- Increase energy conservation and efficiency.
- Transition to natural gas and renewable sources as coal is phased out due to environmental regulations.
- Expand use of renewable energy sources but not to a point where energy storage for renewables dramatically increases cost.
- Promote economic development and self-sufficiency by expanding responsible development of fossil fuel and renewable energy sources.
This vision, created by Utahns, for Utahns, establishes a clear context, framework, and direction for policy discussions and actions to achieve the future Utahns want. Although government will play an important role, Utahns recognize that achieving the vision will also require a concerted, cooperative effort by individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations in the private sector.
1. Continue to encourage and expand conservation and energy-efficiency measures.
- Encourage people to conserve energy by turning off lights, unplugging appliances, turning down thermostats, etc.
- Reduce the amount of heat that is lost or gained through windows, doors, roofs, and walls.
- Improve energy efficiency of features in homes and businesses, including:
- Lighting fixtures and controls.
- Heating and air conditioning systems.
- Water heating systems.
- Provide incentives to residential, business, and industrial consumers to take greater conservation and energy-efficiency measures.
2. Continually implement, revise, and update the state’s strategic energy plan.
- Continue to develop a broad and balanced mix of energy sources that makes use of Utah’s many resources.
- Integrate and optimize approaches to balancing energy production and demand.
- Address the integration of distributed electricity production (generated at the site of use) and utility-scale production (generated on a larger scale for utility buyers).
3. As power companies use less coal due to environmental regulations, continue to transition to cleaner-burning natural gas to provide the base load.
- Pursue economic development opportunities to mitigate the negative economic impacts of transitioning away from coal.
- Explore technology improvements that allow coal to be used in environmentally sensitive ways.
4. Encourage the development of utility-scale renewable energy resources (wind, solar, geothermal, etc.) where appropriate based on cost and location.
5. Continue to encourage private investment in distributed renewable energy generation (e.g., using solar or other technologies to power homes or businesses), and find fair and appropriate ways to pay public infrastructure costs.
6. Explore storage options for both distributed and utility-scale energy generation.
- Pursue energy storage if it can be done economically.
- Encourage technology improvements that reduce the cost of energy storage.
7. As neighborhoods, towns, and cities grow with the increase in population, plan ahead and preserve corridors and sites that will be needed for future infrastructure, including electrical transmission lines, pipelines, etc.
- Use population projections and growth trends to determine where development is likely to occur and how much demand for energy there will be.
8. Develop one or more net-zero pilot communities to test the functionality and economic impact of having communities with greatly reduced energy needs.
- Find an acceptable location to develop such a community.
- Design a community with strong environmental attributes and distributed energy resources.
- Build homes with built-in and integrated rooftop solar, battery storage, high-efficiency HVAC, and fast electric-vehicle charging.
- Include maximum energy efficiency techniques and equipment.
- Use low-water landscaping.
- Include community solar and battery storage as part of community design.
- Develop the net-zero community as a mixed-use center, reducing travel demand; increasing access to jobs, shopping, and amenities; and providing alternative modes of transportation.