by Maggie McCormick
The 12-month program promoting sustainability education and action for city employees, Empower SLC, has come to an end. After 12 themes and nearly 50 weekly topics, we hope the lessons learned will help SLC Corp employees adopt more sustainable practices into their everyday lives.
Empower SLC, which began in April 2016, was designed as a training platform by Sustain3 and implemented by the Sustainability Department for Salt Lake City’s nearly 3,000 employees. Our goal was to encourage sustainable practices amongst city staff. Each month, employees participated in monthly themes, such as waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, and clean air transportation, and completed weekly lessons and activities.
Last night, Mayor Biskupski presented her proposed 2018 fiscal year budget to the City Council.**
In the proposed budget, the Mayor continues to press for cleaner air and other practical approaches to addressing climate change.
Last summer, the Mayor and City Council adopted a historic resolution to completely transition Salt Lake City’s community electricity needs to renewables by 2032 and to reduce carbon output by 80 percent by 2040.
The Mayor wants to keep the momentum going toward greater sustainability citywide.
First up: Initial steps will be taken in partnering with Rocky Mountain Power in establishing a large solar farm for cleaner City energy. This goal is part of a robust Clean Energy Cooperation Statement the City inked with RMP last year that requires cooperation in evaluating and implementing multiple projects to help the City achieve its clean energy targets. Read more
Salt Lake City Publishes Plan to Tackle Climate Change and Carbon Pollution
Climate Positive plan prioritizes regional collaboration, community participation, and innovation to reduce pollution and enhance local resilience to warming temperatures.
Salt Lake City has released a comprehensive plan entitled Climate Positive 2040, detailing ways the Capitol City will sustain its leadership role in addressing climate change.
Google’s Project Sunroof shows Salt Lake City’s massive solar potential. Click the image to navigate to the Sunroof site to explore the city’s energy potential.
Did you know that more solar energy reaches Earth in just five days than all of the fossil fuel reserves combined? Harnessing that solar energy is a critical part of switching to renewable energy and creating a more sustainable community, especially for sunny Utah.
And while the $2,000 state solar tax credit is set to phase out by 2021, there’s still enormous room for growth.
SLCgreen is proud to be a part of the 8th annual Intermountain Sustainability Summit. Our Department Director Vicki Bennett and City Energy Project Advisor Wendy Lee will be speaking on the 17th. To register for the Summit click here to view student and professional registration rates.
by Avery Driscoll
Solar’s been in the news a lot lately. Tax incentives, rate structures, and more have been keeping policy makers, utility staff, and renewable advocates busy.
One reason is that solar is growing at an exponential rate! In fact, Utah is now the 16th largest solar producer in the country.
Our state’s rooftop solar energy production has grown from one-tenth of a megawatt to an estimated 140 megawatts in just ten years. This means that the market for rooftop solar power has grown by 140,000% in a decade, and that doesn’t even include the increase in utility-scale production!
In order to ensure that solar production can continue to grow, the local non-profit Utah Clean Energy recently released A 10 Year Solar Deployment Plan for Utah, which was produced in partnership with Salt Lake City. Read more
In 2014, SLCgreen released an analysis of the average energy consumption per household in Utah. We saw that the average household burns 17 pounds of coal, 208 cubic feet of natural gas, and 3 gallons of gasoline per day!
To follow-up on that report, today, we’re unveiling a bigger-picture overview of the fossil fuel consumption for Salt Lake City as a whole. Below you will find the infographic developed by Salt Lake City and the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance.
It clearly shows the flow of money from Salt Lake City to outside states and countries that produce fossil fuels.
This information really puts into perspective the importance of managing individual consumption and reducing energy waste, while enacting the best policies and regulations to help our businesses, residents, and government entities do the same.
As an individual, these numbers can be discouraging. But there are plenty of ways you can make a difference to reduce your carbon footprint and improve air quality.
Still, the graphic begs the questions:
Wouldn’t it be better if the $804 million we spend annually on polluting fuels stayed in Utah? Better yet, what if it was invested in clean energy?
Investing in clean energy in Salt Lake City is exactly what the Climate Positive initiative is all about. Click here to learn more about how Salt Lake City is working to cut off its dependence on fossil fuels over the next few decades.
And stay tuned: We’re about to unveil a more detailed plan on how to achieve our 80% greenhouse gas reduction goal by 2040.
Because all of this money should stay in Utah, while we keep the pollution out!