Starting in 2011 with Governor Gary R. Herbert’s release of his 10-Year Strategic Energy Plan, the state began to take an enhanced interest in advancing responsible energy development throughout Utah.
Shortly after the publication of the Plan, the legislature carried out the Plan’s first recommendation, which was the creation of an Office of Energy Development (OED) dedicated solely to advancing all forms of responsible energy development in the state.
Led by Samantha Mary Julian, formerly GOED’s energy and natural resources cluster director, OED is tasked with implementing the state energy policy (63M-4-301), facilitating the development of the state’s conventional and alternative resources, and promoting energy education and outreach.
OED has staff dedicated to the promotion of conventional, unconventional, renewable and energy efficiency resources, as well as alternative transportation energy infrastructure.
Staff focuses primarily on energy policy and economic development, however given the environmental and social nexuses that define energy development, OED staff deals regularly with public lands issues, environmental issues, new technologies, public relations and education.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, OED has a number of development tools that will be critical to Utah’s energy future.
The State Energy Program
The State Energy Program (SEP) has been with the state for decades, and is OED’s primary resource in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency education and outreach.
Through the SEP, OED provides trainings and seminars, offers tax credits to homeowners and business to support distributed generation, and helps partner institutions secure grant funding to support energy programs and research activities.
Alternative Energy Development Incentive
The AEDI is a tax credit designed to advance the development of large-scale renewable energy and unconventional energy projects. The post-performance credit will be equivalent to 75% of all newly generated state revenues, and will last for a period of 20 years, providing a long-term incentive that will bolster two sectors that will be of vital importance to Utah in the coming years.
Utah Energy Infrastructure Authority
The Infrastructure Authority was created in the 2012 General Session with the aim of helping facilitate any energy delivery projects that help to advance responsible energy development in the state.
To that end, the Authority Board may authorize tax-free bonds to support the development of any transmission line or pipeline that meets broad criteria related to responsible energy development and rural economic development.
U-Save Energy Fund
The Utah U-Save Energy Fund Program finances energy-related cost-reduction retrofits for publicly owned buildings including state, tribal, municipal (city and county), public schools districts, charter schools, public colleges and public university facilities.
Low interest rate loans are provided to assist those institutions in financing their energy related cost-reduction efforts.