The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection agency joined Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker at the downtown Library today to challenge local businesses and institutions to save money and reduce pollution by consuming less energy.
In his state of the city address earlier this year, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker highlighted some ways his administration plans to tackle the region’s poor air quality. One of those actions is a city-wide program to track how much energy large commercial buildings are using and provide building owners assistance in completing energy efficiency upgrades. Enter: The Mayor’s Skyline Challenge. It’s a multi-year competition that encourages building owners to work toward cutting city-wide building energy use 15 percent by 2020.
“Three quarters of the buildings standing today in Salt Lake City will be a part of our city skyline for many decades to come. This means that energy improvements made today will have positive energy air quality impacts long into the future. It’s a win for Salt Lake City businesses and residents.”
Gina McCarthy is administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. City officials praised the EPA for establishing the Energy Star program, which provides support to businesses and individuals looking to cut energy waste.
McCarthy says energy efficiency is one of the most cost effective opportunities to make businesses more competitive, improve air quality and save money.
“And we know that healthy communities attract investment, they attract businesses and they bring more jobs. Environmental health promotes economic health.”
Several businesses and organizations have already signed on to the challenge, including Hotel Monaco and the Salt Lake City School District.
Participants will receive educational resources and assistance from Salt Lake City.
The Challenge is a partnership between Salt Lake City, Rocky Mountain Power, Questar Gas, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Utah, US Green Building Council and Utah Clean Energy.