Columbia’s sustainability office presented the city’s 3-STAR Community Rating before City Council met on Tuesday evening, with its highest rating in health and safety and the lowest rating in equity and empowerment.
The STAR Community Rating System is a nationwide certification program for local sustainability. Ratings are based on seven categories, which ultimately determine whether a community is rated as 3-STAR, 4-STAR, or 5-STAR.
The CoMo Energy Challenge was launched in 2015 when it joined the $5 million Georgetown Energy Prize competition. The goal was to get the entire city involved in energy conservation.
Although the possible prize money was encouraging, the ultimate hope was to raise awareness that would create long-term engagement, Sustainability Manager Barbara Buffaloe said Tuesday night.
In addition to sustainability education, the City of Columbia adopted the latest energy code and created an energy map. The map is color-coded to link energy usage to various parts of the community, which reveals the areas in need of improvement.
Going forward, Buffaloe hopes to improve energy efficiency standards in rental housing. In November, The Environment and Energy Commission hosted a discussion about how renters can save energy and money, as part of an effort towards tenant education.
Read more: Columbia Missourian