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Louisville mayor issues Energy Star building challenge

Would like to see 25 new Energy Star buildings by end of year

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 2, 2013) — In a step designed to both reduce energy use and raise the city’s profile as a force in sustainability efforts, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer issued a challenge to commercial real estate and building managers to seek Energy Star Certification.

Logo Energy StarSpeaking at the annual Kilowatt Awards luncheon, Fischer said he would like to see 25 new Energy Star Certified Buildings by the end of the year – moving the city toward national leadership on sustainable building management.

The mayor’s challenge represents a new initiative under the city’s Sustain Louisville plan, which was released earlier this year and includes 19 environmental goals for the city. One goal is to reduce the city’s per-capita energy use by 25 percent. Another is to reduce the use of energy in city-owned buildings by 30 percent.

“Obtaining an Energy Star Certification not only represents a commitment toward healthy and clean air, but frees up money that would otherwise go toward energy costs,” Fischer said. “This is a path toward both better fiscal and environmental stewardship.”

In 2009, Louisville was listed among the top 25 cities in the nation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency and based on the number of buildings that had been certified in the Energy Star program. But the city then slipped off the list and has not reappeared – while other regional cities such as Indianapolis and Cincinnati do appear on the list.

“There is no reason that Cincinnati or Indianapolis should be ahead of us on this list,” said Fischer. “We’re as capable and committed as they are – we just need to get certified!”

Maria Koetter, director of the Office of Sustainability, said that one goal of the sustainability plan is to get on the list of top 25 cities by 2018. To help meet the mayor’s challenge this year, Metro Government itself will pursue certification on three to five buildings, Koetter said, and is currently reviewing what buildings would make ideal candidates.

The challenge was issued at the Kilowatt Crackdown Awards Luncheon – the fourth-annual event aimed at making local buildings more efficient through the EPA’s Energy Star online benchmarking tools and other resources.

Sponsored by Metro Government, the Louisville Energy Alliance and the Environmental Protection Agency, this annual competition has helped many buildings become more efficient. Koetter said that pursuing certification would encourage further waste reduction and help spread awareness of the potential savings.

Judges reviewed the data to determine the winners of three categories: Greatest Improvement in Efficiency, Most Efficient Building, and the Kilowatt Cup (winners below).

The Kilowatt Cup recognizes superior achievement in energy management, overcoming unique obstacles and/or emphasizing energy efficiency through no-and-low-cost practices.

The Louisville Energy Alliance, a partnership between the city and several major commercial building associations, oversees the Kilowatt Crackdown. Representatives and resources from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program also play a key role.

For more information about the 2012 Kilowatt Crackdown, visit www.louisvilleenergyalliance.org.