BY BRANDON GARSIDE
The Utah Energy Wise Communities project is an initiative of the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development and is funded by the United States Department of Energy. Local non-profit, Utah Clean Energy, served as the primary project facilitator. This innovative initiative was launched to reduce energy consumption, reduce energy costs, and improve resilience across an entire community. Ogden is the first community in the state to test this process that may be used to inform future projects with other Utah communities.
“The Energy Wise Strategic Implementation Plan is designed to enhance economic stability, protect our quality of life, and preserve Ogden’s rich natural environment,” Council Member Marcia White said, “We look forward to working in close collaboration with Ogden businesses, residents, and local nonprofits to help achieve our ambitious goals.”
The Plan serves as the strategy for Ogden City’s residents, businesses, and community and business organizations to follow to reduce energy consumption and improve community resilience. It outlines the steps needed for Ogden to save the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of about 11,670 average Utah homes, and the annual natural gas consumption of 1,026 average Utah homes, by 2025.
“This Plan relies on close collaboration among Ogden City government, area businesses, residents, local non-profits, institutions, other entities and is intended to result in a cost-savings for consumers and businesses,” Council Chair Angela Choberka said. “Implementing the strategies and actions outlined in this Plan will require coordinated community effort to bring us closer to meeting these impressive energy-saving goals.”
These ambitious energy reductions will be achieved through energy efficiency improvements, such as facility upgrades, and behavioral changes, such as changing heating and cooling controls. As a result, the Ogden community will achieve substantial cost and carbon-emission savings. It will also improve community resilience to natural hazards and other potential disruptions that could impact health, safety, and local economic well-being.
Business Sector Strategies
In Ogden, the business sector consumes over 70% of electricity and natural gas, despite residents making up 90% of utility customers. A small proportion of businesses consume most of the energy in Ogden, which means that there is a large opportunity for energy savings; if just a few businesses take action to reduce energy use, it will have a large impact.
Residential Sector Strategies
Ogden residents can also benefit greatly from energy efficiency—while the energy impact per household is comparatively small, energy cost-savings can reduce many Ogden families’ household energy expenditure and energy footprints.
Overall, Ogden’s community-wide energy consumption is typical of similarly sized cities in the Western United States. However, Ogden has an older building stock that presents an opportunity to increase efficiency and improve the resilience of buildings. The energy-savings goals adopted through this project will conserve energy and reduce utility costs for municipal facilities, area businesses, and Ogden residents. The structure of the goals within the three sectors vary but each goal will lead to energy savings and improved resilience of the Ogden community.
“We are grateful to all those involved in providing the essential guidance needed to develop this Plan, including the many community members who responded to surveys and attended community outreach meetings,” Chair Choberka added. “Ogden’s future is bright!”
This program will provide long-term energy savings for Ogden City, fewer emissions from more efficient buildings, and easier avenues for communities to work with state and local utilities. It is anticipated that this project will increase energy resiliency and create job opportunities in the Ogden community.
For more information and to read the Plan in its entirety, visit OgdenCity.com/EnergyWiseOgden.