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SD Buildings Make EPA’s Energy Efficient List

SD Buildings Make EPA’s Energy Efficient List

More than 130 San Diego office buildings, retail centers and schools landed on a national list of top energy-efficient facilities.

Environmental Protection Agency officials recently released a list of Energy Star buildings. Buildings that receive the Energy Star stamp of approval scored 75 or higher on a 100-point energy performance scale.

Jean Lupinacci, director of commercial and industrial markets for Energy Star, said energy bills help decide winners. But in order to compare California buildings with ones in colder regions, the program makes adjustments for climate. A facility’s size, occupancy and hours operated are also taken into consideration.

Engineers verify building scores and ensure that facilities provide a healthy environment, Lupinacci said.

“They must provide adequate lighting and air quality with less energy use,” she said.

Here are some San Diego buildings that made the list:

– More than 100 San Diego Unified School District schools (out of the district’s 170 schools)

– Imperial Bank Tower, 701 B St.

– Northern Trust Tower, 4370 La Jolla Village Drive

– Waples Technology, 9565 Waples Ave.

J. William Naish acts as the San Diego Unified School District energy utilities coordinator. The district comprised most of San Diego buildings on the list.

“We have been working closely with the EPA for a long time,” Naish said. “We looked to them for guidance when we took on projects.”

A couple years ago, the district was the first in the nation to place a school on the Energy Star list, he said. No other district nationwide had more schools on this year’s list.

“I’m proud of that,” Naish said.

In 1994, district trustees authorized spending $43 million for energy upgrades, saving the district $7 million annually.

Upgrades included changing nearly 500,000 light bulbs to more efficient ones; adding 7,500 occupancy sensors in classrooms, which are devices that turn lights and air conditioning off when students are absent; and replacing 6,500 exit signs with more energy efficient models.

The district’s energy budget for 2002-03 is $13 million.

Typical Energy Star buildings are 40 percent more efficient than the average facility. Since 1999, buildings on the Energy Star list have saved an estimated $134 million in energy costs, according to the EPA.

, Rene & #233; Beasley Jones

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