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IBEW Local 595 Training Center Is First CA Commercial Retrofit to Achieve “Zero Net Energy”

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California Gov. Jerry Brown attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 595′s new training center last week, celebrating the first California commercial retrofit to be recognized by the Department of Energy for achieving “zero net energy.”

The term “zero net energy” implies that in combining solar panels, wind turbines, lighting fixtures and other energy-efficient features the building will only use as much energy as it creates.

The building meets the State of California’s energy efficiency goals of having all buildings achieve “zero net energy” by 2030 and also exceeds the efficiency goals of President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative.

The 46,000 square-foot structure was retrofitted by the IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Associaton (NECA) and will help the state meet its 2030 training goals.  ”We wanted to build a new facility that showed more than the skills and knowledge of our IBEW members,” Local 595 Business Manager Victor Uno said.  “We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to energy conservation and sustainability. We are helping to move California’s energy policies forward.”

Its impressive list of energy features includes the following statistics:

• 50 percent lighting energy reduction through daylighting, occupancy sensors, LEDs and solar tubes
• 80 percent HVAC energy reduction
• 90 percent computer energy reduction by upgrading equipment to Energy Star
• 75 percent reduction in energy use compared to similar US buildings
• 29 percent energy use reduction compared to new commercial construction in California.

“This isn’t about powering up,” Uno said. “We powered down. This is where we need to go for energy policy, independence and to comply with California policy.”


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