They're called snow-melt systems. They are the rather expensive systems embedded in driveways and sidewalks that warm the pavement so that snow and ice don't accumulate. And while they're particularly popular in communities that have substantial amounts of ice and snow—such as the Sun Valley area—they're also triggering a very unique debate in the Wood River Valley.
that a proposed ordinance in Ketchum would require that any energy used for a snow-melt system would need to be offset by energy savings by the building owners.
"Basically, you need to make up for the amount of energy that you just pumped into the ground," Rebecca Bundy, senior planner for the city of Ketchum, told KMVT-TV, who added that the proposal was part of a national trend for offset energy use.