Winter 2021 Newsletter Print


We would like to congratulate Mykel Vallerga for her accomplishment as a winner of the Engineered System’s 20 Women to Watch in HVAC contest!

The competition was fierce with a lengthy list of submissions from throughout the United States.  As a winner, they feature her in the January digital magazine available for your viewing, here.

Please join us in congratulating her for this well-deserved accomplishment.

The Board of Governors has nominated the following chapter members for UEC 2021 awards: 

Fresh Face of the Year: Mykel Vallerga, Colvin Engineering

Engineer of the Year: Roger Hamlet, Colvin Engineering

Educator of the Year: Dr. Nick Roberts, Utah State University

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Young Engineers in ASHRAE - YEA!

YEA (pronounced “YAY!”) stands for Young Engineers in ASHRAE. In order to qualify, you must be under the age of 35 and currently a member in ASHRAE. As a YEA member, you get first dibs to attend all YEA hosted trainings and social events. Are you over the age of 35 but still interested in attending? No worries, we understand you are still YAH (Young at Heart) and will let you attend all trainings and social events given there is enough space.

Below is our tentative schedule for the Spring Semester

End of February: Technical Training #3 – Engineering Topic

April: Technical Training #4 – Personal Development Topic

May: YEA & Memberships Hosted Spring Social  - Activity to be determined

Also, the YEA Leadership Weekend 1.0 is now open for registration!

This year, the event will be located in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 15th to the 17th. This is an incredible opportunity for oneself to take a weekend in a great city, surrounded by other YEA members from different regions, to learn more about your skills and attributes and how to use your strengths in the work force. Registration is $500 and includes hotel accommodations for Friday and Saturday, meals during the event (dinner on Friday, all meals on Saturdays, and breakfast and Lunch on Sunday) and all necessary materials and resources. Airfare and any ground transportation costs are not included.

Registration will fill up quickly! If you are interested in attended, it is encouraged to sign up sooner rather than later. You can read more about the Leadership weekend and register for the event online at “www.Ashrae.Org”, under “Communities”, “YEA”, “Events & programs”, “YEA Leadership Weekend 1.0”.

Lastly, if you are a YEA member, please keep an eye out for an email that includes a link to a short feedback quiz on YEA, their events, and their announcements.

If you, or other YEA members in your office would like to know more YEA, their events, and how to become more involved, please email [email protected]

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Research Promotion

The Utah Chapter is off to a great start this year. We are currently at $6,750 in donations which is about 27.6% of our Chapter goal ($24,500)!

The individuals and companies who have contributed to Research Promotions (RP) at Honor Roll level so far this year are:



Past President: Michael Dallon


RVC: Trent Hunt

Colvin Engineering

Student Affairs Chair: Brad Shakespeare

Unitech L.C.

Bret Christiansen


Bob Mahoskey


                 *As of December 31st, 2020

Thank you to everybody who has contributed to our chapter’s RP success!

Benefits of your contributions include:

  • Listing in the ASHRAE Journal and Utah ASHRAE Newsletter, at an honor roll contribution ($150 or more per individual, $500 or more per company).
  • Listing of all honor roll contributors prior to each local ASHRAE meeting.
  • Continuation of research that goes directly to developing the standards that we employ every day.
  • Support of a large research community, a surprising share of which is undertaken in Utah, to advance the science of our industry.


The easiest way to contribute is online with a credit card at the following link, but checks made out to ASHRAE RP are also acceptable.  Please contact me or an RP committee member for help processing your donation.

Currently, our 2020-2021 RP Committee Members are: David Griffin II, Brett Parry, Cameron Scott, Joe Touhuni, Cory Wright.

If you are interested in joining the committee or know someone that might be interested, please contact me or a board member from the Utah Chapter Board of Governors (BOG).

One of the committee members will be calling on you and your companies for your support of ASHRAE Research in the near future.

Thanks for all of your support!

Phong Nguyen

Utah Chapter RP Chairman

[email protected]

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Government Affairs

  • Congressional Negotiators Agree on Energy Package

Congressional negotiators have released the legislative text for a comprehensive energy package that includes sections on energy efficiency, energy storage, grid modernization, and carbon management.  The 533-page bill would provide energy retrofitting assistance for schools, push for energy efficient data centers, boost the Weatherization Assistance Program, and push for increase energy and water efficiency measures in Federal buildings. The bill is likely to be attached to a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending measure that would fund government until September 30, 2021.

  • Utah cities pursue 100% net-renewable electricity through the landmark Community Renewable Energy Act of 2019

Twenty-three Utah cities and counties have resolved to adopt 100 percent net-renewable electricity (from solar, wind, geothermal, hydro-electric, and demand management) in their communities by 2030 through the Community Renewable Energy Act of 2019.  This includes some of Utah’s most populated cities and counties – Salt Lake City, Moab, Park City, Salt Lake County, West Valley City, West Jordan, Orem, and Ogden, totaling about 37 percent of Utah’s electricity load. A key concern for Rocky Mountain Power was assurance that additional costs associated with the renewable electricity procurement would not impact rates of its other customers not participating in the program.  The Act stipulated that any new costs and benefits associated with renewable electricity procurement would be designated only to the cities receiving it. Finally, the Act specified that all participating cities’ residents and businesses will receive renewable electricity by default, with a provision for customers to have the opportunity to opt out if they so desired.  Academic research suggests that people typically accept defaults as a social norm, so the expectation is that few may opt out of the renewable electricity program. Some argue that the Community Renewable Energy Act of 2019 may be a model for other cities and communities across the nation, though the next few years will be indicative for how successful this Act is for these cities to transition to renewables.

  • Rocky Mountain Power Rate Case

Closing arguments were made in December 4th, 2020 for Rocky Mountain Power’s application with the Utah Public Service Commission to increase retail electric utility service rates and for approval of its proposed electric service schedules and regulations. Rocky Mountain Power argues that this will allow it to implement its long-term plan to modernize how the company produces, transports and delivers electricity to power Utah’s future. Rocky mountain power hasn’t raised rates for over 6 years. The following projects were included in the request:

  • Rocky Mountain Power’s Energy Vision 2020 renewable energy and transmission initiatives, other wind repowering projects, installation of clean air improvements on certain generating units, and installation of advanced metering infrastructure
  • Investments in wildfire mitigation and safety 
  • Expansion of the popular Subscriber Solar voluntary program, which allows customers to be served by renewable energy without installing solar panels

Beginning in 2021, the new rates would result in a modest increase of 2.6 percent for customers overall. On average, residential customers would see an increase of about $3.08 each month. Smaller increases of slightly less than $1 per month would occur in 2022 and 2023. Even with the proposed rate increase, overall average rates will be lower in 2021 than they were in 2016 and only slightly higher by the end of the phase-in.

“In these difficult times, Rocky Mountain Power is prepared to help our customers by supplying them with affordable, safe, reliable and increasingly clean electricity,” said Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power. “Rocky Mountain Power has the lowest average electricity price of any large electrical utility in the Intermountain West with prices that are nearly 25 percent lower than the national average.”

What’s next? The Utah Commission will examine Rocky Mountain Power’s requests and will determine whether the schedule should be accepted as filed, modified, or rejected. If accepted as filed, the rate change would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. The Commission has the authority to set final rates that may be lower or higher than the company’s request, depending on the outcome of its examination.


-Lincoln Harmer

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