Cathedral Square Towers is a 13-story independent living apartment community for individuals with low incomes who are 62 years and older and/or disabled. The building comprises 130,000 square feet, and contains 156 living units. As an affordable housing community, it offers all utilities paid, controlled entry, regular health clinics, a professional on site management team, 24-hour maintenance, a fitness and business center, laundry facilities, public transportation, and a service coordinator. Cathedral Square Towers is owned by Catholic Charities of Kansas City - St. Joseph and managed by The Yarco Companies, a family-owned property development and management company than began in 1923.
The property was previously using district steam for heat, but the price of steam had risen significantly in recent years and was projected to continue to increase dramatically. Many systems were aging and well past their useful life. The building also had individual meters for each apartment, even though utilities are included in rent and residents never saw a bill. This created headaches, late fees and additional electric costs for Yarco, and would require a variance to be granted by KCP&L in order to change how the building was metered.
Yarco elected to have ESP move forward with installing new lighting, low flow plumbing fixtures, a new high efficiency boiler plant, a new chiller and cooling tower with a variable frequency drive (VFD) on the cooling tower fan, fire alarm system improvements, elevator improvements, and the consolidation of the electric meters. ESP provided auditing, design, financing assistance, project and construction management, training, commissioning, and measurement and verification services.
ESP was also successful in obtaining a variance from KCP&L so that the building could operate using one master electric meter, rather than individual meters for each apartment.
Switching to one master electric meter yielded several benefits that included elimination of meter fees, a better commercial electric rate, reduced administrative costs, and avoiding late fees. Previously, Yarco had to process over 150 individual bills each month.
Overall comfort and safety were improved for the residents, and the new high efficiency hot water boiler plant runs on natural gas and allows for the building to be heated at a much lower cost.
Total Square Feet
Number of Buildings
1 (156 living units)
Total Project Cost
Carbon Footprint Reduction
4,705 metric tons
Greenhouse gas reduction equivalent to the annual electric use of 647 homes
Featured in KMBZ’s Companies on the Move series, this Overland Park based Energy Services company identifies energy savings improvements and critical infrastructure improvements. It then works with its clients to pay for improvements over time from the energy savings.Read More