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Posts tagged ‘energy’

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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Utah Regulators Approve Subscriber Solar Program

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Public Service Commission has approved a new program that allows customers to subscribe to some or all of their electricity from solar power. Rocky Mountain Power sought approval from the state last June for the subscriber solar program which gives customers a choice to get their power from the sun even if they cannot afford rooftop solar panels or live in apartments or condos.

Using a competitive bidding process, Rocky Mountain Power is in final negotiations with a developer to build a 20-megawatt solar farm here in Utah. The solar farm is expected to be built and on-line in late 2016.

“Utility-scale solar is the most cost-effective way to build solar and the bidding process will help us select the best economical choice for our customers,” said Lucky Morse, Rocky Mountain Power Regional Business Management Director. “It’s exciting because the pricing is very competitive and will offer customers a terrific value.”

Participants will be able to subscribe in 200-kilowatt hour blocks up to their total usage; the 20-megawatt solar farm will provide 20,000 blocks. Residential customers will receive a “locked-in” generation rate of 7.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, plus about 4 cents for transmission and distribution, totaling 11.7 cents per kilowatt-hour.

For example, a typical Utah customer uses 742 kilowatt-hours monthly and would pay an additional $1.26 each month (average) for one solar block. The benefits and costs of the program will vary depending on how much electricity a customer uses.

“High-energy users in the summer may actually pay less money for their energy because electricity costs are as high as 14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour,” added Morse. “The ‘locked-in’ rate is also a hedge if electricity prices go up in the future.”

The subscriber solar program is a great alternative for people who are renting, cannot afford solar panels, have homes that are not suited for rooftop solar, are restricted due to HOA rules, or simply don’t want rooftop solar systems. Subscribers will not have to pay upfront costs, make long-term commitments or deal with the ongoing maintenance of installed solar panels.

Salt Lake City intends to subscribe to a sizable amount of solar for its municipal operations to lock in the energy portion of the city’s bills for up to 20 years.

“Salt Lake City supports this new program aimed at expanding the portfolio of renewable energy options for our residents,” said Vicki Bennett, Salt Lake City Sustainability Director. “Subscriber Solar offers a choice for residents and business owners who are unable to install solar, but still desire a direct connection to clean energy sources. We believe this program can be a major catalyst for ongoing transitions to renewable energy in Utah.”

The voluntary program will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers will be able to subscribe to the program soon. Subscribers would only pay a termination fee if they cancel their subscription before three years after they enroll.

The program will also be available for commercial and industrial customers. Customers can get more details and sign up to receive updates and put their names on a list indicating they would like to subscribe to the program at rockymountainpower.net/subscriber.

Original press release posted by Rocky Mountain Power.

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.

Buildings are Key to Salt Lake City’s Clean Air Future

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Buildings represent a large and growing part of our local air quality problem.  A new infographic, released at the Mayor’s Project Skyline Awards Ceremony, presents statistics on building energy efficiency and economic benefits. For example, buildings contribute nearly 40% of pollutants on a typical winter day. By making buildings more energy efficient, we can conserve enough resources to power up to 37,000 homes every year. If Salt Lake City were to adopt energy savings best practices, building owners across the city could save up to $48 million dollars annually.

As many know, Salt Lake City has significantly poor air quality, especially during the winter months; however, fewer know how dramatically we can improve our air quality by improving the energy efficiency of our buildings.  By making large buildings in Salt Lake City more energy efficient, we could remove one million pounds of pollutants, which equates to taking 32,000 vehicles off the road for one year. Additionally, we would prevent 650 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year! View the complete infographic for additional facts.

Join us and become a part of Project Skyline to save money, improve property values, and clean our air.

Salt Lake City Announces Project Skyline Challenge Award Winners

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Today, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency for the U.S. Department of Energy, and Matthew Dalbey, Director of the Office of Sustainable Communities for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, joined City leaders and building owners in honoring the winners of the Project Skyline Mayor’s Challenge 2015 Awards. Project Skyline, a multi-year challenge to reduce building energy use in buildings across the city, was launched in May 2014. The goal is to challenge building owners across Salt Lake City to proactively meet – and exceed – the air quality and energy-saving targets of the Sustainable Salt Lake – Plan 2015 by 15 percent by 2020. Throughout its first year, Project Skyline has been overwhelmingly successful, hosting educational and networking workshops, providing resources for evaluating the building’s energy use, and helping establish energy-saving goals for each business involved.

At the 2015 Project Skyline Awards Luncheon, five winners were recognized for their leadership in Challenge efforts over the past year.

This year, the Energy Innovator Award goes to Basic Research. Basic Research has improved the efficiency of their 230,000-square-foot facility by improving the lighting, HVAC systems, and installing the largest privately owned solar photovoltaic project in the state of Utah. By making these improvements, Basic Research has improved their ENERGY STAR score from 10 to 99.

The Sustained Excellence Award goes to Fidelity Investments. Across the country, Fidelity Investments is working to obtain LEED certification in 65 percent of their buildings and their location on 49 N 400 W is no exception. The building falls under LEED Silver certification, and recently, they added LED lighting and lighting controls and photovoltaic panels to improve the building’s ENERGYSTAR score to 96.

The McGillis School, a private co-ed school located on the Northeast bench of the Salt Lake Valley, has earned the Most-Improved EnergyStar Score Award. In 2014, the school reported an ENERYSTAR score of 97, which marks a 17 point improvement from 2013.

The Energy Efficiency Leadership Award goes to Newmark Grubb ACRES. Throughout the past year, Newmark Grubb ACRES has helped tremendously attending and presenting at multiple workshops. Company leadership also participates on BOMA Utah’s Energy and Sustainability committee and helped launch the BOMA Utah Kilowatt Crackdown. Additionally, the company is working on energy efficiency in several of its properties and are continuing to improve their ENERGYSTAR scores.

Lastly, the Benchmarking Champion Award goes to the Salt Lake City School District. Since 2009, the Salt Lake City School District has begun benchmarking to monitor energy consumption in over 40 buildings. Not only are 72 percent of the district’s schools benchmarked, but they are also certified ENERGY STAR buildings. They have seen an an 18 percent improvement in ENERGY STAR scores in all of their buildings.

Congratulations to these businesses.  For more information on Project Skyline and the Mayor’s Challenge, visit our website.

 

Your Utah. Your Future. Take the Survey!

 

Envision Utah needs 50,000 Utahns like you to help make history and participate in the Your Utah Your Future project. Over the past few months, they have been using your input from the BUILD YOUR 2050 UTAH WEB APP and working with more than 400 task force members to create a survey to find out what you want Utah to be like in 2050.

Take a few seconds now and reserve your spot in the survey. Envision Utah will send you a link to the online survey when it goes live this spring.

Learn more about the Your Utah Your Future initiative below, or visit EnvisionUtah.org.

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Mayor Becker Issues Executive Order to Increase Energy Efficiency at City Facilities

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Today Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker issued an Executive Order designed to maximize superior energy management at all Salt Lake City facilities.

“We must lead by example,” said Mayor Becker. “By taking steps to actively monitor our energy use and improve the efficiency of city facilities, we will cut energy waste, improve air quality, protect our natural resources and ultimately save taxpayer dollars.”

The order, which establishes Salt Lake City among leading cities nationwide, creates a multi-department Energy Management Steering Committee and requires City facilities to develop annual Energy Management Plans and track results.

“Through this Executive Order, Mayor Becker again demonstrates his commitment to air quality and smart energy use,” said Sarah Wright, Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy. “Improving the efficiency of Salt Lake City municipal facilities is a fantastic way to showcase how local governments can save taxpayer dollars while simultaneously reducing pollution.”

Energy Management Plans will report on facilities’ progress utilizing best practices in energy management, including energy benchmarking, identification of energy-saving opportunities, requiring building energy efficiency training for facilities managers and operators, empowering employees to play an active role in cutting energy waste and improved transparency of facility energy performance.

The new Executive Order is a cornerstone of Project Skyline, an initiative designed to dramatically cut energy waste in Salt Lake City’s commercial buildings by accelerating investment in energy efficiency and raising public awareness of building performance. In 2014, Project Skyline kicked off with the Mayor’s Skyline Challenge, enlisting 20 businesses in a proactive effort to reduce building energy use. Learn more at SLCgov.com/ProjectSkyline.

A previous Executive Order issued by Mayor Becker in 2013 required all new City facilities achieve net-zero energy status (i.e. producing as much energy as they consume).