This month’s topics: Energy-saving tips for the office, SDG&E’s weather station network, heat pump water heaters, green real estate training
5 TIPS TO REDUCE BUSINESS ENERGY COST
Energy is typically a big expense for small businesses, but small businesses also have significant energy savings potential. Here are some ways you can better manage your energy use.
By considering these steps, you could see changes in your energy bill. People often underestimate the little things they do at work, so promoting awareness about energy issues is important. Not only will you be lowering your energy bill, you’ll also be promoting a healthy environment within your own workplace. For more ideas on how to save energy in your business, visit sdge.com/business-winter.
SDG&E’S WEATHER STATION NETWORK HAS EXPANDED
A decade ago, San Diego Gas & Electric® hired its first meteorologist and started building its own weather station network, to closely track how temperature, humidity and winds affect the power grid and plan accordingly to reduce wildfire risk. Today, SDG&E has 191 weather stations and has continued to expand and upgrade its weather network. In the past year, 14 stations have been added in areas of concern. The weather network’s capabilities have been upgraded which allows more frequent data download and weather observations every 30 seconds, instead of every ten minutes.
How are locations of weather stations determined?
After each extreme weather event that results in Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), the meteorology team does a review of the weather forecast that led up to the PSPS. The team determined where a greater density of weather stations would be beneficial to improve coverage in the future.
By looking at the geography and topography of our region’s landscape on Google Earth,
SDG&E’s meteorologists can see which areas have signature traits that are conducive to strong winds. After a physical inspection of the region, those areas are targeted for additional weather stations.
How is weather data leveraged for forecasting?
SDG&E’s network of weather stations collects approximately 200,000 pieces of weather data daily. Over the past decade, the network has generated 700 million pieces of data. Using sophisticated computer algorithms and supercomputers, the meteorologists can leverage the historical data to run wildfire simulations and determine which areas would be at the greatest risk of catastrophic wildfires.
What lessons have been learned?
SDG&E’s weather stations have clocked hurricane-force winds – over 100 miles an hour. This has led to stronger design and engineering standards for power lines and poles, based on local conditions. Also learned is that conventional wisdom about where you find the strongest winds isn’t true. The weather stations have showed that the strongest winds are often found on down slopes of mountains rather than canyons and passes.
For more information
Data collected by our weather station is made available to the public. Visit sdgeweather.com to learn more.
WHY HEAT PUMPS ALL OF A SUDDEN?
In California, most greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions (45 percent) are from the transportation sector. The next largest source, approximately 24 percent, comes from buildings that rely on the combustion of natural gas to generate heat. So, to cut GHGs and push towards a zero-emissions future, adopting heat pumps for space and water heating could be a significant step.
Heat pumps don’t rely on combustion to work. Instead, they use electricity and refrigerants to move heat from one area to another; making them more efficient and safer than their gas counterparts. Today’s heat pumps are typically over 100 percent efficient.
Heat pump space heaters work similarly to heat pump water heaters, moving heat rather than creating it with combustion. Today’s systems are more sophisticated, so it pays to use an experienced contractor. A properly designed and installed heat pump space heater provides steady, even temperatures, with little or no noise at a much higher efficiency than any combustion-based system can.
Energy policy conversation in California includes replacing gas water heaters with heat pump water heaters and replacing gas furnaces with heat pumps for space heating. They’re a perfect solution in regions with small heating loads like most of California. Heat pumps are poised to be the heating solution for buildings and are front and center in efforts to reduce GHG emissions. If you’d like to contribute to the state’s initiative and help lower GHGs, SDG&E offers a $250 instant rebate for electric heat pump water heaters. Get long-term energy savings today. For more information, visit sdge.com/rebates.
Source: Efficiency First California
REAL ESTATE AGENTS CAN CERTIFY GREEN
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has created a free Green Designation certification training program tailored for real estate agents. This 2-day course provides training in green building and sustainable business practices so that real estate agents can seek out, understand and market properties with green features. SDG&E is hosting this training at the Energy Innovation Center. The learning level is for beginners.
Location: Energy Innovation Center at 4760 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92117
Time: 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. each day (Check-in is at 8:30 a.m.)
Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Realtors & lenders are welcome! For more information and registration please visit bit.ly/2u45TVQ.
All attendees who complete the two-day training will receive their NAR Green Designation Certification. Those who wish to receive the Continuing Education Units (CEU) will need to take an exam each day at the end of the day, with a 70% or better pass rate.