Utah Energy Efficiency Strategy Released to Governor and Utah Lawmakers
Dianne Nielson, Governor Jon Huntsman's Energy Advisor, today accepted recommendations on the Governor's behalf for new policies and programs to increase energy efficiency that could save consumers and businesses in Utah more than $7 billion. Implementation of these recommendations statewide would reinforce the energy efficiency goal established by the Governor in April 2006, to increase energy efficiency statewide 20 percent by 2015. These and other findings are part of the Utah Energy Efficiency Strategy released today by a team of researchers under the leadership of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and Utah Clean Energy (UCE).
"The Utah Energy Efficiency Strategy provides a blueprint for achieving enormous energy savings, substantial economic benefits and reduced pollutant emissions," Governor Huntsman said. "It demonstrates that aggressively pursuing energy efficiency is a winning strategy for Utah's citizens, businesses, government and environment. I look forward to partnering with lawmakers to help reap these savings."
The Utah Energy Efficiency Strategy consists of 23 policy options for reducing electricity, natural gas, gasoline, or diesel fuel consumption through greater energy efficiency. The options include expanding utility energy efficiency programs, upgrading building energy codes, adopting clean car standards for new cars and light trucks, and using energy pricing to encourage reduced energy demand. The Strategy covers diverse segments of Utah's economy such as construction, industry, local and state governments and the general public. Eleven of the policy options are designated highest priority.
"The Utah Energy Efficiency Strategy shows that energy efficiency is a major energy resource, even in an energy-producing state with relatively low energy prices," said Dianne Nielson, Governor Huntsman's Energy Advisor. "It makes sense to maximize energy efficiency in our homes, workplaces, and vehicles."
"Utah's aggressive energy efficiency Strategy serves as an example of how environmental protection and economic savings can go hand in hand" said Bob Meyers, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air & Radiation.
"By implementing the policies in the Utah Energy Efficiency Strategy, it is possible to increase the efficiency of the main forms of energy consumed in state 20 percent by 2015 thereby achieving Gov. Huntsman's ambitious goal. Doing so would save over 3 billion gallons of water per year by 2015, reduce emissions contributing to global warming, and save consumers and businesses billions of dollars," said Howard Geller, Executive Director of SWEEP and lead author of the Strategy.
"Given the tremendous and wide-ranging benefits, we urge policymakers in Utah to make a strong commitment to increasing energy efficiency," noted Sarah Wright, Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy and co-author of the report.
The Utah Energy Efficiency Strategy was prepared by researchers from SWEEP, UCE, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the Intermountain CHP Center. Funding was provided by the Energy Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Governor's Office.
The Utah Energy Efficiency Strategy is available on the UCE website at www.utahcleanenergy.org, the SWEEP website at www.swenergy.org/pubs/ and the Governor's Energy Policy website at www.energy.utah.gov.
About SWEEP: The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is a public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, see www.swenergy.org.
About Utah Clean Energy: Utah Clean Energy works to speed the transition to a cleaner, safer, more sustainable energy future in Utah. For more information, see www.utahcleanenergy.org.