Collaboration Helps San Diego Schools Reduce Energy Use

Smart, clean, sustainable: These are the priorities of Cleantech San Diego and SDG&E’s partnership to “green” 44 school districts across the region.

Smart, clean, sustainable: These are the priorities of Cleantech San Diego and SDG&E’s partnership to “green” 44 school districts across the region. And they are making an impact. Last month, the Environmental Business Journal, a business research publication, recognized the K-12 Schools Sustainability Strategy Collaborative, implemented by SDG&E and Cleantech, with a Business Achievement award for its outstanding growth, vision and innovation in clean energy best practices.

In the three-years since the Schools Collaborative program launched, 314 schools in SDG&E’s service territory have implemented smart technologies, clean energy installations and innovative solutions that have led to a reduction of approximately 17,106,779 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of 103 tanker trucks filled with gasoline – nearly 8 megawatts of energy demand reduction, and more than $6 million a year in cost savings.

Education key to creating smarter energy habits

In 2013, the California Energy Commission adopted Prop 39, requiring schools across the state to evaluate and manage their energy use and carry out energy efficiency upgrades. Since then, San Diego schools have been among the leaders statewide, due in part to the concerted efforts of SDG&E and Cleantech San Diego who are committed to sharing energy efficiency and sustainability best practices and introducing new technologies and smart solutions every step of the way.

While retrofits in the schools include installation of LED lighting, smart thermostats, energy storage and solar panels, educating students plays a big role in the program. Our hope is that teaching students how to conserve energy by making simple changes at school will also lead to better energy efficient habits at home, helping us advance our commitment to building healthier communities.

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