Gov. Huntsman Sets Energy-Efficient Goals for State
John Daley and Jon Dunn
April 26th, 2006
Leaders in energy-efficiency, Governor Huntsman set that lofty goal today for Utah homes, businesses and the state. He did it with a plan that would make Utah a national model.
The government of Utah currently spends $60 million dollars a year on energy for its buildings and fuel for its vehicles. But a new energy world is unfolding, from renewables to energy efficiency, and the governor wants Utah to be ahead of the pack.
It's a problem -- rising energy prices, like natural gas to heat your home or gasoline for the family car -- but it's also an opportunity. That's the message today. At one of the state's most energy-efficient buildings, wearing a green tie, Governor Jon Huntsman unveiled a broad new conservation plan.
Gov. Jon Huntsman, (R) Utah: "It is good policy economically. It is good policy environmentally."
The ambitious 10-point plan calls for advanced energy-efficient building design standards for future state buildings; new standards for the state's 2000 existing buildings, including energy efficient lighting, electricity, gas and water; a review of public schools, looking for energy savings there; fuel efficient vehicles, such as compressed natural gas and hybrids; more natural gas fuel stations, a priority for new state facilities built near light rail and commuter rail lines; and programs to install on-site renewable energy systems.
All of that is aimed at a lofty goal of a 20% decrease in Utah's energy use by the year 2015.
Sarah Wright, Executive Director, Utah Clean Energy: "No other state has embraced the western governor's association 20% by 2020 goal. And Utah is striving to meet it by 2015. So it is a huge step for Utah."
Beverly Miller, Executive Director, Utah Clean Cities: "I'm thrilled to think that we not only have a fairly well thought out, visionary plan, but a way to make it happen."
The hope is the plan will drive energy-efficiency in homes, businesses and industry too, and save money.
Dr. Laura Nelson, State Energy Advisor: "I think that the savings are going to significantly outweigh the costs."
With concerns over US dependence on a troubled, but oil-rich region, or pollution fueling global climate change, the governor says energy-efficiency is just good policy.
Gov. Huntsman: "I think we can all contribute to that, which goes into the environment that somehow impacts what many of the experts believe to be a changing climate. And I think this policy speaks to that issue pretty well."
The governor's plan is similar to the one Salt Lake City has implemented. The city is saving more than 80-thousand dollars a year just by switching to energy efficient light bulbs. So these measure can save both energy and money.
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