OGDEN — Ogden City is in the beginning stages of an effort that officials say will reduce energy consumption across all sectors of the city.
With help from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Utah Office of Energy Development and Utah Clean Energy, the city’s “Energy Wise Ogden” program will focus on three subsections of the Ogden community: municipal operations, businesses and residential areas.
As part of the plan, the city wants to decrease electricity and natural gas consumption by 5% by 2025 across all of its municipal facilities, which include things like city-owned buildings, police and fire stations and maintenance centers. Shelby Stults, a community program coordinator with Utah Clean Energy, said the reduction would be based on city-wide consumption totals from 2018.
The plan also calls for the city to work to increase total annual business participation in energy efficiency programs by 5% by 2025, compared to the same 2018 baseline, and to increase energy efficiency upgrades to residential properties by 25% and increase participation in low-income efficiency programs by 50%.
The reach those objectives, the plan calls for the city to create a new position for an Ogden energy manager, dedicate other city staff to perform outreach to businesses about energy efficiency, coordinate energy efficiency campaigns with utilities and service providers, and begin formal campaigns to educate businesses and property owners about available energy incentives and financing programs.
The city will also “re-tune” its municipal facilities, according to Stults, which theoretically, would be paid for through the energy savings achieved through the program. Costs will be developed as specific energy savings projects are identified.
If the desired benchmarks in the plan are achieved, Stults said the city could see yearly energy savings equivalent to the energy consumed by about 12,000 average Utah homes annually.
Kevin Emerson, energy efficiency program director with UCE, said Ogden is a “flagship community” for the program. UCE will eventually develop a case study on Ogden’s effort, pinpointing what works and what could be improved.
“We see Ogden as being a leader in a very big way in piloting this initiative,” Emerson said.
Ogden City Council members Marcia White and Luis Lopez spearheaded the city’s involvement in the plan.
“Sustainability doesn’t need to be a left-leaning or right-leaning idea,” White said. “By reducing energy and bringing financial stability to our community ... we are doing our job.”