Salt Lake City Passes Groundbreaking Energy Efficiency Ordinance

Salt Lake City Passes Groundbreaking Energy Efficiency Ordinance
30 August 2017

Thanks to leadership from Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake City Council (with help from your friends at Utah Clean Energy), we just achieved a major win for air quality and climate!  On August 29th the Salt Lake City Council adopted a new energy efficiency policy that will help large municipal and private buildings save energy and money while cutting pollution.

The team at Utah Clean Energy have been working alongside Salt Lake City for months to get this ordinance passed. In fact, Salt Lake City is the 25th American city to enact this type of policy.  It is a big win and vital step forward for Salt Lake City’s air quality and economy.

“Non-residential buildings represent 51% of Salt Lake City’s community-wide carbon footprint,” states Kevin Emerson, Director of Energy Efficiency Programs for Utah Clean Energy. “By adopting this this innovative policy, Utah’s capital city is leading the way to help improve air quality and lower climate emissions by using market forces to encourage greater levels of energy savings in large buildings. Utah Clean Energy has long worked to reduce energy waste from our homes and buildings and this ordinance is a giant leap forward in reducing unnecessary pollution from buildings in a way that also benefits businesses’ bottom line.”

Through the year-long stakeholder process the Salt Lake City Sustainability Department listened to advocates, energy efficiency experts, and the business community, continually incorporating their feedback to improve and tailor the policy for the local market.

About The Benchmarking and Transparency Ordinance

This market-based measure works by increasing awareness of a building’s energy performance among building owners, facility managers, and prospective business tenant and investors. By tracking energy performance (“benchmarking”), this improved awareness will encourage voluntary energy improvements for businesses that show opportunities to reduce energy waste.  Increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings helps improve air quality and aids the City in achieving its bold community-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction goal, while simultaneously helping businesses manage utility costs.

The second half of the ordinance is phased-in over several years starting with municipal facilities in 2018 and large private buildings in 2019 or 2020, depending on the size. Beginning in 2020 buildings that are less efficient than the national average will be required to investigate energy “tune-ups” every 5 years, though implementation of the tune-ups remains voluntary.

Utah Clean Energy applauds Mayor Biskupski and the City Council for their leadership on this issue.

For more information contact Kevin Emerson at (801) 608-0850.

Read more about the support of the City’s energy benchmarking proposal

Salt Lake Tribune Guest Editorials

Commentary: Energy transparency ordinance will benefit our economy and health (August 26, 2017)

Salt Lake City will require commercial building owners to report energy scores (August 30, 2017)

Building energy efficiency to improve air quality, By Elizabeth Joy & Steve Bergstrom, Intermountain Health Care (May 20, 2017):

Deseret News Guest Editorials

Investing in Salt Lake City's future, By Cliff Majersik, Institute for Market Transformation (Jan. 28, 2017)

A. Scott Anderson: Is your building part of the pollution problem? Time to find out (January 12, 2017)

News Articles

Utah lawmakers consider clean air proposals as inversion settles in Wasatch Front (January 17, 2017)

Biskupski Pitches Ordinance Tracking Energy Use In Large Buildings (January 17, 2017)

Biskupski proposes new energy efficiency and air quality ordinance (January 18, 2017)

Salt Lake City passes ordinance on benchmarking energy use (USGBC Utah) (September 6, 2017)

Salt Lake City Commercial Building Owners Required To Report Energy Scores (September 1, 2017)

ASHRAE Congratulates Salt Lake City for Passing Benchmarking Ordinance

City Council approves energy efficient building ordinance (August 30, 2017)

Salt Lake City will require commercial building owners to report energy scores (August 30, 2017)

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