A Dozen Innovators Recognized For Excellence In Energy Leadership

A dozen public and private organizations – ranging from a hydroponic farm and a ship repair business to an affordable housing developer and K-12 collaborative – were honored today for excellence in energy leadership, demonstrating that sustainability initiatives are good for both the environment and the bottom line. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced the winners at its 13th annual Energy Showcase awards ceremony.

 “Just as our region has built a reputation for biotech and high-tech innovations, San Diego is now making a name for its energy leadership,” said Caroline Winn, chief operating officer for SDG&E. “The diverse range of businesses and organizations being recognized today are trendsetters in the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy, and they are leading the way to a cleaner and more sustainable future.”  

This year’s winners included organizations from every sector – commercial, industrial, residential, agricultural, and public. In many cases, SDG&E’s account executives worked side by side with these businesses to implement customized solutions to meet their unique operational needs, and identify state and federal incentives to help finance the improvements.  Some of SDG&E’s energy savings programs are offered free of charge to customers.

Our experts in the field take pride in educating businesses about new and emerging technologies, such as energy storage, microgrids, and electric equipment and vehicles. With our technical support, businesses have replaced diesel or gasoline cranes, forklifts, and fleets with electric versions. Others have  adopted digital energy management tools for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).

This year’s winners are as follows, and their stories are profiled in a series of videos:

Agricultural

  • Go Green Agriculture: This family-owned business based in Encinitas grows organic produce with a fraction of the land of a conventional farm, using the latest technologies in hydroponics, energy efficiency and water conservation.

Industrial

  • BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair: Located on San Diego Bay, BAE has adopted industry-leading practices for shipyard operations, including replacing diesel equipment with electric ones to reduce pollution.
  • Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap:  Going beyond drought-tolerant landscaping and LED lighting, this family-owned business in Vista is close to achieving 100 percent renewable energy to power its operations.

Residential

  • Simple Construct Naturally Healthy Homes: This small business specializes in straw bale building, energy efficiency, natural finishes, clay and lime plaster, and sustainable materials for new and existing homes in San Diego.
  • Atmosphere by Wakeland Housing: This affordable housing project in downtown San Diego includes solar panels, Energy Star appliances, and Cool Roof technology, among other green features.
  • Sorrento Towers by the RAHD Group: With support from SDG&E and Energy Upgrade California, this affordable, senior housing tower in Clairemont underwent significant energy efficiency upgrades.

Commercial

  • Event Network, LLC: This company has greened its Kearny Mesa headquarters and is working to green its supply chain and the stores it operates at cultural attractions nationwide (including the USS Midway Museum and San Diego Natural History Museum).
  • Jackie Robinson YMCA: SDG&E’s Savings by Design team worked closely with this YMCA to incorporate energy efficiency features into the reconstruction of the facility to help save an estimated 334,000 KWh per year.

Public

  • K-12 Schools Sustainability Strategy Collaborative: It brings together all 42 school districts in the county to leverage Proposition 39 funds to incorporate energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other green features into projects, helping to save schools an estimated $10 million per year.
  • The City of Chula Vista: This South Bay city has led in energy efficiency, fleet vehicle electrification, and climate action planning.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection: The CBP implemented an energy conservation plan at four sites, including installing solar panels and using an energy management system to efficiently operate its HVAC system.
  • Port of San Diego Energy Management Plan: The Port of San Diego partnered with SDG&E to develop the first energy management plan of its kind under Assembly Bill 628 to comprehensively and creatively green the Port District and its tenants’ operations.