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Utah Clean Energy - legislative and utility

Monday, 28 January 2019 16:07

2019 Legislative Session Tracking

Utah Clean Energy is tracking a variety of clean energy issues this session, all detailed below.  For a roundup of our legislative priorities, click 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! 

Empiece hoy

Ahorrar energía es algo que todo el mundo puede hacer. ¡Descargue la lista de verificación en 
inglés y español  para comenzar a ahorrar energía en su hogar!Spanish Full Home Energy Checklist

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.

Conoce a los embajadores de energía

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.

  • Comité de rescate internacional: Ayuda a los refugiados sobrevivir, recuperarse y ganar el control de su futuro, el IRC se LED directa-instalaciones completas durante las visitas domiciliarias con familias reasentadas.
  • Condado de Salt Lake servicios de adulto y envejecimiento: comidas en voluntarios de las ruedas de lado del oeste de Salt Lake City le dará mayores enfermos recibir comidas una opción para instalaciones de LED gratis en su casa.
  • División de la juventud y la familia Salt Lake City: Esta organización pone dos eventos cada año centrado en la calidad del aire, salud y medio ambiente. En estos eventos, los asistentes podrán recibir duchas de ahorro de agua que a su vez también reducirá la demanda de energía y los costos de calefacción de agua.

Iluminarlo con LED

bulbs april 7

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:

  • Centro de unidad Sorenson (1383 S 900 W, SLC, 84104): los residentes del área pueden traer hasta 15 focos ineficientes para intercambiar en la recepción durante las horas de libre: el lunes a jueves 9:00 – 9:00; viernes 9:00 – 8:00; sábado 9:00 – 5:00.
  • Utah comunidad acción: residentes que están aplacando por asistencia con la programa de HEAT tendrán la oportunidad de intercambiar hasta 15 focos durante su cita.

Obtenga más información y participe comunicándose con Shelby Stults, Coordinadora del Programa Comunitario de Energía Limpia de Utah.

GRACIAS A ESTOS APOYOS POR HACER POSIBLE ESTE PROGRAMA

  Fundado por                                                       Con apoyo adicional de:                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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Tuesday, 08 January 2019 15:08

Utah Clean Energy's Legislative Priorities

The 2019 Utah Legislative Session kicks off on January 28! Utah policymakers are set to engage in a number of important discussions about air quality, renewable energy, Rocky Mountain Power’s coal fleet, and new opportunities to expand electric vehicles and public transportation. While things come up and change quickly throughout the session, below are Utah Clean Energy’s top priorities heading into the legislative session.

Allow Utah Cities to Move to Net 100% Renewable Energy

Salt Lake City, Park City, Summit County, and Moab have made inspiring and groundbreaking commitments to move their community energy supplies to net 100% renewable energy resources over the next decade. Each of them has agreements with Rocky Mountain Power to achieve these goals.These communities are seeking first-in-the-nation legislation that would allow them to move away from Rocky Mountain Power’s default generation mix and towards 100% renewable sources. We are supportive of this legislation and look forward to helping cities to achieve it.

Expanding Access to Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Making our buildings more energy efficient remains a top priority for Utah Clean Energy, especially as we seek to ensure that Utah’s energy efficiency programs are accessible to all Utahns regardless of income level. That is why we are seeking additional state funding for Utah’s Weatherization Assistance Program. The Weatherization program offers low-income homeowners energy efficiency services such as new insulation, new energy efficient lighting, and replacing and upgrading heating equipment. This is a proven program that can help ease the energy cost burdens for Utah families while improving air quality by reducing emission from existing buildings.

Updating Utah’s Building Codes

Speaking of energy efficient buildings, building energy codes are an important way to ensure that new homes and businesses don’t waste energy. Utah Clean Energy’s Energy Efficiency Program Director, Kevin Emerson, serves as an appointed public member of the state Uniform Building Code Commission. Over the course of 2018, he worked with other members of the Commission and its advisory committees to recommend updates to Utah’s residential and commercial building codes. Included in this recommendation, which was submitted to the Utah Legislature in August 2018, is the adoption of the most current energy code for commercial buildings and several modest amendments to improve Utah’s energy code for new homes. The recommended energy code changes are low cost and would help save money and reduce air emissions. However, the Legislature must formally enact the recommended code changes for them to take effect. Utah Clean Energy is excited to work towards completing this final step and to implement these important changes to the building codes.

New Tools to Accelerate Utah’s Transition to Clean Energy

While Utah still relies heavily on coal for its electricity supply (currently around 60 percent of its electricity resource mix), that is likely to change as new solar and wind resources are increasingly cost competitive with existing coal plants. The recent analysis by Rocky Mountain Power has found that there is a potential to retire some of its coal units early and save Utah customers money on their energy bills. Accelerating the retirement of coal-fired power plants is tricky from an accounting and a political perspective. But given the significant economic and environmental benefits of doing so, Utah Clean Energy is looking for tools that can help to accelerate our transition to newer and cleaner energy resources. We look forward to working with our friends at HEAL Utah and Western Resource Advocates on legislation that would authorize a new financial mechanism to help accelerate coal retirements called “securitization.”  Securitization involves using bonds backed by electric customers to recover unpaid investments in power plants that retire early.

Fixing Commercial Solar Taxes

Recently, Utah businesses that have installed solar have run into issues with the assessment of personal property taxes on the value of the solar systems. This has the potential to hinder businesses that want to install solar by making commercial solar projects less financially beneficial. It also introduces uncertainty for Utah solar developers at a time when there is already a significant transition underway with the end of net metering in sight. We are working with the Utah Solar Energy Association and members of our Clean Energy Business Coalition to help provide for solutions to address the personal property tax issue.

Efforts to Improve Air Quality & Reduce Carbon Pollution

Governor Herbert’s FY2020 budget proposal includes $100 million to improve air quality, a potentially major increase in funds to improve air quality and reduce emissions. This is an opportunity to find ways to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, including new solutions to promote electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, reduce emissions from existing buildings, expand mass transit and create win-wins for Utah’s air and address the risks of climate change. We look forward to working with state legislators and our partners to seize this opportunity to its fullest.

Stay engaged during the 2019 Legislative Session by signing up for our take action email list.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

En Espanol 2016 Button e1456775397319Utah 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!IMG 9654 small

*Interested in rooftop solar? Check out our Empower SLC Solar Discount Program!*

Get Started Today

Saving energy is something everyone can do! Download Empower SLC's handy home energy checklist available
in both English and Spanish as your first step to saving energy at home!mini checklist image

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.

Meet the Energy Ambassadors

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.

  • International Rescue Committee (IRC): Helping refugees survive, recover, and gain control of their future, the IRC will complete LED direct-installations during home visits with resettled families.
  • Salt Lake County Aging & Adult Services: Meals on Wheels volunteers routed in Salt Lake City’s West Side will give homebound seniors receiving meals an option for free LED installations in their home.
  • Salt Lake City’s Division of Youth and Family: YouthCity Gov’t puts on two events every year centered on air quality, health, and the environment. At these events, attendees will be able to receive water-saving showerheads that in turn will also reduce energy demand and water-heating costs.

LED Light Up!bulbs april 7 

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:

  • Sorenson Unity Center: residents may bring in up to 15 inefficient light bulbs to exchange at the front desk during open facility hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM- 9:00 PM; Friday 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
  • Utah Community Action's HEAT program: residents applying for HEAT assistance will have the opportunity to exchange up to 15 light bulbs during their HEAT appointment.

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.

THANK YOU TO THESE SUPPORTERS FOR MAKING THIS PROGRAM POSSIBLE
                                                  

  Funded by              With additional support from:                                                                                                       
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                    Drake Real Estate
                   
 

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Additional Resources:

Affordable Energy for All: A Plan to Expand Energy Efficiency Benefits for Low-Income Salt Lake City Residents

 

Utah has become a hub for clean energy innovation, hosting a large and growing number of companies and workers in solar energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and other new and emerging energy technologies. There are now over 6,000 solar jobs in the state and another 30,000 energy efficiency jobs. And we expect that to continue here in the Beehive state as private and public investment in clean energy grows.

However, a hidden part of Utah’s clean energy success story involves strategic investments in research, develop, and deployment of new energy technologies. And the major supporter of this type of investment has been the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Programs like the DOE’s SunShot initiative have substantially reduced costs for solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, while the DOE’s Building Technologies program has helped to drastically reduce the costs of (LED) lighting technologies. Investments in demonstrating and deploying new technology allow private industrial and entrepreneurs to bring these new technologies to business and families across the nation and create new jobs and opportunities.

That’s why we are concerned that the Trump Administration is once again proposed drastic reductions in investments in important energy research and development programs at DOE in its FY2019 budget proposal. The administration has proposed cuts of $1.3 billion to its Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) programs next year, a cut of 65%. It has also proposed eliminating the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) that helps low-income families with energy efficiency improvements and the Advanced Research Project Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) that provides seed capital for early stage, breakthrough energy projects. This at a time when investments in energy innovation are already low according to most independent experts, like the centrist think tank Third Way.

A table lays out the proposal cuts to key energy innovation programs below:

Historical Budgets for Energy & Environmental Programs Eliminated by President’s FY 2019 Budget Proposal

Agency/Program

FY2018 CR

FY2019 Proposed

% Change FY18-FY19

Dept. of Energy EE/RE

$2.04 billion

$696 million

-65.8%

Vehicle Technologies Program

$304.87 million

$68.5 million

-77.7%

Solar Energy Technologies Program

$206.2 million

$67 million

-67.7%

Wind Energy Technologies Program

$89.34 million

$33 million

-63.3%

Building Technologies Program

$197.79 million

$57 million

-71.4%

Weatherization Assistance

$223.47 million

$0

-100%

State Energy Program

$50 million

$0

-100%

ARPA-E

$303.17 million

$0

-100%

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

$3.3 billion

$0

-100%

 

When the Trump administration proposed similar reductions to DOE EERE programs last year, Congress took a different path, largely maintaining investments in these critical programs. We hope that Congress will do the same this year. Preserving federal investments in energy innovation programs at the Department of Energy will help sustain the awesome growth in the clean energy economy here in Utah and help us to unlock promising emerging technologies, like energy storage. Now is not the time to put the brakes on the progress we’ve made.

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 16:23

Support Zero Emissions Vehicles

Contact Your State Representative Today and Urge them to Support Zero Emission Vehicles in Utah!

Electric Vehicles Benefit Everyone
Nearly half (48%) of local air emissions come from mobile sources, including passenger vehicles. Electric vehicles on the other hand have zero tailpipe emissions as compared to gasoline vehicles, and EVs will continue to get cleaner as we shift to more renewable energy!

Unfortunately, Senate Bill 136 proposes to create a $150 annual fee on electric vehicles – the 3rd highest fee in the country. While SB 136 includes some important provisions to increase transit funding, adopting the proposed fee will discourage Utahns from purchasing EVs and slow progress on improving our air quality.

The thinking behind the fee is that more fuel efficient and electric vehicles pay lower/no gasoline tax, which is the primary source of revenue for the state transportation fund. We agree that eventually all vehicles – including EVs – should contribute to funding Utah’s roads, but as Utah’s EV market is still so small, a $150 annual fee is going way too far.

Take Action! Take 5 minutes out of your day right now to speak up for #cleanair

Let your representive know TODAY that electric vehicles are a priority for cleaning Utah’s air, and that this fee is too high. Instead, the Legislature should be enacting policies that help accelerate this emerging technology, such as reinstating the tax credit for clean vehicles. This is especially important since EVs make up less than 0.5% of registered passenger vehicles in Utah! Your voice can help support clean air by ensuring that the Legislature considers the long-term benefits of electric vehicles in Utah and takes a more measured approach to funding Utah roads. **Click here to find your representative and their contact info**

  1. Electric vehicles have dramatically lower or zero tailpipe emissions and have a major role to play in improving Utah’s air quality and keeping our economy growing.
  2. Electric vehicles represent less than 1 percent of the total number of registered passenger vehicles in Utah, making EVs a very small overall portion of our vehicle fleet. Public policy should be designed to grow Utah’s EV market. Now is not the time to put new fees on these clean vehicles, and the proposed fee is too high!
  3. If a new fee is adopted, it should be significantly lower, it should start no sooner than 2020, and should be paired with a re-instatement of the income tax credit for electric vehicles to encourage businesses and families to purchase electric vehicles sooner.

Thank you!

Josh Craft & Kevin Emerson

Utah Clean Energy Policy Team

And that's a wrap! The 2018 Utah General Legislative Session has come to a close. By midnight last night, all of our priority bills had passed, and while we didn't get everything we hoped for, things shook out well for clean energy, climate, and air quality progress. Here's where things landed:

Passed - Renewable Energy AmendmentsUtah Clean Energy's policy team (from left): Kevin Emerson, Sarah Wright, and Josh Craft

HB 261-Renewable Energy Amendments by Representative John Knotwell allows Rocky Mountain Power to construct or own a solar generation facility. We worked hard to ensure the bill has language to protect consumers and competition for Utah's solar future.

End result for Utahns: More solar energy in Utah!

Passed - Rooftop Solar Tax Credit Extension Legislation

SB 141-Electric Energy Amendments by Senator Curt Bramble maintains the renewable energy systems tax credit for rooftop solar arrays at $1600 through 2020 and then phase out by 2024. It also modifies the net metering statute to clarify that the net metering program will close for Rocky Mountain Power customers on January 1, 2036. Of note, there are some funding details that need to be worked out for 2020, but we're confident they'll be resolved.
End result for Utahns: Households going solar can access state tax incentives on their install through 2024.

Passed - Residential Solar Energy Amendments

SB 157-Residential Solar Energy Amendments by Senator Lincoln Fillmore requires solar energy companies to provide customers with disclosures on estimated customer savings, future operations and maintenance services, among other items. It also authorizes the Division of Public Utilities to impose fines on solar retailers who violate the disclosure requirements.

End result for Utahns - More accountability in the solar industry and consumer protection.

Passed - Concurrent Resolution on Economic and Environmental Stewardship

Representative Rebecca Edwards’ HCR 7, “Concurrent Resolution on Economic and Environmental Stewardship” commits the Legislature and the Governor to the “use of sound science to address causes of a changing climate and support innovation and environmental stewardship in order to realize positive solutions.” This represents a significant step forward in our policymaker’s discussion of the challenges that climate change poses and the need for state solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

End result for Utahns - The need to address climate change is on the books in Utah

Passed - Auto Dealer License Amendments

This bill sponsored by Representative Kim Coleman, allows a "direct sale manufacturer" of automobiles to sell cars at a showroom and maintain a service center in Utah under certain circumstances. It took a couple of years, but we're so happy this one finally made it through!

End result for Utahns - Anyone who wants to buy a Tesla cannot only test drive from the South Salt Lake store, you can buy directly from there as well.

Passed - Transportation Governance Amendments

We're not thrilled with this one, but at least some progress was made.  SB 136, Transportation Governance Amendments imposes new fees on electric and hybrid vehicles. We acknowledge that the bill has some positive changes to transportation including allowing UDOT to invest in transit projects, and providing a new pathway for local governments to help increase transit funding. Perhaps most bizarrely, it would also require the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to rebrand as the “Transit District Authority of Utah.” (For more detail on the bill, see this Deseret News article here).

As we have updated you, Utah Clean Energy put significant time and effort into SB 136 because we don't want to see new annual fees for low and zero emission vehicles period. But, we are happy to report that some progress was made to improve the bill.

The final bill passed includes some changes that improved the bill’s treatment of electric vehicles. The fees for electric vehicles, for example, fell from $156 to $120 and are now phased in over three years, while the fees from plug-in vehicles fell from $80 to $52. Moreover, HB 3-Appropriations Adjustments was passed, directing the Utah Department of Transportation to invest up to $200,000 (roughly equal to the amount collected through the new fees from EVs each year) in new EV charging infrastructure. UCE will be following this closely to ensure it happens. This doesn’t mitigate the fees, but at least it ensures that electric vehicle fees support EV infrastructure.

End result for Utahns: EV owners are getting hit with an annual road usage fee, but the fees are lower and will be used to expand EV infrastructure.

Thursday, 25 January 2018 09:25

2018 Legislative Session Tracking

Utah Clean Energy is tracking a variety of clean energy issues this session, all detailed below.  For a roundup of our legislative priorities, click here.

Utah Clean Energy is tracking a variety of clean energy policies. Below are our priority areas.  Click here to view a full list of all clean energy, air quality and climate related legislation under consideration during the 2018 Legislative Session.

Electric Vehicle Adoption

Electric vehicles offering significant air quality and financial benefits to our communities. However, the Utah Legislature is weighing new fees on electric vehicles, which could undermine momentum towards clean electric vehicles. Utah Clean Energy supports reinstating the state electric vehicle tax credit and other measures to accelerate EV adoption.

Residential Solar Tax Credit

Utah Clean Energy supports legislation to continue the residential solar tax credit at $1600 each year per the terms of the settlement agreement with Rocky Mountain Power, the solar industry, and other advocacy groups in the recent net metering proceeding. This legislation will help keep rooftop solar systems affordable for Utah residents and businesses and support the growth of solar jobs in Utah.

Energy Efficient Buildings

We support policies that help households and businesses reduce their energy costs by improving energy efficiency in Utah’s buildings. We support incentives to promote efficiency upgrades, improved standards for energy codes, and policies that create market transparency for building energy performance to help Utahns understand and manage their energy costs.

Energy Storage Technologies

Energy storage technologies, including battery storage, provide an opportunity to build a cleaner, more resilient grid by integrating more renewable energy resources into Utah’s electricity mix. Smart investments in energy storage technologies can keep electricity costs low in the future. Utah Clean Energy supports legislation to create a grant program that will incentivize and spur adoption of energy storage technologies in our state.

Risks of Climate Change

Climate change poses significant risks to Utah’s economy and our families, and may exacerbate our air quality challenges. Utah Clean Energy supports legislative resolutions that acknowledge the risks of climate change and the significant economic benefits to Utah families and businesses from climate solutions.

Expanding Energy Choice

Utah Clean Energy supports legislative efforts to provide residents and businesses with more choices about their energy generation mix and that allow Utah customers to take advantage of the rapidly falling costs of solar, wind, and energy storage technologies.

 Stay engaged during the 2018 Legislative Session by signing up for our take action email list.

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