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Salt Lake County Prioritizes 100% Net-Renewable Energy by Joining Community Renewable Energy Agency

Posted By Regional Development
December 08, 2021

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Many cities in Utah are pursuing adopting 100% net-renewable electricity by 2030. Salt Lake County is officially among them.

What is 100% Net-Renewable Energy?

"Net-100% renewable energy means purchasing the amount of electricity from renewable energy resources in equal amount to the electricity consumed in one year," Utah 100 Communities describes.

One-hundred percent net renewable doesn't get rid of fossil fuel use. All homes are still attached to the power grid and there will be times when power is from fossil fuel assets. But customers will be paying for 100% renewables.

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Why Salt Lake County is Joining a New Energy Agency

Utah 100 Communities is the first renewable energy program of its kind in the United States. Local governments are partnering with Rocky Mountain Power to buy net-100% renewable electricity for residents and business by 2030. 

Utah House Bill 411 created the Community Renewable Energy Program (CREA) in 2019. Since February 2020, it has met bi-monthly to build the electricity bulk-purchasing program for cities that join.

Salt Lake County has been involved since 2019 in this environmental sustainability effort and officially joined the new agency after the Salt Lake County Council approved an agreement in Fall 2021.

By joining, we will serve 11,000 residents living in unincorporated areas with renewable energy. Salt Lake County must contribute $24,000 to the program over two years and will have an elected board seat.

“The program shows Salt Lake County is committed to a clean energy future,” Michael Shea, Salt Lake County’s Sustainability Director, said. “It will help provide low cost and sustainable power to residents of unincorporated areas of the County.”

Other cities participating include Salt Lake City, Millcreek, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, and Kerns.

What it Means for Residents

During 2022 and 2023, the renewable energy agency will negotiate with Rocky Mountain Power and then submit a plan. Then, Salt Lake County Council will decide if it wants to adopt the ordinance. The public will be involved and notified of any coming changes to electric bills. When the time comes, residents will have the ability to opt out or move to the new renewable energy rate structure. 

Learn more about the Community Renewable Energy Program by contacting Michael Shea, Salt Lake County's Sustainability Director,  at mshea@slco.org or visiting https://www.utah100communities.org/.