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Posts from the ‘Smart Energy’ Category

Salt Lake City Launches Ambitious New Climate Plan

 

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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.

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“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.

Salt Lake City Partners with Utilities to Improve Building Energy Efficiency

Last Friday, Salt Lake City was recognized by The White House and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for its efforts to unlock access to energy data for building owners and improve energy efficiency.

Since 2013, Salt Lake City has partnered with both Rocky Mountain Power and Questar to provide whole-building energy data access to building owners through the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Tool. The effort, which is on track for completion in 2017, will ensure effortless energy data management for building owners, providing a complete picture as to building energy use and enabling them to employ more responsive strategies.

“Salt Lake City, Rocky Mountain Power and Questar are working together to help building owners understand how their building is operating and to identify opportunities to improve energy management,” says Vicki Bennett, sustainability director for Salt Lake City. “By automating and streamlining the process, more Salt Lake City building owners will be able to improve energy efficiency – ultimately saving energy, money and emissions.”

Salt Lake City is committed to improving air quality, and buildings play an important role in emissions. The most recent data from the Utah Division of Air Quality show that 39% of existing air pollution comes from area sources (i.e. homes and businesses). This percentage is expected to increase significantly over the next 20 years as vehicles become more efficient, making building energy efficiency efforts more and more important.

Last week, Mayor Jackie Biskupski extended an invitation to leading industry experts to share their ideas and best practices for energy efficiency in buildings, as part of the Elevate Buildings process.

“There is nothing more important than the air we breathe, and working to clear our skies is a top priority of my administration,” says Mayor Biskupksi. “By collaborating with industry experts we will help improve air quality through increased energy efficiency our city’s largest buildings.”

Learn more about Salt Lake City’s efforts to cut energy waste in buildings at SLCgov.com/ProjectSkyline.

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Solving Climate Change with Clean Energy: A Special Event on Thursday, February 4

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Tackling climate change requires fresh perspectives, diverse collaborations and a profound transition to cleaner energy sources.

Join us on Thursday, February 4th to explore these themes and what they mean for Utah. We’ll be joined by two prominent local leaders, Sarah Wright and Matt Pacenza, who will share their insights on clean energy and climate solutions.

We’ll start the evening with a 60-minute screening of Episode 6 of the Emmy-award winning series Years of Living Dangerously. This will be followed by a 30-minute panel with our local experts. Episode 6 of the series focuses on methane leaks from natural gas operations, lobbying forces in America and home-grown renewable energy solutions.

RSVP to the Facebook event!

Watch the trailer:

Speaker Bios

Sarah Wright is the founder and Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy, a non-profit partnering to build the new clean energy economy in Utah for the past 15 years. She leads a team that collaborates with government, private sector and other community partners to stop energy waste while simultaneously building a smarter energy future.

Sarah is an intervener in regulatory proceedings and an expert witness in legislative hearings, testifying in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Sarah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from Bradley University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Utah.

Matt Pacenza joined HEAL Utah five years ago and began serving as Executive Director in 2015. HEAL is a non-profit that promotes renewable energy and advocates for enhanced public health while opposing toxic harms to the environment.

Matt has managed HEAL’s policy agenda on nuclear waste, energy and clean air issues and now leads the organization’s staff, program and budgets. Matt has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Policy from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from New York University. From the east coast, he now happily calls “Sugarhood” his home.

The PSB goes platinum!

 

LEED PSBSalt Lake City Public Safety Building Achieves LEED Platinum Rating

SALT LAKE CITY –Mayor Ralph Becker gathered with Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett, Garth Shaw of GSBS Architects, David Hart of MOCA Systems and representatives from Salt Lake Police and Fire to celebrate the recent LEED Platinum designation for the Public Safety Building.

Platinum is the highest LEED certification available, making the Public Safety Building only the ninth building in the state to achieve this coveted rating.

“The LEED Platinum designation is the culmination of our efforts to design and build a state-of-the-art Public Safety Building that has become a model for other cities across the country,” says Mayor Ralph Becker. “The project showcases Salt Lake City’s leadership to reduce our carbon emissions while enhancing city services.”

In addition to achieving a LEED Platinum rating, the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building was designed to be net zero, meaning it generates as much energy as it consumes. To achieve net zero, the project employed energy efficient building practices, employee engagement on energy use, and renewable energy generation through rooftop solar and an offsite solar farm.

To learn more about the Public Safety Building, click here!

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SLCgreen Releases 2015 State of Sustainability Report

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For the first time ever, Salt Lake City Green has released a State of Sustainability Report. 2015: State of Sustainability in Salt Lake City is an overview of Salt Lake City’s hardworking Sustainability Division, which began in 2008.

The Sustainability Division (otherwise known as Salt Lake City Green, or SLCgreen) aims to preserve and improve our built and natural environments and provide people with information on sustainability issues affecting Salt Lake City. The Division of Sustainability develops goals and strategies to protect our natural resources, reduce pollution, slow climate change, and establish a path toward greater resiliency and vitality for all aspects of our community.

2015: State of Sustainability in Salt Lake City covers the core areas of the division, from air quality, climate change, energy and food to curbside recycling, garbage, compost and glass.

We’re excited to give you a look at what we’ve accomplished to date, and what we’re proud to be working on!

Explore the State of Sustainability. Download the report (PDF).

Feedback? Email us at SLCgreen@slcgov.com.

We’re excited for another fantastic year — see you in 2016!

Winterize Your Home- Energy Saving Tips

Basic tips for saving money and increasing energy efficiency this winter!

  1. Insulate your windows.  Single pane windows are especially inefficient, but double pane windows can also benefit from insulation.  Plastic film kits range from $10-$30, are easy to install, and effective. According to Lowe’s, window film can help retain up to 55% of your home’s heat in winter!  If you are feeling ambitious, consider installing storm doors and windows!
  2. Dodge the drafts.  Do you have cold air sneaking in at the base of your door? Use a rolled bath towel placed at the base of the door to block the air.  Or use an old sock or sew together some old fabric scraps and fill with sand or rice. Here are some draft stopper ideas!
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    Photo Credit: Frugal Homemaking

    Change your furnace filter. Dirty filters restrict air flow and increase energy demand.  Changing your filter once a month is recommended during the heating season, or use a permanent filter to reduce waste.

  4. Set your water heater to 120 degrees (or lower). Water heaters are often set to 140 degrees which is likely higher than necessary.  Lower the temperature to reduce your water heating costs.
  5. Turn down your thermostat. This is one of the surest ways to save money. For every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you’ll save between 1 and 3 percent of your heating bill.  Try 68 degrees, or lower when asleep or away from home.  And dress warmer for winter, wear a sweater!

Enjoy the winter season!

Climate Week: What SLC is Doing to Combat Climate Change

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Salt Lake City has been recognized as a Climate Action Champion for showing leadership on climate change. The accomplishments of Salt Lake City in the past seven years demonstrate a commitment and successful track record of innovation and leadership to integrate the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and enhance climate resilience into local and regional planning and decision-making.

Here are some of the City’s climate actions, goals, and key initiatives:

Joint Resolution To Reduce Carbon Footprint. Mayor Ralph Becker and the Salt Lake City Council signed a joint resolution in 2008 committing the City to reduce its municipal carbon footprint 20% below the 2005 level by 2020; 50% below the 2005 level by 2040; and, 80% below the 2005 level by 2050.

Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The City completed its first community GHG inventory in 2009, which quantified 4.75 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions – or 26 metric tons per person – and prompted the City’s commitment to eliminate 1.3 million metric tons of CO2e by 2020. The City also has a goal for reduction of GHG emissions in the community by 80% below the 2005 level by 2050.

Clear the Air Challenge. The City created the Clear the Air Challenge to engage citizens in voluntary reductions in vehicle miles traveled, resulting in the elimination of over 9.5 million single-occupant vehicle miles traveled and reducing more than 7.5 million pounds of GHG emissions between 2009 and 2014.

Salt Lake City Sustainable Code Revision. The Salt Lake City Sustainable Code Revision project is a ground-breaking initiative to incorporate sustainability provisions into zoning and subdivision ordinances.

Salt Lake City Energy and Transportation Sustainability Plan. The Salt Lake City Energy and Transportation Sustainability Plan (2011) details strategies for the City to contribute to climate resilience, cleaner air, greater energy security, a green energy economy, and protection of our water supply, wildlife, and other natural resources. Salt Lake City Energy and Transportation Sustainability Plan goals include:

  • Decrease total building energy use in the city by 5%, to 35 million MBTUs by 2015
  • Transform all City government buildings into net-zero facilities
  • Increase renewable energy generation on City facilities to 2.5 megawatt by 2015
  • Generation of 10 megawatts of solar energy in the community by 2015
  • Reduction of vehicle miles traveled by residents by 6.5% by 2015

Salt Lake City Public Safety Building. The City’s $125 million Public Safety Building is the first public safety building in the nation constructed to achieve Net Zero energy use due to the use of multiple innovative energy efficiencies and solar-photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

Livability in Salt Lake City 2012-2016. Mayor Becker published his agenda, Livability in Salt Lake City 2012-2016, to frame a broad vision of local climate response goals, strategies, and actions that lead to greater resiliency, vitality, accessibility, sustainability, and diversity further distilled in the Sustainable Salt Lake Plan 2015.

Sustainable Salt Lake – Plan 2015. The Sustainable Salt Lake – Plan 2015 (Plan 2015) grounds the City’s broad and ambitious climate response strategy with goals, key metrics, and milestones related to air quality, energy, transportation, water resources, urban forestry, and open space. Sustainable City Dashboard. The Sustainable City Dashboard is an innovative new online tool to track key metrics and milestones associated with the Plan 2015 and promote an increased level of public engagement and feedback on climate response initiatives.

To learn more about Salt Lake City’s climate actions, visit SLCgreen.com!

Mayor Becker Discusses Air Quality, Energy and Water

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Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker talks with P3 Utah in a recent podcast.

“Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah,  visits with Steve Klass of P3 Utah about his work developing a world class livable city. Mayor Becker explains his accomplishments in terms of focus on air quality, setting net zero energy efficiency standards for buildings and watershed and recreation protection as part of the recently adopted Mountain Accord.

He explains the roles of local government, state and federal government in carrying out sustainability initiatives.  He explains the challenges he is leading the City to meet in continuing progress and expresses a desire for greater public engagement.  He says that there are trade-offs and learning at a community level necessary to live differently in order to truly make our metropolitan area more sustainable and adapt successfully to climate change. Listen and be inspired!”

Listen to the podcast here.

Trailblazers of Clean Energy Speaker Series

Trailblazers Invitation_Short Version FinalThis fall, Utah Clean Energy and the University of Utah’s Sustainability Office are hosting a first-of-its kind lecture series featuring three climate change innovators. Hear these national experts speak about their outside-the-box approaches to combat climate change and shape a positive future for the world.
Race car driver and Sundance film star, Leilani Münter, will kick off the series on September 22nd at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. When you think race car driving, you usually don’t think environmental activist – unless it’s Leilani Münter.  Learn how this fearless female NASCAR driver wants to bring 75 million racing fans over to the “green side.”  Her motto is “Live is short. Race hard. Live green.”

The award-winning national director of Green For All, Vien Truong, will speak on October 21st. Truong is one of the nation’s foremost experts fighting for climate justice in low-income communities. Hear from Troung on how we can safeguard the most vulnerable from the worst impacts of climate change.

Bestselling author of Green Sense for Your Home and founder of organicARCHITECT, Eric Corey Freed, will speak on November 5th.  Freed promotes both an organic and ecological approach to design and is considered a pioneer in the tradition of Organic Architecture.

Sign up for this three part lecture series on innovative solutions to our world’s most pressing challenges.  Tickets are $5 per event and free for University of Utah students (registration required).

Trailblazer of Clean Energy: Leilani Münter Speaks on September 22

“Life is short. Race hard. Live Green”

September 22, 7pm-8pm.  S.J. Quinney College of Law
Get Your Tickets Today – $5

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The unlikely combination of race car driver and environmental activist! Don’t miss your chance to hear from this extraordinary champion of climate change solutions!

When you think of race car driving, you usually don’t think of environmental activism – unless you know Leilani Münter. A star of the Sundance Film, Racing Extinction, and outspoken race car driver fighting for climate change solutions, Münter is also the first speaker in our Trailblazers of Clean Energy series!

WHEN: September 22, 2015. 7:00 pm

WHERE: S.J. Quinney College of Law, Moot Courtroom.  Parking for this event is available at the Rice Eccles stadium lot.