The Salt Lake City Sustainability Department and Utah Clean Energy have teamed up with the International Rescue Committee, Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services and YouthCity Government in an effort to empower Salt Lake City’s West Side neighborhoods with the tools to reduce pollution while saving energy and money. The partnership, known as Empower SLC, is being launched with a $200,000 contibution from Salt Lake City and will be managed by Utah Clean Energy.

“Energy efficiency is often the unsung hero of clean air and a healthy climate,” said Kevin Emerson, energy efficiency program director at Utah Clean Energy. “When you save energy at home, you reduce pollution. Now consider the possibilities when we save energy throughout our entire community. Small steps in energy efficiency can make a big impact on air quality and climate solutions. We are thrilled to bring this pilot program to West Side Salt Lake City and make a positive impact in so many lives.”

The new organization has published a list of energy-saving actions people can take. The list is available in PDF form at the group’s website

“As we move to a cleaner and more sustainable energy system, we need to make sure the benefits are reaching all members of our community,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “Empower SLC is just the beginning of our work to help residents and businesses save money on their energy bills, make their homes and buildings more comfortable, and improve indoor air quality — all while also reducing pollution.”

Empower SLC’s outreach efforts are spearhead by the Energy Ambassadors, three local organizations already serving the 84104 and 84116 neighborhoods, which includes Glendale, Poplar Grove, Rose Park and other West Side communities. Energy Ambassadors include the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Salt Lake County Aging & Adult Services and YouthCity Government.  These Energy Ambassadors will incorporate energy efficiency tools and education into their existing community programs.

“International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps refugees survive, recover and gain control of their future,” said Josh Lloyd, acting deputy director and Energy Ambassador. “We already do home visits with our refugee clients, so it makes perfect sense to partner with Empower SLC to provide LED installations and training to these community members while we are there.” 

Empower SLC hopes to accomplish the following in targeted ZIP codes over a two-year time period:

• Increase uptake of household energy-efficiency actions among Salt Lake City community members.

• Drive participation in energy-efficiency programs designed for multi-family residential buildings by engaging property managers within the target area.

• Encourage local schools within the targeted ZIP codes to participate in Rocky Mountain Power’s “Be Wattsmart, Begin at Home” program.

• Provide education to small businesses and building owners and managers to increase understanding of the economic, comfort and air quality benefit of energy efficiency while connecting them with utility programs.

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