SLCgreen is excited to welcome Christopher Thomas to our team as the new Senior Energy & Climate Program Manager!
Christopher brings with him a unique blend of experience in clean energy policy, regulatory engagement, advocacy, non-profit leadership, energy efficiency, data science, and more.
He previously worked with the Sierra Club, HEAL Utah, the energy efficiency firm ETC Group, Salt Lake County, and more. He holds a B.A. in English and Biology from Grinnell College and a Master’s Degree in Information Systems from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business.
His is an important role for the Sustainability Department and the City as a whole, as the lead staffer (see our farewell post to his predecessor Tyler Poulson) on many of Salt Lake City’s climate initiatives. Learn more by visiting the Climate Positive SLC plan.
Christopher has already hit the ground running and we’re thrilled to put his expertise to work!
His main responsibilities include:
Bringing new clean energy projects online to meet Salt Lake City’s municipal power needs
Collaborating with our electric utility Rocky Mountain Power, other 100% clean energy communities, state leaders, businesses, and regulatory authorities to move forward Salt Lake City’s community-wide clean energy goals
Partnering with city departments and divisions to reduce municipal energy use and pollution through cleaner fleets, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects
Creating programs and partnerships to reduce the City’s fossil fuel footprint
In July, we said goodbye to long-time program manager Bridget Stuchly who launched and ran our local food programs for 11 years. In August, we welcomed new team member Supreet Gill. Then, last week, we moved offices from the first floor to the fourth floor in the City County Building.
Today we eat the last donut with our co-worker Tyler Poulson, who’s been with SLCgreen since 2013. He and his wife are moving out of state.
We’re a tight team at SLCgreen and while we hate to see our co-workers go (even though we know it’s for new and exciting chapters), it does give us an opportunity to reflect on all they’ve done and how our community has been shaped by their service.
Salt Lake City is excited to host the Solar Power International (SPI) Conference this week, running from September 23-26th. The conference focuses on all things clean energy, bringing together companies and professionals involved in the industry to engage with each other about solar energy and its development.
The SPI Conference was first hosted in 2004, and has since grown alongside the growing solar industry. The conference provides a time and place for those involved in the progression of solar energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage to exchange ideas, share knowledge, and create connections within the industry.
Mayor Biskupski will be participating in the conference, discussing the state of solar in our city and our ambitious carbon plan, Climate Positive SLC.
Other SLCgreen staff will be participating on panel discussions and attending the series of events.
Organized by the Utah Climate Action Network, Utah Clean Energy, and Salt Lake City, Climate Week will provide an inspiring opportunity for community members to learn of the risks and breakthrough solutions to climate change.
Mayor Biskupski will offer opening remarks on our Climate Positive goals and SLCgreen team member Tyler Poulson will participate on the panel discussing what cities in Utah are doing to transition to clean energy. Other panelists include HEAL Utah, the Sierra Club, and Rocky Mountain Power. Utah Clean Energy will moderate the discussion.
On Monday, the Governor’s Office of Energy Development issued news that a significant agreement had been reached between parties previously at odds over how to move forward with rooftop solar development in Utah.
The main point of contention was how to compensate rooftop solar owners for the excess electricity they sell back to the utility. In November 2016, Rocky Mountain Power proposed a change in their rate structure that could make it more difficult for homeowners to afford solar panels.
Because Salt Lake City is committed to advancing clean energy and supports the growth in rooftop solar, we opposed the proposed changes to the rate structure. In other states, notably Nevada, where similar changes have taken effect, the solar industry has imploded.
At about the same time, the Governor’s Office of Energy Development stepped in, outside of the formal Public Service Commission process, to try and broker an agreement on this thorny issue. Read more
In 2014, SLCgreen released an analysis of the average energy consumption per household in Utah. We saw that the average household burns 17 pounds of coal, 208 cubic feet of natural gas, and 3 gallons of gasoline per day!
To follow-up on that report, today, we’re unveiling a bigger-picture overview of the fossil fuel consumption for Salt Lake City as a whole. Below you will find the infographic developed by Salt Lake City and the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance.
It clearly shows the flow of money from Salt Lake City to outside states and countries that produce fossil fuels.
This information really puts into perspective the importance of managing individual consumption and reducing energy waste, while enacting the best policies and regulations to help our businesses, residents, and government entities do the same.
Wouldn’t it be better if the $804 million we spend annually on polluting fuels stayed in Utah? Better yet, what if it was invested in clean energy?
Investing in clean energy in Salt Lake City is exactly what the Climate Positive initiative is all about. Click here to learn more about how Salt Lake City is working to cut off its dependence on fossil fuels over the next few decades.