By Nicole Childress, Building Kentucky
Louisville Metro Government is taking steps to become a leader in renewable energy.
Last year, the Metro Council approved the 100% Clean Energy Resolution which outlines energy goals including:
- 100% clean renewable electricity by 2030
- 100% clean energy for metro government operations by 2035
- 100% clean energy community-wide by 2040
Other sustainability efforts include a goal to reduce Louisville’s greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, preparing the city for climate change, and encouraging solar energy.
Louisville’s First Energy Manager
One person helping to achieve these ambitious goals is Zachary Tyler, Louisville Metro’s first Energy Manager.
“As our city works to reduce its carbon footprint and combat climate change, it’s important for Metro Government to lead the way,” Mayor Greg Fischer said in a press release. “We need to be intentional about the work, which is why I am excited to welcome Zach to our team.”
As Energy Manager, Tyler will begin with reviewing and analyzing energy consumption data to identify opportunities and solutions to improve operations, reduce energy consumption and save cost.
He already sees some simple but significant ways to make a difference. For instance, if facilities are consistently unoccupied during certain hours, reducing use of energy-intensive systems during that time can make a big impact.
“I want to help promote an energy-conscious culture through this role, so that everyone knows how they can participate and make a positive impact on sustainability initiatives through their individual efforts,” Tyler said.
Looking forward, Tyler will develop innovative strategies to increase efficiency and design infrastructure projects for supplying renewable energy.
Meet Zachary Tyler
The Winchester native graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in biosystems and agricultural engineering and holds a certificate from the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky. Tyler’s previous experience includes conducting energy audits with the Kentucky Industrial Assessment Center and spending four years as an energy consultant for UK, implementing their energy conservation program.
“Sustainability was something I knew from a young age would be really important to me,” Tyler said. “I like that sustainable energy is a win-win field. Organizations substantially reduce utility costs while also moving toward their sustainability goals.”
Tyler not only brings local energy experience to his role but also international research.
Tyler spent over a year researching reforestation techniques in Amazonas, Brazil where he would spend up to four days at a time in the rainforest. More specifically, he researched a method of enrichment planting of degraded forests which prioritized affordable ways to revive species that are valuable to the local economy. From this experience, Tyler learned how to communicate with and listen to diverse groups of people. This will be an important skill in his role as energy manager, as he works with numerous stakeholders across the city to meet Louisville’s ambitious energy goals.
“Louisville certainly has the technological capability to meet these goals,” Tyler said. “This is a long-term effort that is about more than one person or what I can do. It will take the involvement of dedicated groups and individuals to see these goals through.”
These groups will include energy departments, policymakers, government officials, and businesses. Tyler believes with a combined effort from stakeholders, Louisville can lead the state toward sustainable energy and be a model for other cities across the region.
“Kentucky has some unique sustainability challenges,” Tyler said. “If we are able to show successful efforts here in Louisville, it will demonstrate a pathway for other midsized cities and communities in the southeast region to follow.”
Resources For Business Owners And Facility Managers
Tyler stressed the importance of energy-aware maintenance which is investing in the right equipment and training which ultimately reduce energy consumption, improve operations, and cut costs.
If you are a business owner or facility manager, here are some resources that can help you reach your goals:
- Association of Energy Engineers offers training and education and Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and Energy Efficiency Practitioner (EEP) certifications
- Energy Management Association offers training and education and Energy Management Professional (EMP) certification (recognized by U.S. Department of Energy)
- Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center offers training and education and the Building Operation Certification (BOC)