When it comes to Utah’s air quality, we frequently hear about two of the three sources of emissions: mobile sources (vehicles) and point sources (large industrial sources). We don’t hear as often about the third source, which is called area sources.

Area sources are small industrial, commercial and even residential sources that, individually, emit a small number of pollutants, but collectively have an impact on air quality.

One of UCAIR’s primary purposes is to help organizations that care about the air to combine their talents and capabilities to improve Utah’s air quality. UCAIR awarded a grant to Utah Clean Energy to develop a C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program in Utah. C-PACE is a great program to improve emissions from area sources. It helps smaller businesses invest in more efficient energy and water use that, otherwise, might not be affordable or feasible for these types of businesses. The Governor’s Office of Energy Development currently manages the C-PACE program.

C-PACE is for property owners who want to reduce operating costs and care about the environment. Utah’s new C-PACE program offers cost effective, long-term financing for energy and water conservation upgrades to commercial buildings. C-PACE projects are financed around the country and include:

  • Solar power (photovoltaic) systems
  • Efficient lighting upgrades
  • Efficient rooftop design
  • Upgrades to efficient HVAC systems and equipment
  • New doors and windows
  • Energy efficient appliances
  • Insulation and weather sealing
  • Combined heat and power systems
  • High-efficiency toilets, faucets and showerheads
  • Drip irrigation systems
  • Rainwater catchment or gray water systems
  • Drought-tolerant landscaping

Hunt Electric, a West Valley City business, will complete Utah’s first C-PACE pilot project this month. Hunt Electric installed a solar canopy, a microgrid and an electric vehicle charging station with the help from the C-PACE program. The pilot project was possible through a partnership between West Valley City, Hunt Electric, Celtic Bank, Lewis Young Robertson & Burningham, Ballard Spahr, the Governor’s Office of Energy Development and Utah Clean Energy.

UCAIR supports projects and programs like C-PACE that make it easier for individuals, businesses and communities to make small changes to improve Utah’s air. Every small change to improve Utah’s air quality adds to a collective bigger step toward better health, a better economy and better overall quality of life for all of us.

C-PACE was made possible in Utah through Senate Bill 221 (S.B. 221), passed by the State Legislature in 2013. Utah Clean Energy, a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization, led a collaborative effort of numerous stakeholders to support the passage of the bill. Once S.B. 221 passed, Utah Clean Energy used a grant provided by UCAIR to organize a C-PACE Advisory Committee with over 75 experts in government, lending, utilities and energy efficiency and renewable energy. Through a collaborative, yearlong process, Utah Clean Energy and the Advisory Committee developed Utah’s C-PACE program. The Utah Office of Energy Development assumed administration of the C-PACE program earlier this year. The program is now partnering with local governments and accepting applications. Learn more at http://CPACE.Utah.gov.