Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Climate Change in the Pacific Southwest
Reducing energy use is one of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are many ways to increase energy efficiency, from buying ENERGY STAR appliances and EPEAT computers to green building and remodeling practices. For more simple steps to reduce your energy use, see What You Can Do.
On this page:
- Green Building Reduce energy and materials use in building construction and remodeling
- Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership For industries with on-sight power generation, use the waste heat to condition your indoor space.
- ENERGY STAR Use ENERGY STAR tools to reduce your energy use.
- Interactive Tools and Online Resources Browse energy efficient design features on virtual homes.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) sets national standards for sustainable green building and was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED for Homes (LEED-H) is a rating system for high-performance green homes. EPA is supporting LEED-H via a Cooperative Agreement with Davis Energy Group - the USGBC-designated LEED-H provider in California and Northern Nevada. Through this agreement EPA is providing training and support to interested LEED-H builders and allied green building professionals in order to maximize the number of homes built to LEED-H standards in EPA Region 9. The LEED-H standards include a requirement for builders to do a minimum number of EPA ENERGY STAR measures and additional credits available for buildings that achieve the EPA ENERGY STAR Indoor Air Package specifications. Energy savings, water savings, pounds of pollution reduced and dollars saved are then collected and reported.
EPA Region 9 supports initiatives to advance Green Building regionally and nationally. We have a number of green building initiatives and work with a wide range of partners.
The Lifecycle Building Challenge is an annual on-line green design competition for students and professionals. The competition focuses on buildings and products that conserve construction and demolition materials and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through design for adaptability and disassembly that support local reuse. The competition features a “Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction Outstanding Achievement Award.” The Lifecycle Building Challenge was developed by EPA Region 9 with our partners the American Institute of Architects, West Coast Green , and Stopwaste.org.
The San Francisco Green Building Project Reporting and Information Tool (SF GreenPRINT) is a web-based database that calculates the environmental and economic benefits of single and multiple U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building projects. The database can be adapted for use by other public agencies.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership
The CHP Partnership is a voluntary program seeking to reduce the environmental impact of power generation by promoting the use of Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration. During the production of electricity, waste heat is usually expelled in large smoke stacks; CHP is an alternative to this common practice where instead that waste heat is captured and used to heat indoor space.
The Partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits. EPA's Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Partnership offers a variety of tools and services designed to facilitate and promote Partners' development of CHP projects. Region 9 is actively seeking companies interested in joining the CHP Partnership.
One Market Plaza Cogeneration System
In December of 2008, One Market Plaza in San Francisco, CA was awarded the ENERGY STAR Combined Heat and Power Award. This building is a Class-A office complex with approximately 1.4 million square feet of commercial space. Approximately 30% of the complex's electricity demand is generated by a 1.5 megawatt internal combustion engine-based CHP system. The heat from this engine, rather than being wasted, supplies the CHP system's engine block, and exhaust is recovered and used to produce steam that satisfies nearly 85% of the complex's space heating demand.
If you represent a company interested in joining the CHP Partnership you can get more information from Ray Saracino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-972-3361.
ENERGY STARis a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Energy efficient choices can save families about one third on their energy bill in their homes with similar savings of greenhouse gas emissions.
A strategic approach to energy management for businesses can produce twice the savings — for the bottom line and the environment. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program offers a proven energy management strategy that helps businesses measure current energy performance, set goals, track savings, and reward improvements. EPA provides an innovative energy performance rating system called Portfolio Manager that allows businesses to track and assess their buildings energy and water consumption in a secure online environment. Top performing buildings are recognized by EPA with the ENERGY STAR label.
San Francisco Earth Hour 24 x 7 Energy Challenge
The San Francisco Earth Hour 24 x 7 Energy Challenge is a challenge to commercial buildings in San Francisco to improve their energy efficiency. Eighty buildings participated in this event from March 2009 to March 2010. The challenge involved a three step process. Building owners and managers participating in the challenge enrolled their property in Portfolio Manager to receive a score from 1-100. Next they enabled PG&E’s no-cost Automated Benchmarking Service, which kept their Portfolio Manager records updated. Last they worked to improve their ENERGY STAR score by March 2010. The winners were announced in April of 2010 at an awards ceremony with San Francisco’s Mayor, Gavin Newsom. The Intercontinental Hotel (888 Howard) and Citigroup Center (One Samsone) won the “Kilowatt Cup” (best overall). The Orrick Building (405 Howard) won “Greatest Improvement” and the Russ Building (235 Montgomery) won “Most Efficient.” For more information, visit sfenvironment.org.