JANUARY 10, 2022
New incentives will put designers and contractors on the path to net zero energy construction
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – A revamped incentive program offered by Rocky Mountain Power is poised to transform new commercial buildings in Utah. The newly updated Whole Building New Construction incentive program has been dramatically expanded to help new commercial buildings get on the path to net zero energy.
The changes to the program went into effect January 1, 2022 but have been in the works for the past year. Local clean energy nonprofit, Utah Clean Energy, in collaboration with the Utah Commercial Real Estate Task Force, ASHRAE Utah, and AIA Utah convened stakeholder feedback sessions and provided community and industry recommendations to Rocky Mountain Power about how to make the new incentive program the most useful for Utah’s construction industry and the most impactful on Utah’s air quality and climate.
“The expanded program couldn’t come at a better time. Utah’s economy continues to be one of the fastest growing in the country, and in tandem with this growth is a surge in new building construction. These new buildings will be standing for the next 50-plus years, and every new building should be designed and built to dramatically cut energy waste and carbon emissions. That’s exactly what this innovative program does.” states Kevin Emerson, Director of Building Efficiency and Decarbonization for Utah Clean Energy.
Depending on the community, buildings can account for between 40% and 75% of community-level greenhouse gas emissions in Utah. High performance buildings are designed, built, and operated to use dramatically less energy, resulting in dramatically less emissions. While the program doesn’t provide incentives for installing renewable energy generation on the building, this program offers new incentives that go above and beyond the previous incentive program to help contractors achieve much deeper levels of energy savings. New incentives include funding for early-stage design charettes, energy modeling, and post-construction performance incentives.
The new incentive for energy modeling, enables designers to predict energy consumption of a building and make adjustments during the design phase to achieve deeper levels of energy savings. In addition, incentives are now available for up to two years after the building is first occupied to ensure that the building operates with the lowest energy use it was designed to reach. These new incentives are part of the program’s new emphasis on optimizing the performance of the whole building rather than system-specific energy savings such as heating or cooling.
“The expanded program is going to make our commercial buildings better. It’s that simple. Builders, developers, and architects can all utilize these incentives to improve the energy performance of our buildings, which benefits the entire community.” states Brandon Fugal, Chairman of Colliers International and member of the Utah Commercial Real-Estate Task Force
“Whole building energy design programs have shown to be successful in other states with designing and constructing new commercial high performing and energy saving buildings. Building owners and occupants will benefit greatly, especially economically from projects participating in this design program.” states Jim Meyers, Director of the Buildings Program at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.
The Whole Building New Construction incentive program is available for new commercial construction projects and major commercial building rehabs located within Rocky Mountain Power’s service territory and took effect starting January 1, 2022. More information can be found at Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart Business website: https://www.rockymountainpower.net/savings-energy-choices/business/wattsmart-efficiency-incentives-utah/ut-incentive-lists/wbnc.html.
Kevin Emerson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 801-608-0850
Utah Clean Energy
About Utah Clean Energy
Utah Clean Energy is recognized as one of Utah’s leading, expert, public interest organization working to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency in a way that is beneficial not only for Utah’s environment and health, but our economy and long-term energy security.