently they use electricity. The laudable goal faces a few roadblocks.
Under a possible ordinance, the city could not demand that owners make energy efficiency upgrades, but a fine for not complying with reporting standards is being discussed. A public meeting on the issue is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at Union Station.
The Building Owners and Managers Association of Kansas City has said it will oppose mandatory disclosure, arguing,“It isn’t hard to imagine that adoption of such measures would soon likely result in extraordinary and arbitrary municipal minimum operating standards.”
But a representative of the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle said it supported the ordinance because “increased energy use transparency, visibility and accountability are good for our company and good for Kansas City’s real estate industry.”
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At the least, the city ought to follow the ordinance in buildings it owns and show whether it is being a good steward of tax revenues.
The big battle will be over whether private building owners must report. Even a voluntary program could be beneficial, allowing owners to compete for residents and office clients by showing they had invested wisely in energy efficiency.