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Ogden City will buy enough renewable energy through Rocky Mountain Power's Blue Sky program to offset 19 percent of the electricity the city uses in its buildings, Mayor Matthew Godfrey announced Tuesday.
The mayor challenged Ogden residents to follow suit, setting a goal to enroll at least 5 percent of residents and businesses - 1,076 new participants - in Rocky Mountain's Blue Sky program by the end of October, according to a news release.
Godfrey announced the initiative, Ogden's Blue Sky Community Challenge, along with with Rocky Mountain Power and Utah Clean Energy representatives.
The program was developed by the Sustainable Ogden Committee, which the mayor created last fall.
The committee plans other initiatives as well, including the upcoming Fresh Air Friday program to encourage the use of alternative transportation by commuters, conversion of fleet vehicles to use renewable fuel sources, downtown bicycle program and a recycling education program.
Ogden has been attracting outdoor-recreation companies. "Having clean air is critical to this plan," Godfrey said in the statement.
Over a year's time, the city's purchase of renewable energy is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 900 tons - providing environmental benefits equivalent to not driving more than 1.9 million miles or planting about 354 acres of trees, his statement said.
If the community meets the mayor's challenge, it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an additional 5,900 tons each year.
When customers buy 100 kilowatt-hour Blue Sky blocks, which add $1.95 per block to the monthly electric bill, they support Rocky Mountain Power's ability to buy wind energy from western wind farms and develop other new renewable sources of power.
A typical Ogden household could go entirely green with the purchase of six Blue Sky blocks, which would add $11.70 to the monthly bill, the news release said.
Businesses can buy blocks in larger quantities, with prices ranging from 71 cents to $1.94 ,depending on the number purchased.
More than 20,300 Utah residents and businesses already buy Blue Sky power. It is one of the most popular green-power programs in the nation, ranking second for the number of customers enrolled, according to Rocky Mountain Power.