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Posts tagged ‘energy efficiency’

Salt Lake City Publishes Plan to Tackle Climate Change

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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.

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Salt Lake City’s 2017 Building Energy Efficiency Challenge Kicks Off

full-skyline_2017_page_1Salt Lake City and Salt Lake Chamber partner on the Third Annual Skyline Challenge to accelerate commercial building energy efficiency

 As part of her mission to improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions, and form strong partnerships with the business community, Mayor Jackie Biskupski is pleased to launch the Third Annual Skyline Challenge—this year with the Salt Lake Chamber joining the roster of partners.

The annual Skyline Challenge is a voluntary program to accelerate investment in energy efficiency from large commercial buildings and raise public awareness of building energy performance while creating jobs and fostering a stronger local economy.

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Help Salt Lake City Chart a Path Toward Cleaner Air

Building-Segments-Graphic-update

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!

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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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U.S. Green Building Council Announces Utah is 10th State in the Nation for LEED Green Building

Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its national ranking of the top states in the country for LEED green building and Utah is the 10th state in the nation for 2015. The rankings come at an important time for states looking to reduce their energy use. LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

“Utah is a nationwide leader in green building and LEED certification. LEED creates jobs and increases opportunities for Utah’s workers and businesses while contributing billions of dollars to the state’s economy,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. “LEED has become an essential standard for the transformation of building design and construction. LEED certified buildings drive economic growth, creates jobs and makes communities healthier.”

The annual ranking is developed by analyzing each state in terms of square feet of LEED certified space per state resident. Now in its sixth year, the list highlights states throughout the country that made significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation throughout 2015. Utah certified 31 projects representing 4,494,301 square feet of real estate, or 1.63 square feet per resident, in 2015.

“We are thrilled to have Utah businesses and institutions recognized in this way for the first time,” said Daniel Pacheco, executive director, USGBC-Utah Chapter. “This achievement affirms not only USGBC Utah’s mantra that where you live, learn, work and worship matters, but also that partners are taking sustainable concepts to heart as we develop healthy buildings for everyone in Utah.”

In addition, data from USGBC’s 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study show LEED construction is expected to support 23,000 total jobs in Utah and have a total impact on GDP of $1.97 billion from 2015-2018.

A few notable projects that certified in Utah in 2015 include:

  • Salt Lake City Public Safety Building; LEED Platinum
  • S. District Courthouse, Salt Lake City; LEED Gold
  • University of Utah Football Center; LEED Silver
  • Ballet West; LEED Gold

The full ranking of the top 10 states for 2015 includes:

Rank State Projects certified in 2015 Square feet LEED certified in 2015 Per-capita square footage
1 Illinois 161 43,979,595 3.43
2 Maryland 127 17,659,881 3.06
3 Massachusetts 112 19,850,624 3.03
4 Washington 101 17,450,321 2.60
5 Colorado 95 12,218,992 2.43
6 Nevada 30 6,534,960 2.42
7 California 618 87,358,563 2.34
8 Texas 237 52,445,321 2.09
9 Virginia 121 13,005,968 1.63
10 Utah 31 4,494,301 1.63
* Washington, D.C. 84 11,612,237 19.30

*Washington, D.C., is not ranked as it is a federal district, not a state.

Collectively, 1,633 commercial and institutional projects became LEED certified within the Top 10 States in 2015, representing 274.9 million square feet of real estate. Worldwide, 4,837 projects were certified in 2015, representing 818.9 million square feet. Nearly 75,000 projects representing 14.4 billion square feet of space have been LEED-certified to date.

USGBC calculates the list using per-capita figures as a measure of the human element of green building. This also allows for fair comparisons among states with significant differences in population and number of buildings.

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!
  3. draft stopper

    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: Five Actions You Can Take Today!

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Climate action starts with you! Here are five simple actions you can take today to begin reducing your climate impact.

1. Use Cold Water Detergent and Cold Water Setting for Clothes Washer

Emissions-Icon Pounds of CO2 Reduced Annually: 1,270
Money-Icon Annual Savings: $92

Heating water consumes a lot of energy – 90% of the total needed to wash your clothes – always use a cold-water setting and detergent.

2. Replace Your Furnace Filter and Manage Your Thermostat

Emissions-Icon Pounds of CO2 Reduced Annually: 1,800
Money-Icon Annual Savings: $124

Every degree F saves 3% on cooling / heating – set to 60 at night or unoccupied during winter and 78 in summer.  Dirty furnace filters waste energy and should be changed every three months.

3. Properly Inflate Your Tires and Ride with Hive

Emissions-Icon Pounds of CO2 Reduced Annually: 400 (tires only)
Money-Icon Annual Savings: $95 (tires only)

Regularly check and inflate your tires to improve MPGs by 3% – more tips to save fuel at FuelEconomy.gov.
SLC residents, visit RideWithHive.com for details on the City’s discounted transit pass.  Just $42 / month, a 50% discount, gets you unlimited rides on the bus, TRAX and S-Line.

4. Replace at Least Five Lights with LEDs

Emissions-Icon Pounds of CO2 Reduced Annually: 500 (per five lights)
Money-Icon Annual Savings: $40 (per five lights)

90% of the energy used lighting an incandescent bulb goes towards generating heat, not light.  LED lighting is the cheapest lifecycle cost option – purchasing plus operating costs – and Rocky Mountain Power offers great incentives for homes and businesses.

5. Use Reusable Water Bottles and Mugs – Plus, Downsize Your Garbage Can

Emissions-Icon Pounds of CO2 Reduced Annually: 580 (Reusable Drink Containers Only)
Money-Icon Annual Savings: $150 (Reusable Drink Containers Only)

Manufacturing bottles, cans and other drink containers takes energy and creates emissions.  Reduce your footprint and save cash by using reusables.  SLC residents should Google SLCgreen for many more waste tips and additional ways to save, like downsizing your garbage can.  Moving from a 90-gallon bin to a 40-gallon bin will save you $87 / year on your trash bill.  There is also a 60-gallon option that will save you money.