Do you hate bad air days? We do too. Luckily, there are more and more options for cleaner transportation in Salt Lake City from Ride With Hive to the Live Electric EV & E-Bike discount program, a deal worth looking into if you have ever considered purchasing an electric vehicle.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2017
Salt Lake City buildings. photo by Peter Nelson
At their August 29, 2017 Public Hearing, the Salt Lake City Council passed an ordinance proposed by Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the Sustainability Department aimed at cutting energy costs, improving local air quality, and reducing the city’s carbon footprint.
With one dissenting vote, the Council approved the “Energy Benchmarking & Transparency Ordinance,” which is projected to save local buildings owners $15.8 million in annual energy costs and eliminate over 29 tons of criteria pollutants from Salt Lake City’s air each year.
The market-based ordinance works by phasing-in new requirements for buildings over 25,000 square feet to “benchmark” or measure their energy usage annually.
“This ordinance has been in the works for over a year,” said Mayor Biskupski. “Over that time, it’s been a case study in collaborative policy making and I want to thank all the stakeholders involved. I’m proud that we ended up with a policy that will help clear the air, save building owners’ money, improve transparency, and reduce Salt Lake City’s carbon footprint.” Read more
Many of us associate bad air– yucky inversions and hazy gunk– with winter in the Salt Lake area. But did you know that we have bad air days in the summer too?
While it’s mostly invisible, ozone is just as harmful as particulate matter for the very young, very old, those with health conditions, and people who exercise outdoors.
Ozone is caused by emissions from vehicles, industry, and a multitude of chemical products which interact with sunlight and high temperatures.
So how can we reduce ozone? Read more
You may remember how excited we were to collaborate with Utah Clean Energy and the University of Utah on the second round of U Drive Electric this fall.
The goal: Get more EV’s on the road to promote cleaner air.
The how: By spreading the word about the limited-time bulk discounts available through the University of Utah’s innovative program.
Over the course of September and October, we worked with the U. and Utah Clean Energy to speak with hundreds of people about what “going electric” really means– including how cost-effective owning an electric vehicle is.
Now that this round has wrapped up, we’re excited to announce that 127 electric vehicles were purchased through U Drive Electric II!
When combined with Round I there are now over 200 new electric vehicles on the road thanks to U Drive Electric. These new EV owners have taken an important step towards improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.
- Electric vehicles produce up to 99% less of the criteria air pollutants that cause bad air quality. With winter inversion season upon us it’s easy to see the importance of driving electric.
- Furthermore, the EVs purchased through U Drive Electric will significantly reduce green house gas emissions. The carbon dioxide avoided over the next five years is equivalent to not burning nearly 2 million pounds of coal, or 200,000 gallons of gasoline.
- Put another way, this is like switching 63,000 incandescent bulbs to LEDs, or the equivalent amount of carbon sequestered by 1,700 acres of forest in one year.
Testimonials from U Drive Electric participants can be found at utahev.org
Our winter time inversion season is here, but this year Utah will have more clean, electric cars on the road that are helping to improve our air quality through the U Drive Electric program. The University of Utah’s U Drive Electric program has facilitated the sale of 92 electric and plug-in-hybrid cars in the last six weeks. Due to the popularity of the program, U Drive Electric has been extended through Nov. 30, 2016. The program is offered through a collaboration between the university, Salt Lake City and Utah Clean Energy.
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.
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!
Visit Open City Hall