We have some exciting news! Check out the below press release for details on Salt Lake City’s legislative progress toward our Climate Positive goals.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 22, 2019
Mountain Power partnered with local governments to support passage of the
Community Renewable Energy Act which authorizes a path to net-100% renewable
Representatives from numerous Utah communities along with Rocky Mountain Power will join Governor Gary Herbert at a ceremonial signing this afternoon for the Community Renewable Energy Act (HB 411). The legislation was sponsored by Representative Steve Handy and enables next steps towards a net-100%* renewable electricity portfolio by 2030 for Utah communities with ambitious clean energy goals.
Park City, Salt Lake City and Summit County worked with Rocky Mountain Power for over three years leading up to the passage of HB 411 to envision this first-of-its-kind legislation. The bill authorizes future regulatory filings at the Utah Public Service Commission that will define rules, rates and expectations for the community renewable energy program.
“House Bill 411 is groundbreaking legislation, not just for our state, but for the country. It also represents the biggest breakthrough ever in Salt Lake City’s pursuit of clean energy,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, who also serves as co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy Campaign and is the Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Alliance for a Sustainable Future. “Powering all of our homes and businesses with renewable energy by 2030 will cut our community carbon footprint in half and create a replicable roadmap for others across the country.”
“We’re in the midst of what some are calling ‘The New Energy Economy,’ which is both exciting and challenging,” said lead bill sponsor Representative Steve Handy. “When I first heard about the concept of what eventually became HB 411, the Community Renewable Energy Act, I immediately recognized it as groundbreaking. And when it comes to ‘The New Energy Economy,’ I believe that it’s the role of government to remove barriers and let market forces take over, which is exactly what HB 411 does.”
Power will facilitate the transition to a net-100% renewable electricity
portfolio and the utility will continue to provide all of its standard services
for customers. The financial costs and benefits of the program will be isolated
to participating communities so that no costs are shifted to other utility
customers. Additionally, individual customers in participating communities have
the ability to stay on standard Rocky Mountain Power rates through an opt-out
process after the program is established.
The Sustainable Nation Podcast produces interviews with global leaders in sustainability and was developed to provide information and insights from the world’s most inspiring change-makers.
Vicki Bennett has led Salt Lake City’s award-winning Salt Lake City Green sustainability program for 17 years and has integrated sustainability policies throughout government operations and Salt Lake City as a whole. She works with both city agencies and the public to create a more livable community.
Vicki’s experience includes sustainability program management, climate change mitigation, and adaptation, energy policy, food security, waste diversion, and environmental compliance.
The interview gives listeners a glimpse of Vicki’s journey from a lab chemist to her current role as the leader of Salt Lake City Green. Vicki has forged some of the City’s most innovative programs to ensure a healthy sustainable future for us all. Give the podcast a listen to learn more!
October is the month for falling leaves, cooler breezes and– now in its second year– Utah Climate Week!
Why Climate Week?
According to the latest National Climate Assessment, global temperatures will rise by some amount this century. The extent of the increase, however, will depend on how aggressively global society can rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
This change in the climate is already contributing to existing extreme weather patterns all over the world.
The National Weather Service tweeted a record 131 days in 2018 that temperatures in the Salt Lake City area did not dip below 50 degrees F.
Climate change is clearly a concern to our public safety, natural resources, and economic development. But we can all play a role in amplifying the message that it’s time to take action. We can also look at our daily routines and make small changes that add up to meaningful emissions reductions.
These are the goals behind the Second Annual Utah Climate Week.
Utah Climate Week is hosted by the Utah Climate Action Network, a partnership that aims to reduce emissions, enhance resiliency, and engage individuals and local leaders within our state.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in San Francisco on Sept. 11, 2018. Photo: U.S. Conference of Mayors
PRESS RELEASE: September 10, 2018
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Mayor Jackie Biskupski and SLCgreen Director Vicki Bennett join hundreds of leaders and attendees from across the world this week in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) on Thursday and Friday, with partner events kicking off Tuesday and Wednesday.
At a time when the federal government is backtracking on its climate commitments, cities, states, businesses, non-profits, and other stakeholders are stepping in to fill the void.
The Summit is focused on amplifying the commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement, which 195 countries signed in 2015. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The Summit, as described on their website, “is timed to provide the confidence to governments to ‘step up’ and trigger this next level of ambition sooner rather than later.”Read more
One of SLCgreen’s goals is to inspire action locally and nationally around climate change. Mayor Biskupski is a leader of several national coalitions to do exactly this– including the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy and the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Alliance for a Sustainable Future committee– and we’re privileged to support her work at that level.
It’s also critical to organize locally and we’ve put together workshops and meetings with fellow local governments to discuss how Utah can be a leader on climate and air quality.
Solar panels and the Wasatch Mountains. Shot on the roof of Salt Lake City’s Public Safety Building.
Sixteen local governments from Salt Lake City to Provo, Moab to Park City, Cottonwood Heights to Heber, and more joined us in calling for increased cooperation to mitigate climate disruption. Read more
Project Open’s All-Electric Apartments Set the Stage for Eco-Friendly Affordable Living
by Ryan Anderson, SLCgreen intern
If you’ve been to Salt Lake City in the winter, you know that our air quality leaves room for improvement. Our air pollution has already been found to have severe health impacts, and it’s crucial that we act now before the problem worsens.
Both of these problems are directly tied to the emissions we put into the air. While transportation is the largest source, our homes and buildings are a close second and are projected to become the top polluter in the coming years.
A key step in securing a healthier future for our community is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas in residential and commercial buildings, plus the transportation sector.
Luckily, there are solutions. If we design and build our structures smarter, we can reduce much of the pollution that comes from our buildings. And if these structures also incorporate green transportation features, we can significantly move the needle on both air pollution and our community carbon footprint.
That’s why we’re excited to feature a forward-thinking new housing complex that is innovating on all of these fronts.