Community College Collects On Energy-Efficiency Efforts (Daily Californian)

(Reposted from an article in the Daily Californian, written by By Farha Rizvi, published March 21, 2007)

In recognition of Berkeley City College’s energy-efficient designs, PG&E gave the school’s overseeing district a $120,226 rebate check Friday at the district’s second annual conference on sustainability.

The Peralta Community College District received the money through Savings By Design, a statewide program run by PG&E and other utility companies that encourages green design and construction, wrote district spokesperson Jeff Heyman in an e-mail.

PG&E worked with the district to implement energy-saving strategies such as energy-efficient water pumps, windows and air conditioning systems, said Keely Wachs, the company’s environmental communications manager.

The changes were implemented to minimize pollution and take action against global warming, Keely said.

“PG&E shares its environmental goals with its customers and strongly encourages them to save energy,” Wachs said.

The district began participating in Savings By Design last year to assist the state in meeting the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which requires the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020, Wachs said.

The district includes the Berkeley City College in Downtown Berkeley, Laney College in Oakland, the College of Alameda in Alameda and Merritt College in Oakland.

District officials consulted architects, the city of Berkeley, community college students and Berkeley residents when designing the building, Heyman said.

District officials said they will continue to promote green technology.

“We’re pushing for solar panels and waterless urinals, which are possible with the technology we have,” said Nicky Gonzalez Yuen, a member of the Peralta Community College Board of Trustees.

“In this district and this area there is a commitment to sustainability. This building is just a down payment,” Yuen said.