University of Utah President David Pershing, Mayor J. Biskupski, and Utah Clean Energy Executive Director Sarah Wright
Mayor Biskupski trying out new 2016 EV models.
Mayor J. Biskupski launches U Drive Electric Program
In a joint press conference, the University of Utah and Salt Lake City today announced the launch of an electric vehicle purchase program extending discounts on multiple makes and models of vehicles. The second round of U Drive Electric offers U community members and Salt Lake City community members the opportunity to purchase or lease electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicles at discounted prices through Oct. 31, 2016.
This joint program is aimed at improving air quality and community health both today and for future generations. With almost 50 percent of Utah’s urban air pollution coming from tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles represent an important tool for improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Salt 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!
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!
Basic tips for saving money and increasing energy efficiency this winter!
- 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!
- 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!
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.
- 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.
- 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!