Promote the use of alternative fuel sources.
Alternative fuels produce less air pollution than traditional petroleum-based fuels.
Tool: Improve network of charging stations
In recent years, electric vehicle sales have jumped tremendously. In 2014, approximately 119,710 electric vehicles were sold in the United States, representing a 23% increase from 2013 and 128% from 2012.[i] Although electric vehicle sales represented less than one percent of car sales in 2014, in just a few years, their availability, reliability, and affordability has greatly increased and should continue to do so.
- Electric Vehicle charging station program, California. http://www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/newsdetails/index.page%3Ftitle%3D20150209_pge_proposes_major_build-out_of_electric_vehicle_charging_stations
- Private business receives federal funding for charging stations, Salt Lake City. Utah Paperbox (UPB) in Salt Lake City installed five electric vehicle charging stations. UPB worked in a partnership with Utah Clean Cities and received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to support the station installation. http://www.afdc.energy.gov/case/1569
Tool: Improve network of alternative fuels available (CNG, EG).
Car buyers who are considering purchasing low-emission vehicles might be deterred from doing so because of a shortage of fueling stations that provide alternative fuels. Increasing the supply of alternative fuels in Provo will make owning low-emission vehicles easier and help clean our air.
- Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Expansion resource report. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/55640.pdf
Provide incentives and resources for improving energy efficiency in buildings.
People are demanding more energy efficient homes and buildings.[ii] However, improving energy efficiency can be a daunting task. Assisting Provo’s residents and businesses in meeting their energy goals will help clean our air.
Tool: Encourage installation of best available technology to attain the highest efficiency standards on new homes/buildings and remodels with incentives.
While many households and businesses are interested in reducing energy use and saving money, they lack the resources to do so.
- List of federal and state energy incentive programs that apply in Utah. http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program?state=UT
- Wattsmart Residential Efficiency Program Rocky Mountain Power https://www.rockymountainpower.net/res/sem/utah.html
- Wattsmart Business Efficiency Program Rocky Mountain Power https://www.rockymountainpower.net/bus/se/utah.html
- Wattsmart New Homes Program Rocky Mountain Power https://www.rockymountainpower.net/res/sem/utah/esnh.html
- ThermWise Business Program http://www.thermwise.com/business/BusinessRebates.php
- Geothermal heat pump tax incentives. http://www.climatemaster.com/commercial-taxes
- Lighting and HVAC upgrades result in $7,000 savings, Melbourne, Australia. The Ross House building, which houses mostly nonprofits, undertook a lighting upgrade and replaced its heating and cooling system, cutting its energy use by 37 percent. “That sliced $7,000 off the building’s energy bills each year, and helped the building achieve a respectable four out of six stars in Australia’s NABERS system for measuring the environmental performance of buildings.”
Tool: Calculate the energy efficiency of homes and buildings.
Understanding energy problems in a building is the first step to improving energy efficiency.
- The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index is the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance. The HERS Index Score can be described as a sort of miles-per-gallon (MPG) sticker for houses, giving prospective buyers and homeowners an insight as to how the home ranks in terms of energy efficiency. In addition to a HERS Index Score, a home energy rating also provides the homeowner with a detailed report regarding energy problems in the house.
Tool: Implement smart meters.
A smart meter is an electronic device that records electric energy consumption in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information back to the utility company daily for monitoring and billing. This allows for more accurate billing and better consumer information regarding how much energy a household is using and how much it is costing them. By helping households realize exactly how much energy they are consuming and how much it is costing them, many may realize that they can cut back on certain energy uses to save money and reduce unnecessary consumption.
- National Rollout of smart meters, United Kingdom. “By the end of 2020, around 50 million smart meters will be fitted in over 26 million households across Wales, Scotland and England.” http://www.smartenergygb.org/national-rollout
Implement the most current building energy efficiency standards.
Implementation of the most recent building energy efficiency standards would reduce the amount of home emissions and thus help clean our air.[iii]
Tool: Encourage the state to implement most current building energy code.
The building code is directed by the state government. Informing state lawmakers on the benefits of energy efficient building standards is key to lower building emissions.
Tool: Encourage the installation of high efficiency, low emissions appliances.
An ultra-low NOx water heater produces up to 75% less pollution than a low-NOx water heater. Most ultra-low NOx water heaters cost about $70 more than the low NOx, and $150 more for Energy Star rated models. Ultra-low NOx furnaces are not yet commercially available, but may be in the next few years.
- Code requiring high-efficiency water heaters, California. Residential water heaters must by ultra-low NOx in California. http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2013standards/prerulemaking/documents/current/Reports/Residential/Water_Heating/2013_CASE_WH2.WH5_WaterHeaterReady-10.28.2011.pdf
- Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program, Australia. The CBD program, as part of the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010, “requires energy efficiency information to be provided in most cases when commercial office space of 2000 square meters or more is offered for sale or lease. … An informed market rewards better performing buildings. It creates a strong market-based incentive for owners to improve their properties with cost-effective energy efficient upgrades that are attractive to buyers and tenants and increase return on investment.” http://cbd.gov.au/overview-of-the-program/what-is-cbd#Q3
Develop an Energy Board Sustainability Plan with an emphasis on air.
The Energy Board has a key role to play in cleaning our air, and it has expertise how to make an impact. Consider the roles you might fulfill in cleaning the air and develop a departmental plan for sustainability with an emphasis on air quality. Develop a method for tracking and measuring progress, and a process for annual review.