Kansas City has been chosen for a 10-city national effort to reduce energy consumption in large commercial buildings and help address climate change, city officials announced Wednesday.
“We’re very pleased we were selected,” said Dennis Murphey, the city’s chief environmental officer.
The City Council’s Finance Committee endorsed the energy efficiency project Wednesday, and it goes to the full council Thursday.
Kansas City was among 10 cities selected out of 22 that applied for the City Energy Project being run by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation. The other cities are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City.
Murphey said the Institute for Market Transformation will pay salary and expenses of a new employee to be based at City Hall over the next three years to help major corporations and institutions improve their energy efficiency. The program will provide free assessments and training on the best ways to upgrade buildings with new lighting, windows, heating and cooling systems, and other features.
Companies that have expressed interest include Hallmark, Burns & McDonnell and MC Realty, Murphey said. City government buildings will also be included in the program.
Murphey said many companies will find they can recoup the upgrade expenses within five years. He said program organizers estimated the Kansas City improvements could eventually save millions of dollars annually in utility bills.