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Westar Energy certifies building operators.

Fifteen building operators receive Level I certification.

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Wichita, Kan., Oct. 31, 2014 — After a rigorous round of training sessions, homework and exams, 15 area building operators and facility personnel have earned their Building Operator Certification (BOC) Level I designation from Westar Energy. This nationally recognized certification in building operation efficiency educates employees responsible for maintenance and operations of large buildings and their complex heating, mechanical and electrical systems. The BOC program trains facilities personnel to understand how these systems work together, and how to bring them to their most efficient level of operation. It keeps building operators current on the newest energy technology available and shares best practices from experts in the field.

“These participants and their companies are committed to reducing energy use, which benefits their organization and has a positive impact on the environment,” said Karen Smith, business manager, commercial and industrial business center. “It’s a win-win for both companies.”

Using the tools and methods taught in class, participants compiled records on their organization's electrical systems, HVAC operations, lighting levels and controls and annual profiles of energy consumption. Upon the program’s completion, BOC graduates retain these in-depth reference manuals and gain access to BOC's nationwide network of participants, experts and resources to leverage for troubleshooting, best practices and advice.

The following building operators have successfully completed the BOC Level I course series that began in March 2014 and ended in September 2014:

Kory Barber, AGCO Corporation, Hesston

Monica Barton, Building Controls & Services, Wichita

Vaughn Callaway, Textron Aviation – Cessna Aircraft Co., Wichita

Mike Cook, Wichita Airport Authority, Wichita

Brian Davis, Hutchinson Clinic, Hutchinson

Michael Griffin, C.B. Richard Ellis (CBRE), Hutchinson

George Gutherie, The Catholic Care Center, Bel Aire

Ronald Henrich, USD 373, Newton Public Schools, Newton

Jared Hill, Building Controls & Services, Wichita

Reed Holbrook, Westar Energy, Wichita

Larry Kelley, CNH, Wichita

Rickie Koehn, Cargill, Wichita

Jeff Miller, Farmland Foods, Wichita

Thomas Sanchez, Fidelity Bank, Wichita

Tim Streck, Building Controls & Services, Wichita

Westar Energy has entered into a joint licensing agreement with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), Kansas City Power and Light, Midwest Energy, Inc., Empire District Electric, Kansas Municipal Utilities, Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. and the Kansas Energy Office to make the BOC program available to all Kansas building operators. 

The cost for the course series is $1,150. Upon BOC certification, Westar Energy, Midwest Energy, Inc. and Empire District Electric customers are eligible to receive a $575 reimbursement toward the $1,150 tuition. Reimbursements by rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities are determined on an individual basis. For information about upcoming courses, visit or call Karen Smith at 316-299-7450. 

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Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) is Kansas’ largest electric utility. For more than a century, we have provided Kansans the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Every day our team of professionals takes on projects to generate and deliver electricity, protect the environment and provide excellent service to our nearly 700,000 customers. Westar has 7,200 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by coal, uranium, natural gas, wind and landfill gas. We are also a leader in electric transmission in Kansas. Our innovative customer service programs include mobile-enabled customer care, a smart meter pilot project and paving the way for electric vehicle adoption. Our employees live, volunteer and work in the communities we serve.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at  Westar Energy is on Facebook:  and Twitter:

Media Contact:
Gina Penzig
Director, corporate communications
Phone: 785.575.8089

Media line: 888.613.0003

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