An array of housing units, commercial and industrial structures, community centers and schools make our communities vibrant and livable. This robust built environment comes at a cost, however, generating 63% of our region’s GHG emissions. Basic energy conservation measures like efficient windows, insulation, lighting, and heating/cooling will cut back on emissions from energy usage; however, a more holistic whole-building approach that evaluates broader building systems, facilities, and how they interact with the grid can lead to deeper savings. Energy efficiency regulations and incentives have become one of the most popular emissions reduction strategies because they prevent the construction of new power plants, reduce grid infrastructure costs, and create green jobs, all while improving public health and generating cost savings for businesses and homes.
While new buildings can take advantage of more efficient design and construction standards, modifying existing buildings has the greatest potential for energy savings. Retrofitting aging buildings enables businesses, institutions, and residents to reduce energy use, shrink their carbon footprint, and cut costs while also extending the life of the building and raising property values.
Kansas City residents, especially low-income Black and Latino households, bear some of the greatest financial burden in the country related to utility bills, highlighting the importance of government and utility weatherization programs and performance standards that directly address issues of affordability, health, and safety for our most vulnerable populations. State and local policy is particularly important in providing necessary programs, regulations, and cost-saving measures.
Top reduction strategies
- Improvements to existing residential buildings
- Improvements to existing commercial/industrial/municipal buildings
- Improvements to new residential buildings
- Improvements to new commercial/industrial/municipal buildings
- Home repairs and building envelope repairs (for heating with natural gas)
- Insulation and windows
- Efficient furnaces