Salt Lake City and Salt Lake Chamber partner on the Third Annual Skyline Challenge to accelerate commercial building energy efficiency
As part of her mission to improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions, and form strong partnerships with the business community, Mayor Jackie Biskupski is pleased to launch the Third Annual Skyline Challenge—this year with the Salt Lake Chamber joining the roster of partners.
The annual Skyline Challenge is a voluntary program to accelerate investment in energy efficiency from large commercial buildings and raise public awareness of building energy performance while creating jobs and fostering a stronger local economy.
We’ve accomplished a lot in the last year! From a Cooperation Statement with our electric utility, to a new community garden, to a mobile farm stand, to the announcement of ambitious climate goals, Salt Lake City has made great strides in 2016. Read on for Sustainability highlights from the Mayor’s State of the City.
As part of Salt Lake City’s commitment to pursuing cost-effective measures to reduce air pollution, Mayor Jackie Biskupski transmitted to the City Council an energy benchmarking and tune-up ordinance for large commercial buildings, which the Council will consider today during their work session.
The proposed market-based ordinance would eliminate over 98 tons of criteria pollutants from Salt Lake City’s air each year by phasing-in new requirements for buildings over 25,000 square feet to “benchmark” their energy usage annually, using the EPA’s free ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager software, followed by energy “tune-ups” for low-performing buildings.
Benchmarking allows building owners and managers to identify if their buildings are good candidates for efficiency improvements to reduce energy waste—and therefore air pollution. The free Portfolio Manager® program also gives buildings an energy score from 1 to 100, with anything 75 or over considered to be high-performing.
Buildings would then report their ENERGY STAR score to Salt Lake City.
The beginning of a new year is a good time to take note of all the achievements we’ve made over the past 12 months. It was a banner year for Sustainability in SLC– from our office becoming a full Department, to launching a new market program, to establishing ambitious clean energy goals.
We publish an annual report detailing our major accomplishments for the year. You can read the highlights from 2016 below, or download the full report here.
Thank you to our many partners who’ve helped us along the way. And happy New Year from all of us at SLCgreen!
Notable achievements in 2016 include:
“Head of the class.” “Leaders.” “Innovators.” They’re called many things. At Salt Lake City, we call the building owners that go above-and-beyond to cut emissions our “Mayor’s Skyline Challenge Winners”, and it is our pleasure to introduce you to them.
Launched in May 2014, the multi-year Mayor’s Skyline Challenge encourages building owners across Salt Lake City to proactively improve the energy performance of their buildings, reducing emissions and saving money. On July 15, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski joined business and community leaders to honor the four winners of the second annual Mayor’s Skyline Challenge Awards for their leadership in Project Skyline over the past year. Read more
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and City Council have committed to a Joint Resolution to transition the community to 100 percent renewable electricity sources by 2032 and an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2040.
The Mayor and City Councilmember Erin Mendenhall were joined by other City leaders and community members on the steps of the City and County Building today to announce the resolution.
“This is the most ambitious step ever taken by Salt Lake City to address the threat of climate change,” said Mayor Biskupski. “This commitment places the City among leading communities worldwide that acknowledge our responsibility to rapidly reduce emissions and forge a new path forward that protects our economies, societies and overall human well-being.”
Salt Lake City had previously committed to 100 percent renewable electricity sources for its government operations, along with major carbon reductions for City operations, but this resolution expands the scope to include all electricity and emissions on a community scale.
The Joint Resolution cited the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and being driven by the burning of fossil fuels. The Resolution also acknowledged local impacts such as changes in water systems and extreme weather events that are affecting Salt Lake City now and will be exacerbated in the future.
“We can tackle this challenge and deliver clean energy solutions that will simultaneously improve air quality, protect public health and deliver local jobs. Leading on climate change today is an obligation we all share with each other and to future generations,” stated Mayor Biskupski.
Visit www.slcgreen.com/climatepositive for more information about the plan.
See the full Carbon Reduction Joint Resolution here.
The American Lung Association just released their 2016 State of the Air report which compares the air quality in cities across the nation. Unfortunately the report shows that the Salt Lake City area has moved from #7 to #6 on the list of “most polluted” cities. That’s bad news!
Poor air quality is now recognized as an urgent public health and economic development issue, which threatens continued growth of local businesses and relocation of residents and businesses to the City. In addition to being energy efficient in our homes, improving energy efficiency in our big buildings plays an important role in contributing to cleaner air.
The good news is that making our buildings more efficient is a key strategy to help reduce local air pollution and carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. Building efficiency investments also save money by reducing utility costs, keeping money in our local economy. As Utah’s Capitol City, Salt Lake City is committed to leading by example by implementing building efficiency best practices in our municipal facilities. Salt Lake City municipal departments regularly evaluate and implement energy-saving best practices in all major City facilities.
Salt Lake City wants input from residents and local businesses about what kind of new programs and policies the City should pursue to help reduce the pollution that stems from commercial buildings across the City. On Open City Hall we’ve outlined some common best-practices for increasing energy efficiency in buildings. Learn more and share your feedback here! Let’s clean up our air together!
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