San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) on May 18 named UC San Diego and 10 area businesses and institutions Energy Champions during the 5th annual SDG&E Energy Showcase at the San Diego Convention Center. The winners’ outstanding energy efficiency efforts in the previous year were made possible with the help of a variety of programs offered by the utility.
“Over the last 18 years, SDG&E programs have helped customers to save 3.7 million megawatt-hours – enough to supply energy to approximately 600,000 homes for one year,” Hal Snyder, vice president of customer solutions for SDG&E, said during an awards luncheon at the May 18 event. “This has reduced peak load by 841 megawatts – the equivalent of 1.5 large power plants.” The businesses and institutions honored at the San Diego Convention Center by SDG&E played large roles in the utility’s success in controlling energy usage in the region.
The Convention Center event featured seminars by customers who have taken advantage of SDG&E’s energy rebates, incentives, free onsite energy-efficiency assessments and zero-interest financing programs. The SDG&E programs have helped its customers save a total of nearly 50 million therms of natural gas – enough to supply energy to approximately 100,000 homes for one year.
UC San Diego was recognized for implementing energy-efficiency programs that will annually save the university more than 19 million kWh, which is almost $900,000 in annual energy savings. The savings is equal to the carbon sequestered by 2,900 acres of pine trees.
UC San Diego received $1.4 million in energy-efficiency incentives and rebates from SDG&E and additional incentives from the California Solar Initiative for their photovoltaic installation.
“Energy efficiency and sustainability are in UC San Diego’s institutional DNA since our researchers were the first to document the rise in CO2 concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere,” said Gary Matthews, Vice Chancellor of Resource Management and Planning. “The campus is doing everything it can to solve a problem that we played a major role in identifying, and the recognition of our leadership role for large industrial customers by SDG&E is a testament to a fiscally prudent, campus-wide commitment to our environmental goals.
The Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center in La Jolla, another award recipient, installed energy-efficiency upgrades that saved it more than 2.2 million kilowatt-hours – a savings equivalent to removing 275 cars from local freeways. The VA Medical Center received almost $400,000 by participating in SDG&E programs.
Along with UC San Diego and VA Medical Center, other award winners were Life Technologies, High Tech High, The Irvine Company, La Costa Resort & Spa, NASSCO, Nordstrom, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, A.O. Reed & Company and Capistrano Unified School District.