It’s 2020 already and we can hardly believe it! Salt Lake City finished out 2019 strong alongside 19 communities that opted into the Community Renewable Energy Act’s pathway to achieve net-100% renewable energy.
But that’s not all SLCgreen got up to in 2019. It was a busy year, and as a community, we have taken major strides in accomplishing our goals. See our full 2019 Year in Review here and read below for a few of the major highlights.
Thanks to all our partners in City government, other government agencies, non-profit associations, neighborhood groups, business partners, and community councils, we are continuing to make SLC more sustainable and resilient.
You can take a look at the 2017 and 2018 reports to see what we’ve been working on over the last few years. Before we set our sights on 2020, here are a few highlights from 2019!
Air Quality, Climate Change & Energy
After a three-year collaboration with Park City, Summit County, Rocky Mountain Power, and the state legislature, we successfully saw passage of House Bill 411 the “Community Renewable Energy Act” in the 2019 legislative session. The law establishes a legal pathway for communities with 100% clean energy goals to achieve them in collaboration with Rocky Mountain Power.
Expanded public EV charging infrastructure, increasing the total number of city-owned EV charging ports to 38, plus 16 at the airport.
With Utah Clean Energy, launched “Empower SLC,” a neighborhood energy efficiency program targeting the 84116 and 84104 neighborhoods to improve energy efficiency and conservation measures that reduce pollution and lower utility costs. As of September, over 450 households have been engaged, resulting in an estimated savings of 335,353 kWh per year!
Developed an energy after-school curriculum for youth groups and created a new partnership with YouthCity on programming for the Fall 2019 programs. This resulted in the adoption of “energy” as the central theme of their Science Fair.
Hosted the Elevate Buildings awards luncheon, recognizing first-year reporting commercial buildings with ENERGY STAR scores 75 and above and Mayoral recognition of exceptional performers.
Air quality, air quality, air quality…will we ever stop talking about it? Until our air is consistently clean and no longer putting our health and economy at risk, probably not.
Talking about air pollution is important to us here at
SLCgreen, not only because of how harmful it is to our health but also because
of how expensive it is.
Let’s face it: bad air is damaging our economy. And not just in Utah. Air pollution in the U.S. costs the nation at least $131 billion in damages annually, including higher healthcare costs. Globally, the cost of pollution-related death, sickness, and welfare is $4.6 trillion per year, which is about 6.2% of the global economy.
Let’s talk about why that is and what can be done about it.
We’re excited to report that the United States Conference of Mayors honored Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, recognizing Salt Lake City efforts to move towards the city’s Climate Positive goals.
Check out the press release below for more details!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2019
Salt Lake City receives prestigious
recognition of climate achievements at U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting
Today at its annual conference, the United States Conference of Mayors recognized Mayor Jackie Biskupski for her leadership to advance renewable energy and tackle climate change. Presented at the “Climate Luncheon,” Mayor Biskupski was recognized for Salt Lake City’s efforts to transition to net-100 percent clean electricity, which made significant strides in 2019 with the passage and enactment of HB 411, the Community Renewable Energy Act.
Did you see the news about Salt Lake City’s grand opening of Fire Station 3 last week?
We are thrilled our fire crews have a new home base from which to work, rest, and recover.
Station 3 is the second Net Zero fire station in the country behind Station No. 14, and Salt Lake City is home to the only two Net Zero energy fire stations in the U.S!
Net Zero means the Station will produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. It’s also expected to become certified as LEED Gold, which means it meets a range of holistic sustainability benchmarks, including material management, waste diversion, water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and more.
Salt Lake City’s internal Comprehensive Sustainability Policy (6.01.02) specifies that all new municipal construction should be evaluated to meet Net Zero energy standards (if over 10,000 square feet), as well as LEED Gold.
Station 3 is one example of Salt Lake City’s commitment to sustainability, as well as the 100 percent renewable-energy goal described in our Climate Positive 2040 plan. The thoughtful design features are anticipated to result in long-term environmental and economic benefits for our city and the surrounding areas. Read more
Salt Lake City celebrated the opening of our newest community garden yesterday!
This is the SEVENTH community garden created through the SLC’s Green City Growers program which began in 2013. The program converts City-owned land into vegetable gardens that are managed by the non-profit Wasatch Community Gardens. Community gardens create solutions for sustainable food production in an urban landscape.
Our newest garden is in the Gateway District which is quickly becoming the densest neighborhood in Utah. Demand for open space and “room to grow” is paramount.
On Tuesday, media representatives and residents joined Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, CEO of Rocky Mountain Power Cindy Crane, Director of Parks & Public Lands Kristin Riker, and the Wasatch Community Gardens Executive Director Ashley Patterson, for the celebration.
We’d like to thank the many people and organizations who made this vision become a reality! Read more
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
– – – – –
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
Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski and a coalition of U.S. mayors joined with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign in a new effort to engage and recruit mayors to endorse a goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy in cities throughout the country.
The initiative, “Mayors for 100% Clean Energy,” is led by Mayor Biskupski; Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin; and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The mayors function as co-chairs of the effort.
Salt Lake City announced its 100 percent goal last July when the Mayor and City Council passed a joint resolution establishing the goals of transitioning the community’s electricity supply to 100 percent clean energy by 2032, followed by an overall reduction of community greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2040. Read more
Mayor Jackie Biskupski commemorated the first season of the new Liberty Wells Community Garden on 1700 South and 700 East in a press conference with Wasatch Community Gardens and local gardeners on Tuesday, August 30th.
As the latest addition to Salt Lake City’s Green City Growers program, the Liberty Wells Garden is run by the non-profit Wasatch Community Gardens on city-owned land and provides plots for 44 gardeners to grow vegetables.
“Liberty Wells neighbors, including some of our newest resident refugee families, have come together to share knowledge and friendship, which produced this beautiful and sustainable garden,” Mayor Biskupski said. “We have put vacant land to good use while improving the community and good will at the same time.”
The Liberty Wells Garden broke ground in April, after site selection and approval from the city. The plot now has 44 gardeners, with a wait list of 29.
“We’ve been amazed to see the enthusiasm and positive energy put forth by the gardeners who make up our new Liberty Wells Community Garden,” said Ashley Patterson, Executive Director of Wasatch Community Gardens.
Britt Vanderhoof spends hours at the Liberty Wells garden each week. “As an avid gardener, I’ve enjoyed the health benefits of eating fresh, organic, locally grown food. But as much as I love the taste of food fresh from the garden, I have enjoyed even more seeing the community around the Liberty Wells Community Garden come together to help grow this amazing garden into what it is today.”