FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 25, 2017
When it comes to saving energy, Fire Station No. 35 doused the four other Kansas City, Missouri, fire houses participating in the national Battle of the Buildings competition to reduce energy usage last fall.
Hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the program compared data collected during September, October and December of 2015 and 2016 to identify how improvements affect power and water consumption.
Stations no. 23, 25, 35,36 and 44 were chosen to participate based on their above-average energy usage. The fire station energy challenge is part of a larger effort by the City to strategically manage energy throughout its buildings. Officials worked with Kansas City Power & Light and an outside consultant, CLEAResult, on a wider program to save energy.
The upgrades included replacing light toggle switches with occupancy sensor switches, relocating a thermostat, installing low-flow showerheads, replacing select light fixtures with LED light fixtures and providing energy-saving power strips.
In accepting the smoker awarded to the top station, Battalion Chief Jimmy Walker said he was pleased with the way his troops responded to the challenge.
“It was extremely easy once we got everybody in the habit of shutting off lights and adjusting the thermostat and so forth,” Walker said. “After a couple of weeks, we all got used to it and it was easy.”
Walker and his staff reduced energy usage at the station substantially, falling from a three-month total of 87,760 kilowatt-hours in 2015 to 81,920 kwh in 2016. Fire station no. 23 finished second, lowering its energy usage by 1,440 kwh over the same time period.
The two-year initiative, called Sustainability Circle, includes monthly meetings, one-on-one coaching and custom action plans. In addition to the City, participants are Bayer, Posty Cards, Kansas City Public Schools and the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I am very pleased with the way this competition turned out and I applaud all the fire stations for their participation and ongoing commitment to energy conservation,” said Charles Harris, General Services Project Manager and coordinator for this competition.