San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) introduced its new Energy Innovation Center today. This facility allows residential and business customers to learn about energy efficiency, alternative fuel transportation, Smart Grid and clean generation.
The center has seminar on energy efficiency, classes in the food service demonstration kitchen, tours of the Smart Home full of energy-saving technology, information in the resource library, and guided tours of the water-wise walkway which showcases drought tolerant plants that save water and energy.
"The Energy Innovation Center will be a valuable resource for the community," said Hal D. Snyder, vice president of customer solutions for SDG&E, in a press release. "We are committed to helping southern California reach a more sustainable energy future and the center will provide businesses and residential customers with the tools and resources they need to make smart energy decisions to be more energy efficient, save money, and help the environment."
In December 2010, SDG&E began construction on an existing 27,000-square-foot building and focused on designing and constructing a facility that is designed to meet U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum LEED certificate, the highest level of certification for energy-efficient buildings. In order to meet the LEED platinum certification, SDG&E was required to incorporate the latest sustainable design elements in the Center's design. Some of the sustainable elements of the center include:
- 85 percent of the original building's materials were reused or recycled.
- The roof will have a rain water collection unit that stores water used for the center's irrigation system.
- The state-of-the-art HVAC system has sensors that shut off the A/C when the windows are open.
- The solar panels heat the center's water and help offset the building's energy use by 34 percent.
- Most of the items seen in the center are made from recycled materials, including the carpet which is made from recycled tires.
The center showcases different examples of highly efficient lighting, HVAC units and leading technologies to demonstrate the choices available 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 and technology sponsors.
The Energy Innovation Center is located at 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. in San Diego and will be open to the public every weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Read about energy efficient green buildings.