States across the west have enacted legislation over the past month to address an increasingly challenging economic outlook for coal-fired power plants and communities that rely on them. This is a recognition that renewable energy is increasingly cheaper than running existing coal-fired power plants. Colorado, New Mexico, and Montana have each passed significant legislation focused on transition planning that is fair for workers in coal communities and also financial tools to ease the financial impact of coal plants that may retire early. "Securitization," a financial mechanism that uses ratepayer-backed bonds to help refinance unpaid investments in existing power plants, has featured prominently in many of these new laws.
Here is a quick rundown of some of the state legislation:
If you rent your home or apartment, it may seem like you have limited options to be more energy efficient, but there are actually dozens of actions you can take today to make your home more comfortable, while also saving energy and money! Utah Clean Energy with the Office of Energy Development created the Utah’s Renter’s Energy Efficiency Guide for all Utah renters interested in reducing their energy waste and saving on utility bills.
While more significant energy efficiency upgrades – such as replacing a furnace, upgrading windows, or insulating the attic – are actions that require larger investment and approval from a building owner, the Renter’s Energy Efficiency Guide includes 25 different actions that renters can take on their own to save energy at home. This includes tips for reducing air drafts, using efficient lighting and power strips, ways to reduce heating and cooling costs, and energy saving tips when doing laundry. The Guide highlights how easy each energy-saving action is and provides a range of potential energy savings.
To top things off, the guide provides information about financial incentives available to renters, and low- and no-cost resources such as the In-Home Energy Plan offered by Dominion Energy’s ThermWise program and the Wattsmart Starter Kit provided for free through Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart program.
In addition to actions renters can take, the guide provides actions, programs, and best practices for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their property including things like insulation and window upgrades.
Or online here:
Energía limpia de Utah y el Departamento de sostenibilidad de Salt Lake City están orgullosos de anunciar Empoderar a SLC, un esfuerzo de participación comunitaria para empoderar a los residentes de Salt Lake City con las herramientas para ahorrar energía y dinero para reducir la contaminación de toda la comunidad. Con Empoderar a SLC, estamos trabajando con los propietarios, inquilinos, pequeños negocios, escuelas y programas de la comunidad, traer eficiencia energética a las masas!
Sin embargo, la realidad es que no todo el mundo puede acceder a herramientas simples de eficiencia energética. Cosas como el costo inicial, limitada promoción de incentivos o barreras lingüísticas que sea difícil para algunas familias a implementar mejoras de eficiencia de energía. Empoderar a SLC es destinada a abordar esos problemas concentrándose en llevar herramientas de ahorro de energía, educación, y recursos directamente al los códigos ZIP de 84104 84116. Estos barrios fueron elegidos para impulsar históricamente más bajos de participación en programas de eficiencia energética y las estrategias piloto que podrían ampliarse a otras zonas de la ciudad.
Un beneficio de trabajar dentro de un área específico es que los residentes y organizaciones ya en estas comunidades pueden tomar la iniciativa! Los "Embajadores de la energía" de Empoderar SLC ayudara nuestros esfuerzos comunitarios para ofrecer educación y recursos de ahorro de energía a los residentes de 84116 y 84104.
Si usted vive en el código postal 84116 o 84104 y no ha cambiado sus focos incandescentes por LED de ahorro de energía. Ahora es el momento! Visita cualquiera de los dos lugares siguientes:
Obtenga más información y participe comunicándose con Shelby Stults, Coordinadora del Programa Comunitario de Energía Limpia de Utah.
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Utah Clean Energy and Salt Lake City Sustainability Department are proud to bring you Empower SLC, a community engagement effort to empower Salt Lake City residents with the tools to save energy and money while reducing pollution on a community-wide scale. Through Empower SLC, we are working with homeowners, renters, small businesses, schools, and community programs, to bring energy efficiency to the masses!
However, the reality is that not everyone can access simple energy efficiency tools. Things like the up-front cost, limited incentive promotion or linguistic barriers make it hard for some households to implement energy efficiency upgrades. Empower SLC is aimed at addressing those challenges by focusing on bringing energy-saving tools, education, and resources directly to ZIP codes 84104 and 84116. These neighborhoods were chosen to boost historically lower rates of participation in energy efficiency programs and pilot strategies that could be scaled up to other areas of the city.
A benefit of working within a targeted area is that residents and organizations already in these communities can take the lead! The Empower SLC “Energy Ambassadors” head up our community efforts to bring energy saving education and resources to residents of 84116 and 84104 communities.
If you live in 84116 and 84104 and haven’t switched out your old incandescent lights for energy saving LEDs, now is the time! Head over to any of Empower SLC’s permanent “Light Swaps” at:
Learn more and get involved by contacting Shelby Stults, Utah Clean Energy's Community Program Coordinator
We’re just getting started! Stay tuned for more information about other ways we’re working to promote energy efficiency in Salt Lake City in partnership with community organizations, local schools, utilities, small businesses, and more.
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Join residents, community organizations, and higher ed partners for a series of summer celebrations across the the west side
Partners in the Park (PIP) is a multi-week summer program designed to bring University faculty, staff, students, community partner organizations, and west side residents together in local neighborhood parks. PIP acquaints West side residents with the University of Utah its academic cultural, and research opportunities through shared interests and activities. The program connects potential students with the U and other institutions of higher education, raising their awareness of and access to the lifelong value of higher education. The events also provides west side residents with access to local resources and organizations.
On November 2nd, Utah Clean Energy was joined by longtime supporters and new friends for our annual Networking Party and Fundraiser. Internationally-recognized ocean conservationist Richard Vevers headlined, and the evening was co-hosted by Ormat Technologies, Inc. and sPower, who share our commitment to clean energy and the climate. The sold-out event included over 300 of Utah’s leaders who gathered to celebrate Utah’s clean energy successes and immeasurable potential.
Our keynote speaker was Richard Vevers, is known for inventing innovative underwater cameras and working with leading scientists to create the only comprehensive, virtual-reality record of the ocean around the world. Vevers’ success in visually documenting and revealing the longest and most devastating event to impact coral reefs ever recorded, has become the subject of the Netflix documentary, Chasing Coral.
At the celebration, Utah Clean Energy aslo presented annual Visionary Leadership Awards to four community clean-energy champions for adopting ambitious 100 percent renewable energy goals. Awardees included: Park City Mayor Jack Thomas, City of Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Summit County Council Chair Chris Robinson.
Park City was honored for committing to run on 100 percent renewable electricity for city operations by 2022, and for the whole community by 2032. Salt Lake City was recognized for its Climate Positive Salt Lake City platform that will document the city’s progress on a variety of climate-related goals including: 100 percent renewable energy for the community’s electricity supply by 2032 and an 80 percent reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. The City of Moab was honored for working to ensure that 100 percent of the community's energy supply comes from renewable energy sources by 2032, while pushing for an earlier 2027 transition to meet its municipal energy needs. Moab is also seeking an 80 percent reduction in community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Summit County will be awarded for transitioning to renewable electric energy by the year 2032, as part of the county's ongoing effort to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. Summit County Council is reported to be one of the counties in the country to make such a declaration, and is the only county in Utah to do so.
“I’m inspired by the many governments, businesses and communities that have committed to a clean, healthy future, powered by renewable energy,” said Sarah Wright, director of Utah Clean Energy. “We are excited to celebrate these leaders, and we look forward to all that we will continue to accomplish together.”
“Utah Clean Energy is truly a leader in advancing renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart programs and policies that create jobs in Utah,” said Paul Thompson of Ormat Technologies that supplies and develops geothermal, recovered-energy and energy management and storage solutions across the globe. “Ormat shares in their commitment in building a clean energy economy for the state.”
Ryan Creamer of sPower, the Salt Lake-based national leading developer and owner-operator of renewable energy facilities across the U.S that delivers reliable and cost-competitive energy to utilities, municipalities and commercial customers said, “We would like to congratulate Utah Clean Energy on its tremendous success in collaborating with utilities, regulatory and industry stakeholders to seek clean-energy solutions over the past 16 years. We are proud to be their partner and to continue to lead the state in clean energy development.”
Filmmaker James Redford recently joined Utah Clean Energy and Path to Positive Utah leaders in Salt Lake City for a lively discussion of clean energy and climate change challenges and solutions. Redford’s new documentary film, “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution” looks at how communities across the U.S. are dealing with the transition to clean, renewable sources of energy. About a dozen different Path to Positive Utah leaders delved into effective and compelling ways to connect with Utahns about the impacts of climate change on our communities and local climate solutions.
Following ecoAmerica’s “15 Steps to Create Effective Climate Communications” guide, our conversation focused on the broad and growing support for clean energy and energy efficiency in Utah communities.
Leaders suggested that we can and should do more to highlight the falling costs of local solar and wind resources as part of discussions about climate change. In addition to falling costs, clean energy represents thousands of local jobs.
Air quality is another area of common interest and concern for Utahns of all backgrounds. Northern Utah faces significant winter and growing summer air pollution challenge that is both a public health issue and a potential barrier to recruiting businesses and their employees to the state. Rising temperatures contributed to last summer’s significant ozone problem when ozone pollution exceeded federal air quality standards 22 times. Leaders stressed that solutions to address the risks of air quality, especially increasing adoption of electric vehicles and access to public transportation, also help to address the risks of climate change. We will be doing more at Path to Positive Utah to demonstrate that lasting progress on air quality and climate change go together.
We are grateful to Mr. Redford for joining us and for committing to being a Path to Positive Utah leader! Path to Positive Utah will continue to have opportunities throughout 2018 to bring together leaders from all sectors of Utah life, including business, local government, recreation industries, higher education, and faith communities, to have positive and informative discussions about local climate solutions.
Prominent Utah leaders from business, government, higher education, faith communities and civic organizations united on Nov. 14, 2017 to sign a declaration acknowledging shared responsibility for protecting Utah’s economy, air quality and environment, and safeguarding against the risks of climate change. The gathering kicked off Path to Positive Utah, a collaborative initiative led by Utah Clean Energy and ecoAmerica.
Local notables who signed the declaration include Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson, Goldman Sachs Vice President Dean Soukup, Episcopal Diocese of Utah Bishop Scott Hayashi, former Director of the Department of Environmental Quality Amanda Smith, past chair of the Utah Public Service Commission Ted Boyer, and Gardner Company president and CEO Christian Gardner, to name a few.
“Utah is a pioneering state, and in that innovative spirit, we hope to inspire and support communities to forge a new path toward positive climate change outcomes,” said Sarah Wright, executive director of Utah Clean Energy. “I am proud to stand with this group of Path to Positive Utah leaders and to demonstrate Utah’s leadership and ability to work together to address tough challenges, including climate change.”
Utahns are seeing the impacts of climate change now. The recent and unprecedented series of extreme weather events on American soil and around the globe have taken many lives, dramatically disrupted millions more and generated hundreds of billions of dollars in devastating property damage. A recent Dan Jones poll commissioned by the Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics found that 64 percent of Utahns recognize that human activity is exacerbating climate change.
“The latest draft of the U.S. National Climate Assessment confirmed the long-standing consensus on climate change: it is ‘extremely likely’ that human activities have driven the majority of warming in recent decades,” stated Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “While this knowledge can be sobering in light of severe disruptions from recent hurricanes and wildfires, it can also motivate an inspired response to reduce carbon emissions in Utah, where we are warming at twice the global average.”
In the wake of the disastrous rainfall and flooding that Hurricane Harvey unleashed in Houston, throughout coastal Texas, and into Louisiana, our hearts go out to all those affected by the storm. This record-breaking event is one in a series of unprecedented storms in recent memory, and has been devastating to infrastructure, community wellbeing, and human life.
We are deeply saddened by this event and its far reaching implications for the affected communities, and urge people to consider donating to the relief efforts of the American Red Cross, Houston Food Bank, and the Houston Community Foundation. Help is still needed, and your contributions will have a lasting impact on recovery efforts in the region.
In the wake of this disaster and the devastating flooding in South Asia, we at Utah Clean Energy are more motivated than ever to continue the important work we do to address climate change. Scientists have described how climate change contributed to Harvey’s magnitude and intensity, not only in the damage caused by the storm, but also in the difficulty of rescue and relief efforts. We cannot afford to continue ignoring the devastating effects of natural disasters amplified by climate change. Now is the time for action to prevent similarly devastating occurrences in the future.
Climate change presents one of the greatest challenges of our time. In order to amplify the great work being done by countless individuals and organizations to address climate change, we have teamed up with ecoAmerica and the Utah Climate Action Network to launch Path to Positive Utah, a campaign highlighting Utah’s climate champions.
We recognize that in order to advance smart climate solutions cross a diverse range of communities, it is essential to continually empower new and diverse messengers to convey the concern, solutions and most importantly – hope – to meet the climate challenge head on. To this end, we have teamed up with ecoAmerica and the Utah Climate Action Network to launch the Path to Positive Utah (P2PUT) campaign.
Path to Positive Utah seeks to engage and support a diverse cohort of high-level community leaders from government, business, faith, higher education, and other organizations that are united in advancing climate solutions in Utah.
What the program entails:
Path to Positive Leadership Declaration
Utah is a state of pioneers - strong, capable, and innovative - with a firm connection to our values. As visionary leaders in business, government, higher education, faith, and community organizations, we take shared responsibility for protecting our economy, air quality, and environment. This includes climate change, which poses risks to our economic well-being, our families, and our quality of life. We will inspire and support resilient communities and smart solutions. In so doing, we can address climate change and forge the path for others by demonstrating Utah’s pioneering spirit and leadership.
Path to Positive Utah is designed to address the facts of climate change – not advocate a specific policy or technical solution. If you are a leader or would like to nominate a leader to participate in P2PU, please contact Josh Craft at .