City of Columbia Works to Increase Energy Efficiency

4 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, July 03 2013 Jul 3, 2013 Wednesday, July 03, 2013 12:22:00 PM CDT July 03, 2013 in News
By: Camille Hayes
loading

COLUMBIA - A recent study conducted by University of Missouri researchers showed Missouri is falling behind the rest of the country when it comes to renewable energy.

Currently, 2.6 percent of Missouri's energy comes from renewable energy.

A 2011 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) study found the national average for renewable energy use is 13 percent.

While the state falls well below that average, the city of Columbia has plans in place to keep up with the rest of the country.

Columbia received a stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to become a partner of the Better Buildings Challenge.

As a part of the challenge, the city is striving to reduce energy usage by 20 percent by the year 2020.

Columbia Office of Sustainability Manager Barbara Buffaloe said success in previous energy efficiency efforts caught the DOE's eye.

"Actually the Department of Energy came to us and said, 'We want to highlight or showcase you as one of the leading municipalities that's really walking the talk of energy conservation,'" Buffaloe said.

Buffaloe said Columbia is often ahead of the curve of other Missouri cities because of its population.

"We're a university town. We're highly educated here. We know that it makes good business sense for us to encourage energy conservation," she said.

One project the city has started to reduce energy use is replacing the light bulbs in city-owned parking garages with more efficient bulbs.

While being energy efficient could make good business sense, renewable energy can be an expensive project.

Columbia Water and Light utility services specialist Connie Kacprowicz said the city would like to incorporate solar power more heavily into renewable energy sources, but cost is a big factor.

"Solar has been traditionally a lot more expensive than some of the other renewable resources...Our hope is that as the cost continues to go down that we'll have more opportunities to invest in solar," she said.

Kacprowicz said customers can contribute to solar energy use through Water and Light's Solar One program.

Businesses can also do their part in saving energy through Water and Light's lighting incentive program. If a business installs a new lighting system, Water and Light can reward it with a $300 rebate for every kilowatt of electricity saved.

"Our lighting rebate has been huge as far as the participation numbers, and there's been everyone from hotels to retail stores. A lot of people have taken advantage of it," Kacprowicz said.

Both Kacprowicz and Buffaloe said one of the biggest challenges in getting people to be energy efficient is actually getting the message out about opportunities.

Buffaloe said the best way for people to know how to be energy efficient is word of mouth.

"What really sends the message to people is the day-to-day face talk with their friends or friends. What we try to do is have a positive experience with everybody that we encourage or we educate. The idea being that you will then go and talk to your neighbor, or your roommate, or your co-worker," she said.

You can visit the Office of Sustainability or Water and Light's websites for tips and tricks on how to be more energy efficient.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Potentially more than one thousand Missourians could lose their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses after a Department... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 2:27:00 AM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump is violating the First Amendment when he... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:10:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal district court in St. Louis has ruled that the Missouri prison system must... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:48:22 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
MID-MISSOURI - If you look at the forecast you can easily tell that summer is here early. Don't forget that... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:43:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - A new report by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce identifies challenges in the Missouri workforce. The... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:41:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) - NFL players must stand during the National Anthem this season, team owners decided Wednesday, a reaction to fierce... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:36:38 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Cole County deputies say a man accused of having pipe bombs was cooperative when they asked to... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
HALLSVILLE - The NRA Bianchi Cup happens every year in Missouri, however this year, embattled Gov. Eric Greitens made an... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:40:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department wants feedback from residents on its community policing initiative. A meeting Wednesday gave people... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:25:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Special Investigative Committee continued reading the transcript of the testimony of the woman involved in... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A revision to Missouri's amateur sports tax credit program could bring more sporting events to Mid-Missouri. The... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:04:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - The Moniteau County prosecutor filed criminal charges against the former California police chief Wednesday. Former police chief... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:15:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A top official at Missouri's Department of Public Safety had a potential conflict of interest when... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:11:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK- Businesses in mid-Missouri face a steep choice when it comes to having live entertainment -- lose the music... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:53:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri judge is weighing whether a secretive nonprofit group that supports Gov. Eric Greitens' agenda... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:08:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Prosecutor's Office filed charges Wednesday against a man suspected of having pipe bombs and... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 10:30:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson says he will be ready to step up if Gov. Eric... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The city of Columbia will hold the first of seven community policing meetings Wednesday evening. Each meeting is set... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:34:00 AM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
6am 67°
7am 69°
8am 72°
9am 76°