Utah Clean Energy Legislative Priorities

Below is a summary of Utah Clean Energy’s priorities for the 2023 Utah Legislative Session. We will be updating our priorities and individual bills as the session progresses. 

Reducing emissions and saving families money by updating Utah’s building energy efficiency standards 

Homes and buildings have a profound impact on our climate and air quality; accounting for almost 40 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. The good news is that we have a chance to make major improvements here in Utah.   

For the first time in years, the Utah Legislature has the option to update Utah’s energy code. Energy codes ensure that a building’s energy efficiency is a fundamental part of the design and construction process. Independent analysis has found that making this early investment in energy efficiency will pay dividends to owners and occupants for years into the future. Heading into the Legislative session, we are working to help the Utah Legislature enact a version of the latest energy code for residential and commercial buildings for Utah families and businesses.  

Seize unprecedented federal investments to support energy innovation and climate solutions 

The U.S. has made unprecedented investments to reduce emissions through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.  Now it is up to states to seize the moment and make sure our tax dollars are put to work. Utah Clean Energy’s priority this legislative session is to ensure that Utah is leveraging these new federal resources to: 

  • make our homes and buildings more energy efficient,  
  • ensure equitable access to electric vehicles (EV) and EV charging,  
  • purchase zero-emissions buses and fleet vehicles,  
  • modernize our electricity grid,  
  • and support Utah’s energy communities.  

We are also looking at how Utah can create a “clean energy fund” entity to offer affordable zero and low-interest lending products to Utah residents and businesses, a new market-based tool to help Utah businesses and consumer unlock the energy saving and emissions benefits of new technologies. 

Safeguarding renewable energy tax incentives  

Utah has abundant – yet mostly untapped – resources for wind and solar farms, geothermal facilities, and other renewable energy projects.  Central to bringing more renewable energy to Utah is a smart and stable tax policy. There is a major influx of renewable energy and energy storage projects under consideration across the country, and tax incentives help bring those projects to Utah.  New renewable energy projects mean new economic development and revenue opportunities, especially for our rural communities. We are committed to make sure that the Utah Legislature maintains a predictable and favorable tax structure for continuing clean energy development here in Utah.  

Expanding access to electric vehicles for all Utahns 

Utah’s electric vehicle market is growing which is a major boon for Utah’s air quality. As more Utahns want to make the switch to electric vehicles, Utah policymakers should ensure that all communities have access to necessary charging options. This includes multifamily properties which is an ever-increasing portion of Utah’s housing market as well as charging along major corridors. In addition, now is the time to develop electric bus and passenger fleets to make sure that our transportation fleets move towards zero-emissions vehicles.  

Modernizing Utah’s energy grid to harness clean energy resources 

As renewable energy becomes a major electricity generating resource, our electricity grid needs to be updated and modernized to accommodate our changing energy mix. That will support real-time energy markets, improved electricity transmission, greater use of renewable energy including rooftop solar, and more energy storage serving Utah customers. We will be looking for opportunities to make our energy grid more flexible, resilient, and reliable in this legislative session.  

AUTHOR

Josh Craft

Josh Craft

Government and Corporate Relations Manager

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