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Mayor Becker Takes Action to Protect City Water Supply in Face of Climate Change Impacts

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Water conservation starts at home! Register for a free sprinkler check by calling 1-877-728-3420.

SALT LAKE CITY – Mayor Ralph Becker is working to protect Salt Lake City’s water supply in the face of another year of below average snow levels and spring run-off for Salt Lake City by declaring a Stage 1 Advisory in accordance with the Salt Lake City Water Shortage Contingency Plan. A Stage 1 Advisory calls for water customers to be watchful in regards to water use by avoiding overwatering and water waste.

The Salt Lake City Public Utilities Department is closely monitoring water supply levels and demand patterns to determine if further declarations are warranted. While the City’s current overall water supply is about 90 percent of normal, stream flows are very low, prompting the Stage 1 Advisory.

“This careful water management approach is part of our overall efforts to adapt to, and mitigate, the impacts of climate change that are already upon us,” said Mayor Becker. “Conservation, efficiency and sustainability guide how we approach all our goals for the City and I hope residents will join us in this effort.”

“Unfortunately, Salt Lake City is not immune to the realities of the climate change crisis and our recent below average snow fall is a clear sign of that. We are doing everything we can to address this problem for the short and long term.”

Mayor Becker has been actively working to address climate change at both the local and national level for many years.  In addition to implementing a wide array of cutting-edge sustainability practices in Salt Lake City, Mayor Becker also served on the White House Climate Change Task Force which developed recommendations for the federal government on mitigating the damage caused by climate change in local communities like Salt Lake City.

“Last year, we were able to carry over a portion of our water allocation and save it in our reservoirs in the event of another year of below average snowpack,” said Salt Lake City Public Utilities Director Jeff Niermeyer.  “This year’s snow levels mean that it is important to maintain that goal of reserving water for future need, should this pattern of low snow fall and runoff continue into next year.”

The Water Shortage Contingency Plan outlines five water shortage stages triggered by water supply levels, stream flows, and water demand. It also provides recommendations for actions within each stage aimed at reducing water demand to levels that reflect current supply and future water needs.

Public Utilities offers these simple recommendations for using less water:

  • Adjust sprinkler controllers to reflect the season and weather
  • Check sprinkler systems for broken or misaligned spray heads
  • Check indoor faucets and fixtures for leaks and repair promptly
  • Sign up for a free sprinkler check by calling 1-877-728-3420
  • Visit http://slcgardenwise.com/ for water-saving tips and landscape information

For more information on how to reduce water use or to view the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, visit www.slcgov.com/waterconservation or contact Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Manager at 801-483-6860 or stephanie.duer@slcgov.com.

SLCgreen director touts city’s efforts toward sustainability, meets with President Obama during Utah visit (FOX13 Story)

VickiFOX13

SLCgreen Director Vicki Bennett was recently profiled by FOX 13 News during President’s Obama’s visit to Utah. Click on the screenshot above to view the video. Here is the transcript:

SALT LAKE CITY — Vicki Bennett has been with Salt Lake City for 14 years, and she said this city in particular has been on the forefront of sustainability.

The word sustainability can mean different things to different people, but for Bennett and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s administration, it comes down a pretty basic concept.

She said: “How do we ensure we keep Salt Lake City the best we can, for now and for our children? We want people to want to continue to want to live here, we want a healthy environment.”

During Becker’s nearly two terms, Bennett has helped lead the mayor’s sustainability team by developing solar energy projects, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging local business owners to meet air quality and energy targets by evaluating their building’s energy use, setting energy-saving goals, and conducting energy-saving improvement projects.

“And what’s so exciting is that Salt Lake’s sustainability program, if you talk to our peers, is considered one of the top 10 in the nation, for a small city,” Bennett said.

Those efforts have also been noticed by leaders in Washington D.C.

Mayor Becker and President Barack Obama share a similar vision regarding sustainability, and it has helped them forge a strong, working relationship. Bennett said that in turn helps the effort back in Salt Lake City.

“He’s been able to get us a voice in the White House,” she said. “Because of that, we’ve been able to get funding for grants that a lot of cities aren’t even invited to apply for.”

Bennett knows there will soon be a new mayor but said she believes Salt Lake City’s advances in walkable housing, transportation, solar power and recycling are here to stay.

“We always have to be improving our environment, we always have to be ensuring we have healthy air to breathe, that we have water quality and water quantity for our residents,” she said.

Bennett was able to briefly meet President Obama Thursday night during his visit to Utah, and she said the honor gave everyone on their staff a renewed sense of determination to move forward with sustainability efforts.

Full story, including video, available at FOX13Now.com.

e2 Business Yearbook: 2014

Did you know that Salt Lake City maintains a network of local businesses committed to reducing their environmental impact? These green businesses belong to the e2 Business Program, a 100+ list of SLC businesses that are taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and seeing a positive return on their balance sheets.

The e2 program recently hosted their annual Members Night with Mayor Ralph Becker at Wasatch Brew Pub in Sugar House. At that event, they unveiled the 2014 e2 Business Yearbook, highlighting a year of standout initiatives and fantastic networking by SLC’s top businesses.

Check out the new e2 Business Yearbook for the full scoop!

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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).

Mayor Becker’s 2015 State of the City Address

Today Mayor Ralph Becker visited Whittier Elementary for the presentation of his 2015 State of the City Address.

Mayor Becker was joined by Whittier students from grades 3-6 and aimed his speech at these future leaders with a focus on themes including air quality, the outdoor environment, mobility, housing, economic prosperity and civility.

“When I spoke to the adults last year about air quality, they weren’t very good listeners,” quipped Mayor Becker. “So, I thought maybe talking with the kids about the important issues facing our city might help bring more positive progress.”

At last year’s State of the City address, which focused on air quality and called on the Utah Legislature and Governor to take five specific actions to address the issue, students from Whittier’s fourth grade ELP class attended and sang a song they’d written about cleaning the air.

“Since the class took transit and trudged through a big snowstorm last year to attend my State of the City speech, I thought the best way I could repay their effort and commitment this year was to bring the speech to them,” said Mayor Becker.

And to keep things interesting, throughout the State of the City Address Mayor Becker encouraged students to growl whenever he said “bear”, gave everyone a “wiggle break” halfway through the address and read out wishes that the students had written on slips of paper. Wishes ranged included several for cleaner air, that everyone would have a home, and that no child would go hungry.

Mayor Becker explored themes of fairness, education, mobility and access to transit, civility and environmental protection. To learn more about Mayor Becker’s Livability Agenda, please visit http://www.slcmayor.com/#home

The complete text of Mayor Becker’s 2015 State of the City speech can be viewed at http://goo.gl/bvGgL3.

Local Businesses to Host Mayor Becker for Four ‘Meet Up with the Mayor’ Visits on Saturday

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Mayor Ralph Becker invites residents to join him on Saturday, Oct. 4 for a visit and chat at any of the four great local businesses he’ll be visiting for his “Meet Up with the Mayor” stops.

Ralph wants to hear from residents about anything that’s on their minds and will be joined by Community Council leaders from the different neighborhoods he’s visiting. Have a question about a current City project? Want to bend Ralph’s ear on a concern? Or talk Ute football.

Mayor Becker will be hosted by a great sample of beloved Salt Lake City businesses including Bruges Waffles & Fries in Sugar House, Harmon’s Emigration Market in Yalecrest, Hatch Family Chocolates in the Avenues and Publik Coffee Roasters in the Ball Park District.

Stop by one of these great locations Saturday and “Meet Up with the Mayor”:

Bruges Waffles & Frites
2314 S. Highland Drive
10-11 a.m.

Harmon’s Emigration Market
1706 E. 1300 South
Noon-1 p.m.

Hatch Family Chocolates
376 8th Ave.
2-3 p.m.

Publik Coffee Roasters
976 S. West Temple
4-5 p.m.

Other great ways to stay in touch with Mayor Becker include connecting via social media, calling or dropping him an email. Here’s where to find Ralph:

Phone:                                801-535-7704

Email:                                 mayor@slcgov.com

Facebook:                          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mayor-Ralph-Becker/67917736349

Twitter:                               https://twitter.com/slcmayorsoffice

Instagram:                          http://instagram.com/slcmayorsoffice

Youtube:                            https://www.youtube.com/user/slcmayorsoffice

Project Skyline: September Recap

Congratulations to Mayor’s Skyline Challenge participant, University of Utah

Project Skyline congratulates the University of Utah and Energy Manager Jeff Wrigley for the national recognition they received for their commitment to energy efficiency from the U.S. Department of Energy. “The University’s efforts showcase strategies that can be replicated at similar buildings, institutions and facilities across America,” said Dave Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Read the full press release here.

September News

Project Skyline was pleased to be invited by Challenge Partner BOMA Utah to their September 4th lunch and learn.

ENERGY STAR introduced and demonstrated the core functionality of the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Attendees were able to learn more about the tool and engage in a more in depth discussion with ENERGY STAR leadership. Look out for information on future BOMA Utah educational events. Check out the webinar here.

Challenge partner USGBC Utah hosted a Project Skyline workshop on Efficiency Project Planning & Implementation Strategies on September 12th.

On Friday September 12th, Project Skyline hosted its first Mayor’s Skyline Challenge workshop with USGBC Utah. This workshop included a great line up of speakers that each offered their own expertise in the world of building energy efficiency, with plenty of opportunities to engage with the audience and lead the discussion.

Nexant offered an overview the energy efficiency project process, ETC Group presented their Top 10 energy efficiency strategies for existing buildings, and the University of Utah’s energy manager Jeff Wrigley presented a case study on efficiency improvements made to the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics.

This was an excellent start to the workshop series, and Mayor’s Skyline Challenge participants can expect future installments to offer just as much insight and engagement. Thanks again to USGBC Utah, Nexant, ETC Group and the University of Utah Facilities Management for sharing your expertise and forwarding building energy efficiency in the Salt Lake City community.

Project Skyline gets highlighted at national Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) annual meeting.

Salt Lake City Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett and Sustainability Program Manager Tyler Poulson were invited to the national USDN meeting to discuss how local governments can help to scale up energy efficiency and net zero energy buildings.

Please join us in welcoming our newest Challenge participant, Architectural Nexus. See their profile here.

Upcoming webinars hosted by national experts

September 24, 11:00-12:30 PM (MDT) – Portfolio Manager 201
Continue to learn about EPA’s new ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool, with a deeper dive into more advanced functionalities such as managing and tracking changes to your property uses over time, using spreadsheet templates to update property data, setting goals and targets to plan energy improvements for properties, generating and using custom reports, and using the Sustainable Buildings Checklist. Register

September 25, 2:00-3:30 PM (MDT) – Community-Based Social Marketing
This webinar will describe community-based social marketing as a behavior-based approach for developing energy-efficiency programs.  The webinar will begin with an overview of the five steps involved in developing and delivering a community-based social marketing program, including methods for prioritizing and selecting target behaviors, identifying barriers and benefits, leveraging behavior change tools, pilot testing, and evaluation.  Each presentation will also cover case studies of scalable programs that have successfully applied the community-based social marketing model or its components to promote energy-efficiency and conservation behaviors. Register

Upcoming Project Skyline educational events

October: Creating an Energy Action Plan hosted by Challenge partner ENERGY STAR

November: Commissioning and Retro-commissioning hosted by Challenge partner Rocky Mountain Power

Stay tuned for more information!

Thank you to the Challenge participants who have recently submitted 2013 baseline data. If you haven’t submitted the 2013 baseline data for your participating buildings yet, please visit this link to get started!