Event brings together hundreds of environmental leaders to promote economic, environmental, and equity solutions for Southern California’s sustainable future
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 21, 2017 – Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) hosted nearly 800 environmental and building-industry leaders, along with representatives from more than 75 Southern California municipalities at the 16th Annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE) yesterday. The event is the longest running green building conference in Southern California and was held at SoCalGas’ LEED-certified Energy Resource Center (ERC) in Downey, California. Images from the conference are available here.
“SoCalGas has been a leader in clean energy for decades, and we will continue to work closely with the cities of Southern California to ensure a sustainable future. Hosting this Expo is just a small part of that mission,” said Dan Rendler, director of customer programs and assistance for SoCalGas. “SoCalGas is also working to encourage the building of dual-fuel zero-net-energy homes and to increase the production and use of renewable natural gas, and we’re pushing innovative ways to store renewable solar and wind energy through power-to-gas technology.”
The theme of this year’s conference, “Connected Cities: Economic, Environmental, and Equity Solutions,” emphasized the collaboration from between municipalities and building-industry organizations needed to create connected and thriving cities.
“Every year, this event presents more depth and breadth of solutions, case studies, and tools presented by and for municipalities to use in helping create a more sustainable path for us all,” said Dominique Hargreaves, executive director of U.S. Green Build Council Los Angeles. “This year, especially, we are hoping that cities take with them the three E’s – Economic, Environmental and Equity solutions – to advance their own ‘connected cities.”
“LADWP presented on water conservation and shared what we’re doing as a utility to save water and power at our facilities,” said exhibitor Rick Silva, supervisor of the water conservation response unit at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “I’ve been in water conservation for more than 15 years, and I’ve noticed that, now more than ever, people are willing to make positive, eco-conscious changes. The climate for clean energy is changing, and the time to act is now. We need to connect, and we need to be persistent.”
“SoCal Edison offers a variety of programs to support customers’ projects and sustainability goals, like Savings By Design, which is a program that provides design assistance and financial incentives to support energy efficiency in non-residential, new construction projects,” said exhibitor Dave Intner, program architect for the Savings By Design program at Southern California Edison. “I’ve been attending this conference for 7 or 8 years now because I enjoy interacting with forward-thinking, innovative, and fun people that are doing some really interesting things to advance the principles of sustainability. This is always a great event.”
“I’m excited about today’s event that SoCalGas has co-sponsored,” said participant George Bandy, vice president of sustainability at Mohawk Group. “As the largest flooring manufacturer in the world, we believe that Mohawk has a responsibility to promote a system that contributes to Mother Nature rather than detracts from it. It’s inspiring to be here learning from the best of the best in the industry.”
Hosting the MGBCE is just one example of SoCalGas’ commitment to sustainable practices and innovation. SoCalGas is currently working with industry-leading experts and researchers to advance power-to-gas technology to help California meet its clean energy goals. The power-to-gas technology takes excess renewable electricity that would otherwise go to waste and converts it to hydrogen. The hydrogen is then combined with carbon dioxide and fed to a bioreactor where organisms produce renewable natural gas, or RNG, that can be used in everything from home appliances to industrial processes, engines, and power plants.
SoCalGas has also partnered with waste management company CR&R Environmental to use renewable natural gas from CR&R's anaerobic digestion facility in Perris, California is to fuel up to 320 of CR&R's recycling and waste collection vehicles operating in Southern California. The trucks are already being fueled with renewable gas from special storage trailers while SoCalGas completes a 1.4-mile pipeline that will bring the carbon-neutral renewable natural gas into the SoCalGas distribution system. This will be the first time that renewable natural gas supply will be directly interconnected with and piped into the SoCalGas system.
In addition, SoCalGas pursues LEED certification for all remodels and new construction greater than 10,000 square feet. It has also earned LEED certifications for nine facilities as well as various honors for environmental stewardship, including U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards for outstanding contributions to energy efficiency and environmental education.
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About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has been delivering clean, safe, and reliable natural gas to its customers for 150 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 21.6 million consumers connected through 5.9 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
About U.S. Green Building Council – Los Angeles
U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation. Our mission promotes sustainability in LA County's built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition, and networking.
About the Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo
Since its inception in 2000, the Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE) has become an important gathering of leading sustainability and green building advocates within both the public and private sectors in southern California. Hosted by the SoCalGas at the ERC building in Downey, this annual Spring conference and trade show provides training, education and outreach to inform local government agencies, building industry professionals and the general public about the principles, practices and products associated with green building.
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