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'Kilowatt Crackdown' Pits Louisville Buildings Against Each Other in Energy Savings

Photographer: Dwight Burdette

Registration is now open for Louisville’s Kilowatt Crackdown, a contest to reward for energy efficiency improvements in the city's buildings.

The Kilowatt Crackdown uses the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star portfolio manager to track buildings’ electricity bills. The Louisville Energy Alliance then analyzes the entries and awards recognition based on the buildings that have significantly reduced their energy usage over a two-year period.

Louisville Energy Alliance Chair Richard Hoopengardner said changing lighting is a simple way to see immediate energy savings; LED bulbs use a lot less electricity than conventional incandescent bulbs. Another easy fix is changing heating and cooling schedules.

“Buildings can tighten up on their HVAC, their heating, ventilation and air conditioning,” Hoopengardner said. “That is a huge energy savings; if you have a building that is occupied nine hours a day, you don’t want to cool it or heat it 24 hours a day.”

There are currently 147 buildings enrolled in this year’s Kilowatt Crackdown; 146 of them are Jefferson County Public School buildings. The other building is the Crowne Plaza Hotel near Louisville International Airport.

Hoopengardner said efforts like the Kilowatt Crackdown are helping the city increase the number of buildings that are Energy Star Certified; returning Louisville to the list of the top-25 cities in the nation for certified buildings was a goal of Mayor Greg Fischer. Last year, Louisville was No. 25.

Besides saving companies money, Hoopengardner said the overall effect is positive for Louisville’s environment.

“That reduces the region’s carbon footprint, it helps us be more energy efficient and it’s just the right thing for us to do for the environment.”

Registration for the Kilowatt Crackdown ends Jan. 15.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.