As we all shift our routines in an effort to stay safe and healthy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Metropolitan Energy Center is exploring ways to adjust to the new normal. We want you to know we share the collective confusion and frustration of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Please remember we are all in this together. Be patient, be kind. And if you need us, we’ll be here, because we have been for over 35 years.

What We’re Doing

As the situation evolves, we are continually adjusting our response. At this time, our dedicated staff are working from home, in consideration of the CDC recommendations and in compliance with the KC Metro stay-at-home order, effective Tuesday, March 25. We are finding innovative ways to support our communities and continue our technical support for regional alternative fuels and energy efficiency advancements.

Staff can best be reached by email, though phone calls are still welcome and will be routed to the appropriate staff as soon as possible on the day the calls are received.

For scheduled meetings and events:

  • All in-person meetings and events for the next 8 weeks are postponed, moved online, or cancelled.
  • Scheduled conference calls will go on and will now offer a web connection in case you are unable to join through a phone connection.

For projects and project deliverables:

  • Staff are conducting a COVID-19 risk assessment for all ongoing projects. If you are involved in a project and believe restrictions due to the crisis present a risk to you meeting your objectives, please notify your MEC staff contact immediately.

Hidden Costs and Silver Linings

This pandemic is something new for nearly all of us. Some Americans—those 75 and older—will remember the polio epidemic of the 1940s and 1950s. But for most of us, this means making changes in the ways we work, live and travel that we’ve never experienced before.

If there’s any sort of silver lining to this situation, it’s that finding new ways to work and move in the next months may lead to longer-term solutions that can improve health outcomes for everyone. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, and good respiratory health is critical—now, in dealing with this disease, and for our community’s overall health in the future. MEC has worked for decades to cut toxic emissions with energy efficiency, cleaner fuels, intelligent transportation and building systems, and a cleaner, more efficient freight network. This work continues, with our diverse community and stakeholders in mind, and is more critical today than at any other point in history.

What You Can Do

#StayHomeKC. On March 21, elected officials in Jackson, Johnson and Wyandotte counties and the city of Kansas City, Missouri, announced a 30-day stay-at-home order. Other counties in the region have enacted various restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19. State and local guidelines are changing rapidly as more cases are confirmed.

For the latest information, check your local health department or city/county websites.

If you should venture away from home, please remember: exhaust irritates lungs. For the sake of those experiencing respiratory difficulty, turn off your engine if you will be waiting for a friend carpooling with you, for car-side delivery service, etc.

Take advantage of your reduced commute time to get outdoors more. Biking, walking and hiking can be done alone, with your pets, or in small groups adhering to social distancing practices.

Some outdoor volunteering opportunities may continue, in small groups adhering to social distancing practices, especially orgs doing wildland management, gardening and cultivation, tree planting, and the like. Carefully evaluate your host’s safety and health policies and practices before signing up. Due to the stay-at-home order, many of these events may be cancelled as well, so contact your host to confirm before showing up.

If you’re a volunteer and miss in-person group volunteering events, stay engaged through GlobalGiving. GlobalGiving’s virtual skilled volunteering platform, GlobalGivingTime, can match you with interesting opportunities from vetted nonprofits around the world, from the convenience of your desk.

Stay Informed

Metro KC officials are keeping PrepareMetroKC.org updated as new information becomes available.

As you know, this situation is continually shifting. We will monitor developments to adhere to federal, state and local advisories, and support the region’s efforts to protect the health and safety of the public.

Metropolitan Energy Center and Grain Valley School District, in conjuction with the national nonprofit Propane Education & Research Council, hosted the “Autogas Answers for Schools Workshop” Friday at the Courtyard Marriott Kansas City East/Blue Springs. The workshop explained the advantages of running school bus fleets on propane autogas and showed Grain Valley’s propane-powered school bus fleet in action.

“When schools choose to incorporate propane into their bus fleets, the whole community benefits,” said Kelly Gilbert, executive director of Metropolitan Energy Center and coordinator of Kansas City Regional Clean Cities. “This event was a fantastic opportunity for Kansas City school transportation officials to see how propane autogas buses are already working for the local Grain Valley School District. We hope everyone who attended left feeling empowered to make the best decision for their fleet, their students and their community.”

During the event, the Grain Valley School District provided a tour of their scalable propane autogas refueling infrastructure. As of January 2019, nearly 30 percent of Grain Valley’s fleet is powered by propane autogas. The Grain Valley Director of Transportation, Shawn Brady, plans to add seven more propane-powered buses by the end of the year.

Propane professionals expanded upon Grain Valley’s testimonial by explaining how propane-powered school buses can reduce a fleet’s emissions and offer the lowest total cost-of-ownership of any fuel, in part because of lower fuel and maintenance costs. Attendees also learned about clean transportation funding opportunities and networked with clean fuel industry professionals.

Nathan Ediger of Ferrelgas discusses propane infrastructure at Grain Valley SD.

The Autogas Answers for Schools Workshop was put on by Grain Valley School District, Metropolitan Energy Center, Kansas City Regional Clean Cities, Propane Education & Research Council, Missouri Propane Gas Association, the Kansas City Area Association of Pupil Transportation, and Ferrellgas. For more information about Metropolitan Energy Center, visit metroenergy.org.

 

About Metropolitan Energy Center: Metropolitan Energy Center is a non-profit and a catalyst for energy efficiency, economic development and environmental vitality in America’s Heartland. It is host of Kansas City Regional Clean Cities, a designated U.S. Department of Energy program, and Central Kansas Clean Cities. Learn more about us and our programs at metroenergy.org.

About PERC: The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit propane.com.

Wed, May 23 | 2:30 pm | Project Living Proof | 917 Emmanuel Cleaver II Blvd, KCMO

Kansas City Regional Clean Cities is hosting a grant workshop on three new funding opportunities totaling more than $140 million nationwide. These programs cover diesel emissions reduction, low- and zero-emission transit fleets, and infrastructure and super-fast charging, plus other projects. We’ll cover eligibility, the application process, financial and cost-share requirements, and much more in this free workshop.

All interested potential grant applicants are cordially invited to participate. This includes state and local governments, transit agencies, MPOs, non-profit organizations and school districts. Although for-profit companies are not eligible to apply directly for these grants, Clean Cities routinely works with our corporate fleet members to administer grants for their projects. Interested businesses are welcome to attend.

Join us in person at Project Living Proof, or attend virtually via GoToMeeting or telephone at (646)749-3122, Access Code: 448-679-701. If attending in person, please park at the Anita Gorman Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Avenue, Kansas City, MO, then follow the boardwalk north to PLP’s back door.

For questions or to RSVP for the workshop, email David Albrecht or call (816) 531-7283.

 

 

Energy Solutions Hub

Date|Time: May 11th at 9:30 a.m.

Location: Project Living Proof, 917 Emanuel Cleaver Blvd.

Join the Mid-America NAFA chapter on May 16, 2018 for a very informative session that you won’t want to miss. As seen at the 2018 NTEA Work Truck Show Fleet Technical Congress, the guest speaker is Mr. Jeff Burns, Attorney at Dollar Burns & Becker, LC. Mr. Burns is arguably one of the most respected truck crash litigators in the nation. When he is not litigating cases, he is actively educating the public and working for rule changes, stronger laws and stricter enforcement. 

Mr. Burns, a strong advocate for safety, strives to help companies see the light, and help them realize that there can actually be a remarkable return on investment when companies institute and strengthen safety programs. Burns says there is less litigation and drivers actually stay with companies longer when they see stronger safety rules as a genuine commitment that helps protect them.

Since today’s commercial vehicles generate a significant amount of data that fleet managers are increasingly using to help manage and improve productivity, Mr. Burns will explain how active and passive data collected on your vehicles can impact you and may be discoverable in the case of an accident or inquiry.

Please mark your calendars for this “must attend” Mid- America chapter NAFA event and click here to RSVP today!

WHEN: Wednesday, May 16, 2018
LOCATION: Joe’s BBQ, 180 Room, 11944 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062
AGENDA: 10:30 am — Registration; 11:00 am — Presentation followed by Lunch
COST: $30 (cash or check payable to NAFA) Credit cards accepted at the door—just bring your card to the meeting.

Please R.S.V.P. by Friday, May 11, 2018. You can register online by clicking here. Due to attendance guarantees, those registrants who are unable to attend or cancel by May 11, 2018 will be billed.

NAFA May 16, 2018 Meeting Notice

Check out this conference focused on advancing renewable energy in Missouri!  The purpose of the “Advancing Renewables in the Midwest” conference is to identify, display, and promote programs, policies, and projects that enhance the use of renewable energy resources in the Midwest for the economic benefit of the region. The focus of speaker topics and agendas are large scale projects, either through direct installation or through amalgamation of small scale projects.
Come together to discuss programs, projects, and policies that are advancing the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Considering converting your fleet to compressed natural gas?  Join this complimentary webinar, sponsored by Quantum Fuel Systems, to learn more about the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas trucks.

When:  April 4th at 12:00 P.M. CST

What:  Webinar for fleet operators who are considering converting their fleets to natural gas.  This complimentary webinar will allow our fleet managers to explore the many environmental and economic benefits of low-emission natural gas engines.

 

Click here for Webinar details.

Join the Mid-America NAFA Chapter as we enjoy the 2018 Greater Kansas City International Auto Show! This year’s Auto Show will fill Bartle Hall with over 500 new cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and minivans. You won’t find a better opportunity to see all makes and models in one location. See all of the technical achievements from the best in the automotive industry. Prior to the show, manufacturers will present model year highlights in our business meeting at the Downtown Marriott. Click here to RSVP now!

Prior to the 10 a.m. public opening, the NAFA Mid-America Chapter has made special arrangements with Bartle Hall to open at 9 a.m. for NAFA participants only. In addition, your paid registration will include 2 additional passes to return to the show!

WHEN: Friday, March 2, 2018
LOCATION: Downtown Marriott / Muehlebach Tower — 200 West 12th Street, Truman Room, Kansas City, MO 64105
AGENDA: 7:15-7:45 a.m. Registration; 7:45 a.m. Breakfast, Business Meeting & Manufacturer Highlights; 9:00 a.m. Auto Show—Private Viewing
COST: $30 (Cash, credit card or check payable to NAFA)

We have arranged for a NAFA special event parking in the “Auditorium Plaza Garage” at 1220 Wyandotte between 12th & 13th Streets and between Central & Wyandotte. Entrances to the garage are located on Central and Wyandotte streets. We will distribute validation slips at the business meeting. Please note, we are unable to validate Marriott garage parking.

Please R.S.V.P. on-line by February 26, 2018 by clicking HERE. Due to attendance guarantees,
registrants who are unable to attend or cancel by February 26, 2018 will be billed.

NAFA March 2, 2018 Meeting Notice – Auto Show