Salt Lake City wants your help to create a high-impact strategy to tackle energy waste and air pollution from the largest buildings across the city.
Buildings Impact Air Quality
Nearly 40% of our local air pollution on a typical winter day comes from emissions from our homes and buildings, according to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. Envision Utah projects that this percentage will exceed 60% by 2050, and the recent Your Utah Your Future statewide survey recommends retrofitting existing buildings to “significantly improve their energy efficiency” as a priority strategy to improve Utah’s air quality.
Additionally, buildings in Salt Lake City are responsible for 74% of the City’s carbon footprint, contributing to climate change.
Local air pollution is recognized as an urgent public health and economic development issue for Wasatch Front communities. In April 2016, Salt Lake City received an “F” ranking in the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report.
Salt Lake City is committed to leading initiatives to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect economic development across the city.
Energy Efficiency: A Strategy to Reduce Emissions
Increasing the energy efficiency of buildings is a proven, cost-effective way to reduce energy consumption and lower pollution emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program estimates that the typical commercial building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes simply through inefficient building operation and technologies. Making our buildings more efficient is a key strategy to help reduce local air pollution and carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. Investing in energy efficiency also creates good, local jobs. In fact, a recent U.S. Department of Energy analysis found that the energy efficiency industry is adding more jobs than any other energy sector.
Let Us Know What You Think
Based on input from local businesses and residents like you, Salt Lake City will consider a suite of new programs and policies to reduce the pollution that stems from commercial buildings.
As part of this process, the City is investigating a variety of actions based on what other leading cities across the nation have implemented. These best practices are outlined in the graphic and survey questions.
Take a look and let us know where you think we should focus our efforts. If you have an energy efficiency idea that’s not on the list, please suggest it. The survey will be available online until May 31, 2016. We look forward to your feedback!
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