Last year, Kamas was one of 23 communities in Utah that committed to the Community Renewable Energy Act.
Kamas set a goal for 100% renewable energy in the community and with residents. They passed this resolution along with other communities like Park City, Salt Lake City and Ogden.
Lisa Yoder is with Summit County’s Office of Sustainability. She said a series of third party consultants, legal attorneys and utility experts are drafting an agreement on how much renewable energy is going to cost residents in Kamas.
Speaking at a city council meeting last week, she said it would cost Kamas a little under $2,000, paid in two years, to find out if residents would save or spend more money on renewable electricity. And right now, Kamas is under no commitment to pay those fees.
“With no real commitment until a governance agreement is drafted for your review, and at that time, you will see the cost that you’d be signing up for, and the terms of participation and all the details to go to the next step,” Yoder said.
If Kamas City Council commits and pays the fees, she said the council would then adopt an ordinance.
“And if you adopt that ordinance, then at that point, each customer, each individual, business, residential customer, everyone in your community has the opportunity to opt out,” she said.
But Kamas City Councilmember John Blazzard said he’s skeptical about committing to the program.
“I’m all for renewable energy,” Blazzard said. “But the idea that Kamas is going to become 100% renewable energy supplied – in my eyes, and from what I see – I think that’s a pipe dream. I can see we have a huge pile of biofuel above our town that we could use to burn to create electricity. But everything that I’ve studied and found, as I’ve been through my industry, is that cost is way higher than what we’re paying now for our power.”
Yoder said there might be an incremental cost for residents, but they would have the option to choose if they wanted to pay that price.
“You’re right Kamas as a whole may not be 100% renewable,” she said. “But many residents and businesses may want to be and what you’re doing is giving them that opportunity to make that choice for themselves.”
The city council will decide if it’s worth paying the $2,000 once there is a draft of the governance agreement.
KPCW news reports on climate change issues are brought to you by the Park City Climate Fund at the Park City Community Foundation, an initiative that engages Park City in implementing local, high-impact climate solutions that have potential to be effective in similar communities.