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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

UPDATE: Utah Valley Community Solar Program (UVCSP)

To potential participants in the UVEF's UVCSP:
May we recommend at your early convenience that you contact our solar contractor, IWS (Intermountain Wind and Solar), to set up an appointment for them to visit your home for an assessment. They will answer your specific questions and give you an estimate for solar system options that will work for you. IWS's contact information is below. We are told that by installing a typical solar system through the UVCSP a purchaser will save between $2,000 and $4,000 off the normal installed cost.  •  If you have not yet attended one of their informative public meetings (each meeting covers the same topics—click here to view list of meeting sites and dates), you may wish to do so. Attending a workshop is suggested but not required. The next step is for you to set up an on site visit to your home by a representative of IWS.  •  The cut off date for you to decide and make a commitment is April 30th. If you are ready to start now with a solar installation, or sooner than April 30th, you need not wait till the deadline. Also, if you have family, friends, neighbors or know others you think may also benefit by this special pricing arrangement with a solar company with a substantial track record and a good guaranty, you may wish to contact them at your early convenience.  •  The more people who sign up, the cleaner our air will be. And the sooner we sign up, the sooner we will start saving money on our power bills.  •  Click on the link above to view what IWS says about the UVCSP, and see the list of informative workshops if you have not already attended one.  •  Here is the contact information to set up your onsite visit by IWS personnel:

Justin Munk
Intermountain Wind and Solar
435-757-4454 cell
801-298-5255 office
801-298-5355 fax

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Utah sweeps top five cities with filthy air, Provo No. 4

Caleb Warnock - Daily Herald

Posted: Feb 6, 2013, 12:03 AM

Utah swept the top five spots for dirtiest air in the nation on Tuesday, with Provo coming in fourth.  ∆  According to airnow.gov, which is the federal air quality monitoring site, Brigham City had the nation's filthiest air, followed by Logan, Ogden, Provo and Salt Lake City in fifth place.  ∆  In all five areas, the air quality was rated as "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" defined as "Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected." Air quality in Provo was forecast to get worse, with the federal monitoring site predicting that Provo would move into third place for the nation's dirtiest air on Wednesday.  ∆  Bryce Bird, director of the Utah Division of Air Quality, did not return calls for comment on Tuesday.  ∆  On Tuesday, Jim Westwater, chairman of the Utah Valley Earth Forum, blasted the state government and local representatives for their lack of interest in clean air.  ∆  "Unfortunately, we don't see our governor or state Legislature taking this health and economic threat seriously," he said. "This is too bad for us, our children, our families, our economy and our future."  ∆  Utah's deplorable air quality will cost Utah jobs and economic growth, he said.  ∆  "Provo and Utah Valley would benefit greatly if we got the reputation of being a healthy as well as beautiful place to live," Westwater said. "Conversely, it will hurt our economy and our health if we continue to have dirty, harmful, sickening air and as the word gets out about our dirty air to the rest of the nation and to prospective families and businesses thinking of relocating."  ∆  As proof that Utah's reputation for horrible air is already spreading, he pointed to a recent report on NBC Nightly News focusing on Utah's smog. The show quoted visitors to Utah who said they were shocked by the pollution.  ∆  "In one of the prettiest spots in the nation the problem is dirty air and lots of it," NBC news anchor Brian Williams said in the piece [view video], which aired in late January. "They are used to it, this kind of thing happens every year. But this year it is the worst anyone can remember, making life outside the home downright dangerous."  ∆  NBC called Utah's air "toxic" and "choking."  ∆ "It's not the kind of story about Utah that will help our economy and the well-being of people and our otherwise beautiful state," Westwater said. "If we don't take action -- both citizen, business and governmental action -- matters will only get worse in these inversions when we are forced to inhale the harmful stuff we discharge into our air. Doctors tell us it's like we are all -- adults and children alike -- becoming smokers. This needs to change."  ∆  Provo and the Wasatch Front's lousy air won't go away anytime soon because no major effort is under way to change it, he said.  ∆  "It's past time for baby steps," he said. "We need substantial, serious, constructive actions that actually have or will have a significant beneficial impact on this very serious problem."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Utah's Dirty-Air Secret Draws National Attention

This story about our horrible air quality on NBC Nightly News was featured a few days ago in late January. It's not the kind of story about Utah that will help our economy and the well being of people and our otherwise beautiful state. If we don't take action (both citizen, business and governmental action) matters will only get worse in these inversions when we are forced to inhale the harmful stuff we discharge into our air. Doctors tell us it's like we are all—adults and children alike—becoming smokers. This needs to change. Please join with the UVEF to help make a difference for the better. To join send your email request to membership@uvef.us. Thank you.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Utah County Community Solar Program (UCCSP)

The UVEF has initiated what we are calling the Utah County Community Solar Program. We are in the process of sending out an RFP (Request for Proposals) to Utah solar contractors to determine, through a competitive process, which company will be selected to manage the program and do the solar installations.

If you are not on our UCCSP email list, please send your request to be added to "solar@uvef.us." We will keep you posted on developments. Thanks. We urge you to invite all your friends, neighbors and family members who may also be interested in "going solar" in Utah County to get on our list. Please note, the UCCSP will not happen overnight. It will take time to design and develop this program to benefit all participants and the health of the environment we all share.

Here is information we sent out recently to parties interested in the UCCSP.
Thank you for your interest in our newly forming Utah County Community Solar Program (UCCSP). We realize that many questions regarding our UCCSP remain unanswered at this time. Questions that we trust will be answered in the future, as our program progresses, should include:
  1. What are the main reasons solar is a smart, money and environmental saving, responsible choice for energy generation?
  2. What kind and size of solar installation would be "right" for me?
  3. How much will it cost after the discounts and incentives are applied?
  4. Who will do the installation and what is their track record?
  5. What is the warranty?
  6. What type of panels and equipment would be installed and where are they made?
  7. What methods of financing are available and suggested for my solar installation?
  8. What is the time frame involved for this whole process?
  9. What else should I know about the UCCSP and my perspective solar installation?
We expect to address these and other questions in upcoming meetings and emails. Please "stay tuned." 
And, if you have not already, please consider becoming a member of the UVEF to help us work with you and our community here in Utah County to promote good, healthy, responsible stewardship of the environment. "Joining forces" and working together we can magnify our constructive impact to promote good stewardship. And "going solar" is a great way to move in this direction. So is joining the UVEF.

To join and support the UVEF, please send your check (made payable to "UVEF") for $10 (calendar year regular dues) or $5 (student and senior dues) to:
℅ Westwater
2608 E Canyon Crest Drive
Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Please note, if you represent a solar or environmental related business, we offer business memberships for $250.

Hope to see you at the February UCCSP meeting on February 26th.

With kind regards, Jim

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The UVEF Stewardship Appreciation Survey 2012

How "green" is your Utah County city?

Around Utah County, cities and towns are doing many things that reflect good stewardship of the environment and help make our communities healthier and more livable for present and future generations. From citywide recycling to energy conservation, from “smart growth” to gradually switching to clean, safe, renewable sources of energy—progress is being made toward better stewardship. To identify, encourage and commend these efforts, and to help educate and inspire communities and their residents to do even more, the Utah Valley Earth Forum (UVEF)—the valley’s independent, volunteer, citizen environmental organization—invited all cities and towns in the county to participate in the first annual UVEF Stewardship Appreciation Survey.

The UVEF is delighted to report that most of the cities and towns—communities representing over 77% of Utah County’s urban population—took part in the survey. Every city and town that participated is to be commended for its efforts to improve the environment in which we all live—the air, the water and the land. Being a good steward not only makes our communities healthier and more livable for both present and future generations, it is the right and responsible thing to do, and often saves money and valuable resources in the process.

So we say, "Good job, participating cities!" Our hats are off to you! Keep up the good work! The air, water and land, and current and future generations are grateful for whatever you do to be better stewards of the earth.

The Survey Results:
Please consider the following when viewing the results below:
  1. The survey was intended to cover many, if not most, of the main things communities can do to to help improve the environment, but the survey was not intended to be definitive.
  2. Thirty-six items were on the survey. Cities were asked to indicate which items they were currently doing. If they were doing things not on the survey, they were asked to indicate those things. Links to appendices are posted below to indicate non-survey responses by participants.
  3. The submitted responses on the survey were self-reported by the cities and were not independently verified by the UVEF.
  4. Participation was encouraged but voluntary. Non-participation does not necessarily mean a city or town is doing nothing to be a good steward of the environment.
  5. Cities were given 3 months to complete and return the survey. Some surveys were completed and returned within one hour.
  6. We plan on administering the survey again in January of 2014 to help identify further developments and to encourage cities in Utah Valley to continue improving their stewardship.
  7. For a copy of the actual survey, please e-mail your request to Chair@UVEF.us.
To view the SURVEY RESULTS click HERE or on the graphic below: 

Appendix #1
  (written responses of *cities)
Appendix #2  (written responses for Lindon)