City of Columbia Works to Increase Energy Efficiency

2 years 7 months 1 week ago July 03, 2013 Jul 3, 2013 Wednesday, July 03 2013 Wednesday, July 03, 2013 12:22:00 PM CDT in News
By: Camille Hayes

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 - All different vendors rented spaces at Capital Mall Trade Days on Saturday. Home baked goods, fashion... More >>
8 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 7:43:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A home in North Columbia was damaged Saturday after a bedroom caught fire. Fire crews were called... More >>
9 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 6:48:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock released statements Saturday on the passing of... More >>
9 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 6:25:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis wants to win a $50 million challenge aimed at improving transportation. The city... More >>
10 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 5:56:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A St. Charles County man has admitted in federal court that he sold the heroin that... More >>
10 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 5:51:00 PM CST in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY – Friends of Responsible Agriculture filed a motion for what they said is "another Sunshine Law violation against... More >>
11 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 4:10:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate made moves this week to fight back against the number one killer of Americans.... More >>
11 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 4:08:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A University of Missouri researcher has determined that high-impact resistance training in adolescence and young-adulthood increases bone mass... More >>
12 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 3:44:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City woman who worked as a teacher and lived on a pension left $2... More >>
16 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 11:33:39 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — University of Missouri officials say they're looking into whether a graduate student employee union would be legal.... More >>
17 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 11:04:08 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A report on U.S. import and export prices reveals the price of agricultural exports has declined for the... More >>
1 day ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 2:42:00 AM CST in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Mid County Fire Protection District responded to a residential fire southeast of Camdenton late Friday afternoon. ... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 8:06:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District, or CID, has applications open for residents, business owners or registered... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 7:09:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, announced additional disaster assistance for renters in Missouri affected by... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 6:06:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A man is recovering Friday after he jumped into a frozen lake to save the life of his... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 4:33:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City has created a plan in the city budget to tear down about 800 vacant... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 4:32:00 PM CST in News
FERGUSON (AP) — Ferguson's mayor says city leaders warned U.S. Department of Justice negotiators last month that they couldn't guarantee... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 4:19:22 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Public Schools will recommend three individuals to fill critical vacancies within the school district to the Board... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 3:59:00 PM CST in News
Interactive Radar Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 23°
4am 21°
5am 22°
6am 24°
7am 24°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00 am
CIZE IT UP!
4:30 am
Paid Program
5:00 am
Huntline TV
4:00 am
Paid Program
4:30 am
Paid Program
5:00 am
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00 pm
Saturday Night Live
8:00 pm
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
7:00 pm
It Could Happen to You
9:00 pm
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30 pm
Cougar Town