Energy Solutions Hub
Do you provide energy audits?
We do not directly provide energy audits. However, we can assist you to find the right auditor for you. We can also help you with any questions you have regarding any potential upgrades on your building.
Can you help me if I live in Kansas?
We are here for our entire region – Missouri and Kansas. Note that resources may differ, however, depending on what side of the state line you live on.
What is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is another word for “measuring” to determine what a building’s baseline (current) energy use is so the city can complete its inventory of greenhouse gasses. This will also help you as the property owner identify easy ways to improve your energy use.
This entails entering your utility data – electricity, gas and water – into a software platform called ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. We can help you do this, train you to do it next year, and then also help identify ways to improve your building should you so desire.
Do I need to Benchmark my building?
If your building is over 50,000 sf and not a heavy manufacturing facility, it is likely that you are required to benchmark your building if it is located in Kansas City MO proper. This also includes multi-family buildings over 50,000 sf.
How can MEC help me?
Yes, we are here just for that. We have been assigned by the city of Kansas City, MO to help you with any problems entering your data, or questions you may have with the platform.
Does it cost anything?
No, our assistance is a free service.
What is ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager?
This is the measuring platform the city is using to record our building stocks’ energy use. There are many online training sessions or MEC also offers live training sessions periodically.
Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Do you have any contractors you can recommend?
Yes, and the list grows as we help with peer-to-peer education in the region. You can find it here.
Do you teach any classes on energy efficiency?
We do have some awareness classes and programs that we handle directly at MEC. We also have a full calendar of other training opportunities locally or online nationally.
Are there any incentives to upgrade my home/ building?
Yes. Evergy and Spire especially have resources for Missouri residents to utilize to upgrade HVAC, insulation and water heating. Go here for more instructions.
Do you facilitate utility rebates?
We will help you with any questions and we may have a few of our own to help you apply within the right channels. We are not “the” utility facilitator (i.e. a 3rd party company hired to process utility rebate applications). For commercial inquiries call this number 866-847-5228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energy Efficiency Best Practices
I’ve heard that window and door replacements will save me a lot of money. Is this true?
Old drafty windows may be costing you some wasted energy dollars, that is true. But replacing the windows without getting a comprehensive energy audit; or at least picking a contractor that understands the best way to install new windows might not save as much as you wish.
Also the Return on Investment (ROI) is not as robust as other upgrades you may want to consider first. If you have an uninsulated attic space this will be a good place to start rather than expensive new windows.
What is the best insulation I should use in my uninsulated floors, ceilings and walls?
This depends on what type of construction and style of “building envelope” you have currently. This is a question best answered by one of our energy specialists. Please call or email us so we can talk further.
What are phantom loads?
These are draws from your appliances that are plugged directly into the wall but are where the appliance isn’t “on”. So, for example, your computer is using energy even if it is not running. Consider using a power strip for these types of appliances. That way the power strip can be turned off and the appliance can not pull any “phantom” energy from your meter.
Should I replace my old AC and Furnace? It still works, but it’s inefficient.
Replacing your HVAC equipment with new energy efficient models can be a great way to save money. Consider hiring an energy auditor first to give you a full prescription for your building’s energy deficits. This way, you may be able to save on a smaller HVAC system if you add insulation first, for example.
Should I buy a programmable thermostat?
Most definitely, yes. Evergy has a program too if you live in MO where you can get one for free or less than regular retail, installed.
What is a BMS?
This is a “building operating system”. These are recommended for commercial buildings – especially large buildings 25,000 sf or higher.
What is the current energy code in the region?
Our region operates under “home rule.” This means that our two states – KS and MO – do not have a statewide energy code in place and it is left up to the individual municipalities to pass energy codes. Go here for a comprehensive list of our region’s cities and their codes.
What resources do you offer to support better building policy?
We are here to help policy-makers pass code upgrades by offering programs that explain some of the more technical aspects of the different codes. We are also drafting programming to help codes department enforce any new energy codes that are being passed across our region.
How is the 2021 code different from previous energy code standards?
The 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is an estimated almost 10% more efficient than the 2018 IECC. This is due to some improvements in the thermal values and definitions in the walls, ceilings and floors. There are also more testing requirements. Please contact the MEC for more information.
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