AGA Survey and Statistics System; AGA-CEE Natural Gas Efficiency Programs Survey: Utility expenditures for gas efficiency programs exclude data that have not been released by participating companies at the state level; U.S. Energy Information Administration; and U.S. Department of Transportation.
Statewide Elected Officials Next Election: 2020
Gary Herbert (Rep.)Governor
Spencer Cox (Rep.)Lieutenant Governor
Sean Reyes (Rep.)Attorney General
Legislature Next Election: 2018Session Dates: 01/25/16-03/10/16
Term: 4 year
President: Wayne Niederhauser
Senate Majority Leader: Ralph Okerlund
Senate Minority Leader: Gene Davis
Senate Member Breakdown
House of Representatives
Term: 2 year
Speaker of the House: Greg Hughes
Majority Leader: Jim Dunnigan
Minority Leader: Brian King
House of Representatives Member Breakdown
Public Service Commission of Utah Commissioners: Gubernatorial appointment, Senate confirmation: 6 year termChairperson: Appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor: Indefinite term
Thad LeVar (R), ChairmanAppointed by Governor Gary Herbert in 2012; Named Chairman in 2015; term expires in 2021
Jordan White, Commissioner Appointed by Governor Gary Herbert in 2015; term expires in 2017
David R. Clark (R), Commissioner Appointed by Governor Gary Herbert in 2013; term expires in 2019
In his 2010 State of the State address, Governor Herbert announced his intent to create the Utah Energy Initiative, a 10 year strategic energy plan that combines Utah’s rich abundance of diverse natural resources with innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.
The Plan is framed around the following guiding principles:
Responsible Energy Development—allow the free market to drive while the state provides appropriate legislative and regulatory oversight; Energy development will carefully consider the impacts on human health, the environment and wildlife habitats;The Plan is not to be static---it ushers in an ongoing open and transparent public discussion about best energy practices; The state will work to keep utility costs low while recognizing that longer term price stability and relative affordability will require significant and ongoing investment in energy infrastructure; Through expanding the state’s energy independence and providing export opportunity, Utah can stabilize its economy and provide for further economic expansion.
Relevant goals of the Plan include:
Meet projected energy growth demands over the next ten years by making balanced use of fossil fuels and alternatives and renewable resources in a market-driven, cost effective and environmentally responsible way; Ensure Utah’s continued economic development through access to its own clean and low-cost energy resources; Create new and support existing energy related manufacturing opportunities and jobs; Modernize the regulatory environment to support sustainable power generation, energy transmission solutions and energy conservation; Promote energy efficiency and conservation; Facilitate the expansion of responsible development of the state’s resources; Pursue opportunities to export fuels to regional and global markets; Enhance and further integrate partnerships between industry, universities and state/local governments; Collaborate with other western regional states.
During a June 2014 Utah Energy Development Summit, Governor Herbert unveiled a 26-point energy efficiency and conservation plan that aims to boost energy savings in the major sectors of Utah’s economy. The plan targets industry and agriculture with “savings” reached through innovative financing plans such as the establishment of a revolving loan fund, the creation of an energy-efficiency tax credit and producer incentives for farmers and ranchers. The plan also calls for boosting energy efficiency in key areas of concern for the state—water supplies and air quality. Another large component is transportation—better fuels and more efficient vehicles.
Questar Gas provides a wide range of energy efficiency programs for residential and business customers.
In 2010, the Utah Public Service Commission authorized Questar Gas to implement a three-year pilot Infrastructure Replacement Adjustment (IRA) mechanism to track and recover the costs associated with the replacement of high pressure natural gas feeder lines between rate cases.
Questar Gas owns and operates 29 CNG stations (26 in Utah and 3 in Wyoming) and has an NGV rate schedule in its tariff for refueling natural gas powered vehicles with compressed natural gas at Company-owned refueling stations. On March 9, 2015, Questar subsidiary Questar Fueling opened a CNG station in West Valley City.
In 2009 the Utah legislature passed a bill allowing for a subsidized natural gas vehicle rate if the rate is in the public interest and just and reasonable.
Senate Bill 275, introduced March 4, 2013 and signed into law March 28, allows a gas corporation to collect through a cost recovery mechanism expenses related to the building of natural gas refueling infrastructure, so long as the Company can demonstrate that at least 50% of the revenue requirement can be covered through incremental revenues at that station. The expenses are not to exceed $5 million in a calendar year.
A weather normalization adjustment is in place for Questar Gas. However, customers may elect not to participate.
Additionally, Questar operates under a conservation-enabling tariff (CET), which decouples non-gas revenues from the volume of gas used by general service (GS) customers. Annual CET accruals are limited to 5% of base distribution non-gas (DNG) revenues, and the amortization of CET accruals is limited (on a net basis) to 2.5% of total Utah-jurisdictional base DNG GS revenues.