San Diego, January 18, 2012 — San Diego Gas & Electric introduced its new Energy Innovation Center, a showcase facility where residential and business customers can learn about energy efficiency, alternative fuel transportation, smart grid and clean generation.
The Energy Innovation Center offers an array of seminars 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.
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.
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 rainwater collection unit that stores water used for the Center's irrigation system.
* The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (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.
At the Energy Innovation Center, chefs will have the opportunity to utilize the demonstration kitchen to test their recipes on energy efficient equipment to ensure that the updated appliances work well with their dishes.