Just before Thanksgiving, the Utah Legislature held its final interim session hearings before the 2019 Legislative Session opens at the end of January. Utah Clean Energy has been actively monitoring developments before the Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Interim Committee and the powerful Business and Labor Interim Committee. However, the November meetings ended with significant unknowns for two key pieces of energy legislation that will be debated next year. A few details below:
- Legislation Authorizing Utah Cities to Move to 100% Renewable Energy: We reported in August that Salt Lake City, Park City, and Rocky Mountain Power announced their plans to work together on legislation to authorize Utah cities to move their communities to 100% renewable energy. The PUETIC Committee opened a Committee bill file and members were enthusiastic above moving forward. But to date no formal legislative language has been made public and we are awaiting further detail on when this may occur. Utah Clean Energy looks forward to working on this important legislation which holds major potential to accelerate our transition to renewable energy. There are number of other related pieces of legislation, including legislation related to the Rocky Mountain Power” Energy Balancing Account, securitization of power plant assets, and potentially the Multi-State Process, that will come before the Legislature this session and potentially influence discussion of the cities’ 100% renewable energy legislation.
- Residential and Commercial Building Energy Codes: Utah Clean Energy has held productive conversations with Utah legislators and other stakeholders on the building code updates recommended by the Utah Uniform Building Code Commission, of which Utah Clean Energy’s Kevin Emerson is a public member of. There is a draft version of the Construction Codes amendments bill available, but the Business and Labor Interim Committee did not formally adopt this as a committee approved bill as they were short at the time during the November interim meeting. The bill includes minor but significant amendments that will improve the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings, so we will be prioritizing this during the 2019 session.
We will be sharing a more comprehensive list of Utah Clean Energy’s legislative priorities for the 2019 in the next month.