Renewable Energy


HEAL Utah has a number of campaigns aimed at cleaning up our state’s fossil fuel heavy energy mix: our True Blue Sky campaign highlights Rocky Mountain Power’s dependence on dirty coal power, the eUtah Project studied renewable resources statewide and identified how Utah could be power by 100% renewables, and our Community Energy Choice campaign is a multi-year effort to make clean energy accessible to all Utahns.

Much of the rest of America is already well on its way to embracing renewables and energy efficiency. No fantasy there, just the reality of the 21st Century that Utah – and our elected officials – need to wake up and start acknowledging.

Along with growth in natural gas, the gap left by coal’s decline has been met by a sharp rise in renewables. More than 37 percent of new U.S. electricity in 2013 came from renewable energy sources, according to federal data. Our other neighbors are also proving that moving away from carbon polluting energy sources is possible. Let’s look at federal data from earlier this year on where our power comes from in the Mountain West. In Idaho, 23 percent of the electricity generated comes from renewables. In Colorado, 19 percent. Wyoming, 11 percent. Utah? 3.8 percent. A sad reality in a state blessed with bountiful wind, solar and geothermal resources.

Investing in renewable energy and energy efficient technologies will help clean our air, help our families stay healthy, and limit the toll of climate change. In addition, it can propel Utah into the ever-growing clean energy economy that our neighbors are taking advantage of.

Utah’s leaders must stop fighting the tide of shifting energy policies and put Utah on a path to embrace them. States across America are already moving away from coal power, and their electricity remains reliable and affordable.

Here in Utah, where we are blessed with abundant land and wind and solar resources, the sad truth is that our utility is even more dependent on polluting fossil fuels than the typical American one.

Despite a logo featuring wind towers, the awards their Blue Sky Program receives, and the many ways they repeatedly tout their alleged commitment to renewable energy, Rocky Mountain Power simply does not sell much renewably generated electricity to Utahns. It’s a company that is good at seeming green – without being so. Check out our True Blue Sky page for more!

According to the company’s own data in its planning documents filed with the state of Utah, the mix of electricity that Rocky Mountain Power sells its customers today is 65 percent coal, 10 percent natural gas, 7 percent hydro, 8 percent market purchases (nearly all natural gas power it buys during peak demand times) and a grand total of around 10 percent renewables, nearly all of that wind.

Another way to crunch our electricity mix is even more unfavorable to Rocky Mountain Power. If you look at power made here in Utah – which includes not just our main utility’s facilities, but some others’ as well – Utah has the worst record in the West. Just 3.8 percent of the power made in Utah comes from wind, solar and geothermal, according to federal data. That’s way behind Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and Mexico. In the states that border Utah, 11 to 23 percent of the generated electricity comes from renewables.

HEAL is working hard to convince Utah’s elected officials and our dominant utility to embrace renewables. However, we need your help to be successful. Click here to sign up for action alerts and get involved!

Recent Posts about Renewable Energy…

NEWS: Rocky Mountain Power, other parties defend plan to raise Utah power bills to pay for solar power

Emma Penrod
Salt Lake Tribune

State regulators have the future of Utah’s solar power industry in their hands — and, possibly, the future of your household electric bill — after a brief Monday hearing.

In public testimony early Monday, a representative of Rocky Mountain Power warned it could walk away from a long-sought settlement some believe could save the state’s growing solar industry — if the Public Service Commission changed key terms of the agreement.

“Adopting any of the proposed modifications would compromise the integrity of the [settlement], and the diligent effort of the signing parties to reach this agreement,” said Joelle Steward, the company’s director of rates and regulatory affairs.


To read more, click here.


NEWS: State utility commission weighs approval of rooftop solar agreement

Amy Joi O'Donoghue
Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The three-member Public Service Commission is weighing a proposed agreement on rooftop solar between Rocky Mountain Power and a consortium of diverse groups, including the Utah Solar Energy Association, state Office of Consumer Services and top solar companies.

Commission members heard testimony and had a chance to ask questions during a Monday hearing, which also included comments from Western Resource Advocates and other opponents of the agreement. The deal was reached in August after years of negotiation.

The commission agreed to take the matter under advisement and said it would issue a decision within a "reasonable" amount of time.


To read more, click here.


NEWS: Settlement would let Rocky Mountain Power charge nonsolar customers to pay for rooftop solar power

 Salt Lake Tribune
September 11, 2017

Utah’s Rocky Mountain Power customers could end up paying more directly for power generated by their neighbors’ solar panels, under the terms of the company’s recent settlement with the solar industry.

The settlement has been praised for preserving, at least for now, most of the financial credits that customers with rooftop solar arrays receive from Rocky Mountain Power when they generate surplus electricity.

Solar industry leaders and other clean-energy advocates cut the compromise deal with the state’s largest utility in an effort to replace an earlier Rocky Mountain Power proposal. Advocates feared that plan to introduce a three-part billing structure for solar households had the potential to halt the industry’s growth.

But the fine print of the new agreement — which hinges on how solar residential customers get reimbursed under what is called “net metering” — also includes a provision letting Rocky Mountain Power to pay those power credits with money raised by increasing the power bills of all Utahns.


Read more here.



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