Being environmentally friendly on Earth Day was marked by electric vehicle (EV) charging stations being unveiled in Salt Lake City and signage of the landmark Community Renewable Energy Act.
Rep. Steve Handy, SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Moab, Park City, Summit County council members, Rocky Mountain Power, and other local organizations and government groups celebrated the signing of House Bill 411 on Monday.
HB411 is the first-of-its-kind law in the country that enables next steps towards a net-100% renewable electricity portfolio by 2030 for Utah communities.
The new law authorizes future regulatory filings at the Utah Public Service Commission that will define rules, rates, and expectations for the community renewable energy program.
Biskupski said in a prepared statement:
House Bill 411 is groundbreaking legislation, not just for our state, but for the country. It also represents the biggest breakthrough ever in Salt Lake City’s pursuit of clean energy. Powering all of our homes and businesses with renewable energy by 2030 will cut our community carbon footprint in half and create a replicable roadmap for others across the country.
Salt Lake City, Park City, Summit County, and Moab have all committed to transitioning to a net-100% renewable electricity portfolio within the next decade.
Eight new EV charging ports located at 500 South near the Leonardo, the Regional Athletic Complex, and the Mountain Dell Golf Course was unveiled, which now brings the total to 38 charging ports across Utah's Capitol City plus two dozen at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Pursuing large-scale clean energy developments, as enabled through HB411, and incentivizing the increased adoption of electric vehicles are both critical strategies for municipalities in reducing carbon emissions and clearing the air.
Level 2 EV charging stations operated by the city are free to use thanks to a fee waiver approved by Biskupski and the city council in early 2018.
Rocky Mountain Power will facilitate the transition to a net-100% renewable electricity portfolio and the utility will continue to provide all of its standard services for customers, a press release stated.
Gary Hoogeveen, Rocky Mountain Power CEO, said HB 411 represents the next step in more than three years of collaboration with Utah communities. He added:
We look forward to continuing our partnership with these Utah cities and counties to help power their greatness and achieve their community goals.
The financial costs and benefits of the program will be isolated to participating communities so that no costs are shifted to other utility customers. Additionally, individual customers in participating communities have the ability to stay on standard Rocky Mountain Power rates through an opt-out process after the program is established, the news release said.
A handful of other air quality bills were also signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert.
Click here to get FAQs about the Community Renewable Energy Act.