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SDG&E’s Energy Innovation Center Achieves Double-platinum LEED Status

San Diego CA- – (SDG&E) Energy Innovation Center in the Clairemont area received “double-platinum” LEED® certification status from the U.S. Green Building Council. The newly earned 2013 LEED Platinum certification for Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance (EBOM) is in addition to the facility’s LEED Platinum status earned in 2012 for new construction. The U.S. Green Building Council reports that the Energy Innovation Center is the first facility in the region to have achieved double-platinum status for certification of both new construction and EBOM.

“The LEED Platinum certification for the operations and maintenance of the Energy Innovation Center is a leed_award01testament to the dedication and commitment of our employees to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices,” said Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s vice president of customer services. “From biking to work and carefully ensuring each piece of waste is disposed of properly on site, our team at the Energy Innovation Center is setting an example for how we can all work together as a region to save energy and protect our natural resources. We encourage our customers to visit the Energy Innovation Center to learn more about energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable materials for use in their homes.”

The Energy Innovation Center is a 27,000-foot demonstration facility where SDG&E’s residential and business customers can learn about energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability and alternative fuel technologies. Training classes on green building practices are available for businesses, trade professionals, architects, designers, restaurant owners and chefs, with new classes in 2014 for residential customers. The center is a model facility that trained or provided tours to more than 30,000 visitors in 2013.

“This achievement is a major milestone. While it is the 10th double-platinum facility in the world, it is the first in our region,” said Douglas Kot, executive director of the San Diego Green Building Council. “This is a crowning achievement for a previously underutilized commercial neighborhood center that is now setting the bar for sustainable and efficient construction and operations.”

The Platinum LEED EBOM status provides recognition for the successful implementation and high standards the staff and facility management at the Energy Innovation Center have placed on sustainable practices in everything from participating in the city of San Diego’s food waste composting program, maintaining EBOM standards and visitor comfort through eight different heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, to employees’ daily transportation choices. Even the caterers at the center are trained in sustainability, and provide reusable dishes and utensils when serving visitors.

According to Kot, SDG&E’s Energy Innovation Center is the first double-platinum LEED-certified building in the San Diego region, and the facility joins San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences and Bren Hall at University of California Santa Barbara as the only three double-platinum LEED-certified buildings in California. Additionally, the Energy Innovation Center is the first facility in the world to achieve both platinum certifications under the new, more stringent ratings systems introduced in 2009.

In order to meet the LEED EBOM Platinum certification, the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center team developed policies and procedures that place energy efficiency and sustainability at the center of all daily activities, including the following areas of focus:

  • Use of low-impact paints, pesticides and fertilizers to reduce harmful chemical exposure and runoff;
  • More than 50 percent reduction in employee commuting trips achieved by walking, biking, carpooling, alternative fuel, and low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles;
  • Thousands of gallons saved by using low flow plumbing fixtures;
  • 70 percent of total energy generated by renewables;
  • Special handling of all waste, including composting of all food waste.

SDG&E’s Century Park facility in Kearny Mesa, the main office location where 2,000 employees work every day, also recently became LEED EBOM Certified, in recognition of the facility’s efforts over the last two years to reduce energy consumption and operate sustainably through measures such as a food compost program, use of efficient appliances and lighting, the formation of a Green Champions team and installation of electric vehicle charging stations, and sustainable purchasing policies.

LEED Platinum certification is the highest level of sustainability a building can achieve with the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. For commercial buildings to earn LEED certification, a project must satisfy all LEED prerequisites and earn a minimum 40 points on a 110-point LEED rating system scale.

The Energy Innovation Center is located at 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. in San Diego and is open to the public Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. To learn more about how you can utilize the Energy Innovation Center visit www.sdge.com/eic.

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