Feature image photo credit: Climate + Energy Project.
On March 15, USGBC Central Plains participated in an environmental education and advocacy day, titled “WEALTH Day,” at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka. The event was hosted by the Climate + Energy Project. The nonprofit organization's goal is to “dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in America's Heartland through the ambitious deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy, in policy and practice.”
The event featured policy briefings and topical discussions on the six subjects suggested by the WEALTH acronym: Water, Energy, Air, Land, Transportation and Health.
Participating on behalf of USGBC Central Plains were Jennifer Gunby, USGBC State and Local Advocacy Manager; Julie Peterson, USGBC Director of Community for Central Plains; and Josh Thede of Henderson Engineers, USGBC Central Plains Emerging Professionals Chair–2018, and City of Mission, Kansas–Sustainability Commission.
USGBC is monitoring two particular energy efficiency bills and met with Gov. Jeff Colyer’s staff on expanding the benefits of energy efficiency and green buildings in Kansas.
- KS SB347—Utilities and demand-side programs: Changes how benefits of energy efficiency programs are calculated by replacing the state’s current tests with one based on the National Standard Practice Manual.
- KS SB 322—Utilities and the net metering act: Would revert state law to 2009 regulations that protect Kansas residential distributed generation (DG) from demand charges. This would apply only to investor-owned utilities’ residential solar customers.
Over 30 organizations participated in the advocacy day, including the Kansas Sierra Club, Kansas Health Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Westar Energy, Metropolitan Energy Center, Kansas Natural Resource Council and Kansas Interfaith Action.
Check out the Climate + Energy Project’s blog for highlights of the advocacy day.