Climate Action KC recently established the Building Energy Exchange KC (BE-Ex KC) in spring 2021 as a regional resource to help building owners, operators, and community members drive greater energy efficiency in the built environment. BE-Ex KC has announced the establishment of its board of directors which will shape its strategic direction for the next decade.
“BE-Ex KC will serve as the support system for the real estate industry to drive down the metro area’s greenhouse gas emissions, 63% of which are attributed to buildings. To address this challenge we must bring private, public, and non-profit agencies to the table,” said Ashley Sadowski, BE-Ex KC Executive Director. “I am thrilled to gather an exceptional group of individuals which include representation from the design, construction, real estate, public policy, community development, and utility sectors. Beyond their professional expertise is a shared passion for addressing carbon emissions in an equitable and impactful way. With an initial focus on housing, we will work with our local communities to reduce utility burdens and increase resident comfort improving Kansas Citians’ quality of life today and build resilience for our future.”
Though BE-Ex KC will focus on all sectors of the market to address GHG emissions, the board recognizes the value of prioritizing energy efficient housing to support affordability in the region. “It’s one thing to obtain housing, it’s another thing to be able to operate and maintain that housing over time. Whether you are a homeowner, renter, property owner or developer, affordability and sustainability over time should benefit all in our housing ecosystem,” said Shalaunda Holmes, BE-Ex KC Board Member and Real Estate Development Director for UNI. “Energy efficiency can go beyond light bulbs, and appliances. How we build and renovate housing structures for our habitation is what’s really going to make a significant impact on the environment and affect the cost to maintain housing. Addressing how we build today will benefit housing for the next 100 years”.
The establishment of the board will help to formalize this new organization for its official launch in early 2022. For educational resources, technical assistance, and fund development, the BE-Ex Board of Directors can access significant support through its regional and national program partners including the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), LISC Greater Kansas City, Urban Land Institute, Elevate Energy, The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), BE-Ex NY, and the Institute for Market Transformation.
“Building Energy Exchange KC will be key to accelerating the transition to comfortable, healthy and energy efficient buildings by being a trusted resource for the building industry,” said Ashok Gupta, Senior Energy Economist at NRDC. “Market adoption of energy efficiency measures is a critical element in addressing the affordable housing and climate crises and BE-EX KC’s efforts will help the region achieve these goals. NRDC looks forward to working with the BE-Ex Board and partners in supporting this effort.”
The 10 appointed board members include:
- Jonathan Arnold, Founder and Owner, Arnold Development
- Shaylyn Dean, Energy Efficiency Program Manager, Spire
- Ashok Gupta, Senior Energy Economist, Climate & Clean Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
- Ashley Z. Hand, Director of Strategic Communications, Unified Government of Kansas City, KS & Wyandotte County
- Shalaunda Holmes, Real Estate Development Director, Urban Neighborhood Initiative
- Mike Kelly, Board Chairman of Climate Action KC, Mayor of Roeland Park
- Monica Propst-Medeiros, Economic Development + Sustainability Coordinator, Groundwork Northeast Revitalization Group
- Brandon Wikoff, Vice President of Administration, US Engineering
- Kimberly Winslow, Senior Director, Energy Solutions, Evergy
- Erika Winters-Downey, Senior Engineering Manager, McCownGordon Construction