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K-State Today

September 1, 2017

Kansas Corporation Commission renews agreement with Engineering Extension

Submitted by David Carter

The Kansas Corporation Commission Energy Division has renewed an agreement with Engineering Extension's Kansas Energy Program to provide energy-related services for the state fiscal year 2018.

With a budget of approximately $328,000, the program will provide energy assessments for Kansas' rural small businesses, and assist them in applying for grants to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The Kansas Energy Program also offers energy education to K-12 schools, as well as the general public, and provides technical review for government entities participating in the Kansas Corporation Commission's Facility Conservation Improvement Program.

In 2017, the Kansas Energy Program conducted 26 energy assessments, encompassing more than 284,000 square feet and identifying savings of more than 1,000,000 kWh of electricity. Engineering Extension Kansas Energy Program personnel prepared grant applications for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Energy for American Program for 12 of these businesses; as of August 2017, 10 of those had received funding approval and two applications are still pending.

For its energy education services, the Kansas Energy Program presented at 19 events and hosted three workshops, reaching more than 3,300 people. It hosted a brewery energy and water workshop, and two compressed air workshops targeted toward Kansas industrial entities. The program also established an energy library, which currently has more than 540 holdings, including books, periodicals, instrumentation, and science kits on solar, wind, and geothermal energy. These assets are available for loan to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and the general public.

"The goal of the Kansas Energy Program is to provide quality energy-related services to the Kansas Corporation Commission's Energy Division to help it accomplish its mission 'to promote energy conservation and efficiency in Kansas and to serve as a clearinghouse for information on alternative energy and other energy topics'," said David Carter, Kansas Energy Program director.

The energy program had only two staff — one engineer and one certified energy manager — at its inception. It now has three staff — two engineers, one of whom is a professional engineer; three certified energy managers; and two certified measurement and verification professionals.