SDG&E to open new education center for green tech & energy efficiency

Dec 10, 2010

Media Contact:
April Sharp

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 866-2066



        SAN DIEGO, Dec. 13, 2010 – San Diego soon will have a new facility where local businesses and trades people can learn about the latest green technologies and energy efficiency programs.  San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is starting construction of a new Energy Innovation Center, which will be located in an existing building in Clairemont.  Extensive remodeling efforts are under way and, once completed, the center will incorporate the latest sustainable design features.
        “To meet California’s ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction and renewable energy goals, all of us must change the way we think about using energy,” said Hal D. Snyder, vice president of customer solutions for SDG&E.  “This center will provide information and tools for businesses and residential customers to learn more about how to use energy more efficiently, save money and help the environment.”
        The center will showcase examples of highly efficient energy management systems and demonstrate leading technologies for businesses and design professionals to incorporate into their buildings.  Many of the program offerings and design features are the result of a collaborative approach with community-based organizations, local businesses and other key stakeholders.

        “We are looking forward to using the center as a strategic resource for our members and the local restaurant industry in general to share ideas and learn practical applications of the latest energy-efficient equipment,” said Katharine Hansen, director of local government affairs for the California Restaurant Association.  “As our members and others understand better how to use energy and save money on their energy bills, SDG&E’s new center will have a lasting impact on sustainability in the region.”

        “This will be a great forum for showing off some of the innovative products and solutions coming out of San Diego-based companies,” said Lisa Bicker, president of Clean Tech San Diego.  “The center will serve as an important resource for our robust and growing clean tech cluster of more than 750 companies.”

        SDG&E will hold an array of seminars and demonstrations at the Energy Innovation Center to help customers find the most cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions to meet their specific needs.  Topics will include: energy efficiency, demand response, alternative fuel transportation, and renewable energy.  Education, training and certification programs will be offered for local workers in construction, remodeling and retrofit industries helping to foster green jobs within the San Diego region.  While the facility is targeted mainly toward businesses, residential customers who area interested in learning more about these topics also are welcome to visit.

        Over the next several months, the existing 27,000-square-foot building will undergo a major transformation.  The focus on sustainability begins with recycling an existing commercial space, and continues with design strategies, techniques, and materials that include natural light, energy-efficient lighting, and the use of recycled materials.  SDG&E’s project goal is to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Platinum LEED certificate, the highest level of certification for energy-efficient buildings.
        Flexibility of the space is another key design feature, says Snyder.  “We foresee the space evolving as new technologies emerge and we continue to receive input from the community.”

        Key features planned for the center include:
        • Food-service equipment demonstration room where customers can test and compare the latest energy-efficient equipment
        • Commercial lighting demonstration room
        • “Smart Home” demonstration room complete with an electric vehicle and charging station
        • Flexible meeting space to accommodate groups of up to 370 people
        • Solar panels (photovoltaics) capable of generating 100 kilowatts of electricity
        • Public electric vehicle charging stations
        • Resource library
        • Drought-tolerant landscape demonstrations
        The Energy Innovation Center is scheduled to open its doors in spring 2011.

        SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 845,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day.  SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.