An interim goal of Columbus’ Energy Challenge is to convince 680 of the nearly 1,000 buildings in the city that qualify to participate by December. The number of participants inked so far is 81, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
In December 2013, Mayor Michael Coleman formed a building energy efficiency task force to set up the voluntary program, which aims to convince buildings that are 50,000 square feet or more to cut energy consumption by 20 percent annually. The Building Owners and Managers Association of Columbus, which was a member of the task force, launched the program in June, 2014.
Some companies — including American Electric Power, Anheuser-Busch, Continental and the Miranova Condominium Association – have signed up. The The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission says that the region uses 3 percent more energy per capita than the rest of the state, and 8 percent more than the rest of the country. Saving 20 percent would save about $60 million.
The benefits of recommissioning buildings are great. Recommissioning buildings can cut operating costs by 8 percent to 20 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.