Guest editorial: Summit County did not win Georgetown energy prize, but the fight continues | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial: Summit County did not win Georgetown energy prize, but the fight continues

Erin Bragg
Executive director, Summit Community Power Works

Our community is all too familiar with competition. Whether it is kickball games, rodeos or just beating our own time through Round Valley, we like to win.

But we don't always win.

Sometimes we crash and burn and other times we lose by just a hair. Unfortunately, this has been one of those times for our community and for Summit Community Power Works (SCPW). Park City, Summit County and SCPW did not win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize despite competing for two years with 49 other communities across the nation. We believed our actions would land us at the top when in reality we placed midfield. Over the years we have figured out how to analyze our losses, learn from our mistakes and keep on going for the gold.

Here is what we did win. For homes we changed out incandescent lights to LEDs, took advantage of rebates from Dominion and Rocky Mountain Power by installing smart thermostats, performed home weatherization audits, and provided simple and discounted residential solar through Mountain Town Community Solar. The City and the County retrofitted many buildings with LED lights, added rooftop solar, and electric buses. Presentations at schools within our three school districts invigorated the next generation and the districts to upgrade lighting to LEDs.

As we celebrate the coming new year SCPW asks our community to push the recharge button with us. Countywide, the Council adopted a lofty goal to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 80% (below 2014 levels) by 2050 and have 100% renewable electric energy by 2032. For Park City proper, the goal is to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions and 100% renewable energy by 2032. We are now closer in time to this 2032 finish line than when we Welcomed the World to the Olympic Games in our backyard 16 years ago. Now is the time to act.

As seasoned competitors, we know the best way to move up in the standings and achieve goals is to take successful habits from those who placed better and keep putting in quality hard work. SCPW is ready to lead our communities in meaningful actions as we strive for efficient energy use. Please join us at this critical moment in our history.

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Because only we can reach the goals our elected officials have set for our communities. No one else.