City Energy Accomplishments
- The City avoids approximately $1 million in projected electricity costs annually due to a new rate analysis service provided by the Energy and Conservation Management Division (ECMD). The division provides this service to all City departments to help reduce overall costs. All City facilities that use electricity are assigned tariff rate schedules that are determined by the local utility, San Diego Gas & Electric. To conduct the rate analysis, the energy division does a comprehensive comparison of about six different utility tariff schedules for each bill until a lower rate appears. The ECMD consults with City departments to ensure operations are not impacted prior to switching to a cheaper tariff and no other direct action is required by the affected department. About 20 pumps operated by the Water and Metropolitan Wastewater departments that use the largest amounts of electricity - more than 50 percent of the City's annual electricity bill – have been switched to the cheaper rates. The energy division is continuing verification for all the other City accounts.
- City Council approved a $4.3 million energy-efficient retrofit to the Police Headquarters to make it virtually independent of the power grid and accomplished at no additional costs to the City. Improvements include a co-generation plant, photovoltaics, efficient lighting, window tinting, and an energy-management system. The project was completed in 2004.
- The City launched the first government-to-business paperless invoicing and payment system with SDG&E that eliminates hand processing of 3,000 individual energy accounts. With Intranet-based Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), City staff spends more time analyzing the City's energy use rather than laboriously entering paper utility bills manually into the City's data base. EDI allows real-time analysis of energy consumption and costs and eliminates a six-month processing delay. Going paperless eliminated an estimated 10 tons of pollution annually.
- Among the first challenges identified was managing the City's SDG&E energy accounts and providing timely reports to department managers that allow them to make appropriate action to conserve energy based on accurate information. An additional benefit is the potential cost avoidance savings of up to $200,000 per year in energy costs through more proactive management of the City's energy useage. The additional time spent on management and analysis of the City's energy use and opportunities for energy conservation will result in long-term energy efficiencies and savings that will benefit the City for many years into the future.