Monday, February 23, 2015

February Question of the Month

Question of the Month: What were the trends related to state laws and incentives enacted in 2014?

Answer: In 2014, state legislatures and agencies developed a variety of incentives, laws, and regulations that support the use of alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and other strategies that align with Clean Cities' mission to cut the amount of petroleum used in transportation. As compared to 2013, however, the number of newly adopted state laws and incentives decreased, possibly indicating the effectiveness of existing state programs and a maturing alternative fuels market. In addition, several states worked to fine-tune existing programs this past year, in an effort to find the best market penetration strategy.

The majority of state actions across all alternative fuel types in 2014 involved new tax-related incentives and fuel tax regulations. Specific alternative fuels displayed their own trends as well. Laws and incentives related to the following vehicle categories showed particularly notable trends:

Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), including both all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and the associated charging infrastructure were the most popular alternative fuel technologies that received attention in the form of new state laws and incentives in 2014. States worked to streamline many aspects of PEV ownership, including allowing direct purchase of PEVs from a manufacturer, modifying rebates and incentives for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), and allowing EVSE at previously restricted locations, such as state facilities and leased properties. A few states initiated studies to determine how to assess PEV owners a supplemental fee in lieu of the gasoline tax they would no longer be paying. Utilities continued to provide new incentives in 2014, including electricity rate discounts for customers using EVSE.

Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) continued to draw significant consideration in 2014, particularly in those states following the national trend of basing a compressed natural gas (CNG) motor fuel tax on the favorable gasoline gallon equivalent conversion. The NGV market and consumers will also benefit from grants, weight exemptions, fuel-training programs, and fleet requirements enacted in the last year.

The Alternative Fuels Data Center’s (AFDC) State Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Laws and Incentives: 2014 Year in Review provides a further synopsis of incentives and laws enacted in 2014 and is available at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/bulletins/2014_01_15_Year_In_Review.html.

In addition, the AFDC Laws & Incentives website provides a searchable database to identify and view relevant state laws and incentives by fuel type, as well as by variety of incentive or regulation. As legislative and gubernatorial actions occur, follow the AFDC website for updates at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws. This database may be particularly useful in the states in which the 2014 elections changed control of the legislative or executive branches. In addition, as the 2014 tax filing deadline approaches, the Laws & Incentives website is a valuable resource for basic information regarding new or expiring state and federal tax credits.

As new trends and issues emerge from legislation, policy bulletins are posted to the AFDC Technology and Policy Bulletins page at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/technology_bulletins.htmlYou may submit new or updated state laws and incentives, and suggestions for policy bulletin topics, by emailing the TRS directly at technicalresponse@icfi.com.


Clean Cities Technical Response Service Team
800-254-6735

Friday, February 20, 2015

2015 Legislative Session: Bills to Watch

The 2015 Legislative session is underway and UCCC is in full support of legislation that cleans up our air, while at the same time reducing our dependency on foreign oil. The following numbered bills are pieces of legislation UCCC is currently following:

HB 15: Clean Fuel Amendments & Rebates
Sponsor: Representative Stephen Handy

This bill creates the Conversion to Alernative Fuel Grant Program and  extends tax credits for energy efficient vehicles. It seeks to accelerate the conversion rate to alternative fuels and authorizes the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to make grants from the Clean Fuels and Vehicle Technology Fund to a person who installs conversion equipment on a motor vehicle. 

HB 17: Motor Vehicle Emissions
Sponsor: Representative Lee Perry

This bill would amend the visible contaminant emission standards for certain diesel engines, amend the penalty for violating the motor vehicle visible emissions limits and make technical corrections. 

HB 49: Clean Fuel School Buses and Infrastructure
Sponsor: Representative Stephen Handy

Would allow the State Board of Education to award a grant to replace old school buses manufactured before 2002 with new, clean fueled buses that use alternative fuels or clean diesel fuel, install an alternative fueling infrastructure that may be accessible to the public, and/or retrofit bus maintenance shops to maintain the alternative fueled buses. This bill would act as a one-time program appropriation. 

HB 110: Motor Vehicle Emissions Amendments
Sponsor: Representative Patrice Arent

This bill modifies provisions related to motor vehicle emissions. It would give the Division of Motor Vehicles the authority to suspend a vehicle's registration if the vehicle does not meet air emission standards. 




Thursday, February 19, 2015

THINK IDLE FREE: Idle Free Classes

Lancer Automotive Group will be offering Idle Free training on March 17th from 8:00-9:30am and the 18th from 5:30-8:00pm at the 3687 S 300 W location in Salt Lake City. 

These free Idle Free classes feature information on no idling laws, the issue of unnecessary vehicle idling, including health, environmental, economic and vehicle maintenance impacts, plus an introduction to other green/eco-driving practices. Attendees will learn how to save hundreds of dollars annually while being fuel efficient and environmentally responsible. 

We will provide Certification upon completion of training. 

Class time will range from 1 to 1.5 hours depending on question and answer period. 

Please RSVP by March 15th to scott@lancerautogroup.com to reserve your spot.

Air Pollution: A Call to Action

Health Risks Associated with Air Pollution

Utah’s got a new silent killer in town named “air pollution”. The Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment sates that, “Air pollution provokes a systemic inflammatory process centered in the vascular network that delivers blood through the body, including all major organs.”  When this happens, the effects can be just as damaging as inhaling cigarette smoke.  Last spring, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that air pollution is responsible for an average of 7 million premature deaths annually worldwide.  These deaths were associated with various diseases caused by exposure to air pollution which include: heart disease, stroke, pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and respiratory infections.  Dr. Maria Neira, the director of WHO’s Department of Public Health, responded to the findings with a call to action, stating that “few risks have a greater impact on global health today than air pollution; the evidence signals the need for concerted action to clean up the air we all breathe.”

The Utah Clean Cities Coalition is dedicated to doing just that: taking action against some of the biggest air pollutant offenders.  The Utah Division of Air Quality reports that over 50 percent of Utah’s air pollution comes from mobile sources. From promoting alternative fuels to striving for an idle free state, Utah is on its way to becoming a little cleaner each day. 

Alternative fuels, as defined by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, are biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, methanol, natural gas, and propane.  These are great for our environment because they can burn up to 90 percent cleaner than traditional petroleum fuels.  New technology helps vehicles to utilize these cleaner burning fuels.  Flex Fuel, Hybrid, and EVs are just a few of the many types of cars you can drive while contributing to fewer greenhouse gas emissions. 

Alternative Fuel vehicles are the number one way to reduce your vehicle emissions. However, there are plenty of things you can start doing today to help us reach our goal of cleaner air.  Turning your car off instead of idling, proper car maintenance, and carpooling or taking transit are all great ways you can reduce your emissions daily.  When you opt to bike or walk instead of driving, your vehicle emissions are cut to zero! Take advantage of nice weather by avoiding your car and getting outside instead.  Working together as a community, we can all improve Utah’s air quality for a healthier tomorrow. 


Check out http://utahcleancities.org/ for more information on alternative fuels and tips on how to reduce vehicle emissions.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

UCCC 2014 Annual Report Survey

Dear UCCC Stakeholders,

Utah Clean Cities Coalition would like to wish you and your families a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

2015 promises to be an exciting year, and we look forward to working with you on new and innovative projects! While we are looking ahead, we are also taking stock of our progress in 2014 - which means we have started our Annual AFV and Alternative Fuel Use Report!

UCCC is collecting data on alternative fuel (AF) and advanced technology vehicle (AFV) usage in Utah for the 2014 calendar year. This data helps us quantify the success of our programs and our stakeholder's efforts to reduce the regions dependence on petroleum imports. Please tell us what your company/fleet has done to reduce petroleum consumption in Utah in 2014, and remember the more information you can provide the better our report will be!  
                                                                                                                                 
To download the survey hover over the top right corner of the image below. Then click on the pop-out icon. Once in full screen mode, click on the download icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen.Once completed, return via email to irene.rizza@utahcleancities.org by February 13th 2015.

 Thank you for your participation and for helping us advance our mission of energy, economic and environmental security!

 


UCCC 2013 Annual Report Results


Friday, January 23, 2015

Green Truck Summit/Work Truck Show- Clean Cities Discount!

As a stakeholder of Utah Clean Cities, you have the ability to attend the Green Truck Summit/Work Truck Show, held in Indianapolis, IN March 3-6, at a discounted price! Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to connect with Work Truck industry leaders and meet with fleet managers and equipment manufacturers in the market. 

Clean Cities will be represented in the Expo Hall, so come say hi and check out other booths in the expo. The expo typically sees over 10K attendees and over 450+ exhibitors each year! 

The  advanced registration rate is good through February 13, 2015, so don't delay in registering. SImply fill out the registration form and fax it back to NTEA (information on form). 

We'll see you there!
UCCC

For questions or concerns, please contact Sophia at 801.535.7736




Utah Drives Electric

Winter months in Utah not only bring snow and colder temperatures, but also the dreaded inversion season. The Utah Clean Cities Coalition is dedicated to several initiatives, one of them being improved air quality.   One way Utahans can lower their carbon emissions and therefore improve air quality is driving electric vehicles.  The Utah Office of Energy Development recently launched a new website to promote electric vehicles, or EVs, and to give more information about the benefits of driving EVs in Utah.
Electric Vehicles, or Battery Electric Vehicles as they are also often called, use rechargeable battery packs to power the vehicles instead of gasoline.  Since they require no petroleum-based fuel to power the car, they are a great to help combat our pollution problem in Utah.  They have the potential to reduce emissions associated with fuel burning in cars such as carbon monoxide, organic compounds, nitrogen oxide, sulfur, and other particulate matter. 
The website is a great resource to find more information about all things EV.  Thoroughly researched, this site links you to all sorts of information from charging stations to environmental impacts of electric verses gasoline fueled vehicles.  Check it out for yourself and learn about all the great things EVs are doing for Utah!


Eva Grimmer, UCCC Intern