Our approach to sustainability means we’re reducing our carbon footprint, fostering energy innovation and conservation, and encouraging our employees and the communities we serve to take daily action to ensure a sustainable energy future.
For more information regarding sustainability, see Sempra Energy's Corporate Sustainability Report.
Visit our Community Partners & Projects page to learn about how we're partnering with nearly 100 environmental non-profit organizations.
Bringing You Renewable Energy
Around 45 percent of the electricity that powers the region’s homes and businesses comes from renewable sources, such as solar and wind. Compare that to the national average of about 10 percent. It’s also worth noting that there are no coal contracts as part of our energy portfolio.
A Clean Energy Option
Today, you have the choice to be green with energy you use at your residence – sign up for EcoChoice. You can commit to getting up to 100 percent of your energy from renewable sources through the EcoChoice program. This is a great option for customers who don’t own their own home or can’t install solar panels on their roof. And your participation helps support local renewable energy facilities.
Energy storage plays a key role in our region’s clean energy future. Today, we have more than 125 megawatts (MW) of energy storage and more is on the way. We’re planning for 170 megawatts of additional storage.
North America’s Largest Lithium-Ion Battery
In 2017, local residents and businesses began receiving power from (at the time) North America’s largest lithium-ion battery. The 30-megawatt facility in Escondido can store up to 120 megawatt-hours of energy, which is like powering 20,000 homes for four hours.
Inside the Escondido facility are 400,000 battery packs in containers that act like a giant sponge, soaking up and storing energy when it’s abundant – when the sun is shining, the wind is blowing and energy use is low – and delivering that power to customers when they need it most.
Advanced Storage Technology
Vanadium redox flow battery storage technology is being tested as part of a collaboration between SDG&E, Sumitomo Electric and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization. The flow battery in Bonita, California, is part of a four-year demonstration project which began in 2017. The technology is being tested for its ability to support voltage and frequency, and shift energy demand while leveraging renewable energy. This improves power grid reliability as more solar and wind power come online. Whether it is vanadium redox flow or lithium-ion batteries, we’re committed to using energy technologies that maximize value for customers and help build a clean, safe and reliable power grid.
696 Million Gallons of Water Saved…and counting
Built in 2006, SDG&E’s 566-megawatt Palomar Energy Center in Escondido is a state-of-the-art power plant, producing more electricity than older plants that use the same amount of natural gas. When operating at its maximum capacity, the Center produces enough energy to power more than 360,000 homes. Reclaimed water (treated wastewater) is used in the electric generation process, reducing the draw on natural resources. This saved 696 million gallons of fresh water in 2017 and made the Center the largest user of reclaimed water in the City of Escondido.
Drought Tolerant Landscaping and Water Conservation at SDG&E Facilities
In 2016, we re-landscaped our headquarters in Kearny Mesa, replacing grass with drought-tolerant vegetation that’s estimated to save more than four million gallons of water per year. In total, we have nine LEED® certified buildings. The SDG&E Energy Innovation Center in Clairemont Mesa is a model of efficiency. Check out these stats:
- One of the first 10 buildings in the world to achieve double LEED® Platinum certification
- Water-wise walkway with drought tolerant plans
- Roof-top rain water collection system
Our Century Park East office building – a recent extension of our headquarters in Kearny Mesa – received LEED® Gold certification due in part to its 42 percent reduction in water use through highly efficient plumbing and 460,000 gallons of water saved per year.
Transmission Tower Condensation Collection
More than 1,900 miles of transmission lines are needed to meet the energy demands of the 3.6 million people we serve. These lines are supported by a series of transmission towers. We thought of a cool idea to capture the water condensation that flows off the transmission towers and use that water for dust control and other operations near these towers. We collect the condensation in underground basins, which means no portable water truck is needed.
In addition to recycling and green waste reduction efforts, SDG&E participates in two unique programs centered on food waste reduction from our food service operations.
In 2017, SDG&E diverted over 32 tons of pre- and post-consumer food waste from landfills through participating in the City of San Diego’s Miramar Greenery composting program. SDG&E’s headquarters location fills 19 food waste carts every week. Through our actions, we’re diverting over 300,000 pounds of foodwaste from the landfill every year.
In addition, we get food that would otherwise end up in landfills to Feeding San Diego so they can feed those in the community that need a nourishing meal. In 2017, over 3,900 meals were provided for Feeding San Diego.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
SDG&E is a leader in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting, joining the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) in 2003 and The Climate Registry (TCR) in 2008. We supported the development of GHG reporting guidelines early on and began voluntary reporting before reporting became mandatory. We also began third-party verification of our first 2004 emissions inventory in 2005.
Studying Climate Change Impacts
The impacts of climate change pose a threat to California’s energy infrastructure and the communities that it serves. To better understand these impacts and how we need to adapt, the California Energy Commission supported studies to analyze the potential exposure of climate change impacts on energy infrastructure in our service area. Studies focused on energy infrastructure vulnerability to climate change-driven coastal wave flooding and erosion. It also looked at how natural gas pipelines are vulnerable to coastal hazards and also inland flooding, wildfires, extreme heat, and landslides and mudslides. The results of these studies were integrated into California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment and will serve as a tool for utilities to identify ways to be flexible. This research makes us better prepared for the short- and long-term impacts of climate change on our gas and electric infrastructure.