A Kansas City, Kan., community institution could receive a $10,000 prize if it wins the “Take Charge Challenge” that the Climate and Energy Project is sponsoring.
The Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities and the CEP announced the project at a breakfast meeting Friday, Aug. 9, at the Hollywood Casino. Kansas City, Kan., will be in competition with two other Kansas cities—Hays and Hutchinson—and Warrensburg, Mo. Besides the prize money, the aim of the project is to teach participants how to be more energy efficient. Any nonresidential business or organization is eligible to participate; the contest will end Jan. 31 next year.
In addition to the grand prize, the BPU will offer a $5,000 award.
The CEP organization is a nonprofit corporation based in Hutchinson. Its funds come from public and private sources.
Mayor Mark Holland talked to the group of business and community leaders at the meeting about a recent family trip he and his family took to northern Michigan. The mayor told of visiting the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum where he and his family learned of how forested areas were stripped bare from 1820 until 1890.
“It is important for us to preserve our environment for our children and grandchildren,” Mayor Holland said.
Don Gray, the general manager for the BPU, said people might find it strange that the BPU is supporting an effort that helps save energy.
Gray said that by stopping energy waste, BPU would have less demand and not be forced to build new plants that would cost millions.
Gary Hogsett, an engineer with the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center, said that solar and wind energy efforts are commendable. However, things such as turning off lights when not in use could save considerably more energy than is generated by alternative forms. He said using occupancy sensors and energy-efficiency light bulbs could have a huge effect.
Aaron Rosenthal, the assistant general manager of the Hollywood Casino, said the casino is very conscious of being energy efficient. A computerized energy management system saves money and also focuses on the comfort of the customer on the casino floor through various energy zones.
CEP came about to connect people, organizations and ideas that assure a wide range of voices are represented.
A local leadership committee will contact areas businesses and other nonresidential organizations, encouraging them to join in this energy-saving effort. For more information, telephone Patrice Townsend at 913-573-9014.
Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.