San Diego’s Historic Museums and Zoo Collaborate to Cut Carbon

Balboa Park Cultural Partnership Recognized for Energy Efficiency Leadership

SAN DIEGO, CA – May 8, 2012 – The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (BPCP) is honored by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) with membership in its Cool Planet Program, given in recognition of the extensive energy efficiency projects implemented in Balboa Park. The Cool Planet Program, co-administered by The Climate Registry, offers SDG&E’s business customers incentives to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Cool Planet Program provides assistance with measuring, managing and reducing their carbon footprint.

"I am very proud of the progress that has been made in the Park over the last few years.  The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership has provided leadership through collaboration, which has helped bring this issue to the forefront.  With the help of corporate sponsors like San Diego Gas & Electric, the partnership with the City of San Diego and numerous Park stakeholders, we have succeeded in making sustainability a TOP priority in the Park,” says Councilman Todd Gloria.

BPCP’s goal is to lower the carbon footprint of the Park through extensive energy management projects. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) retrofit projects have been installed at 11 cultural institutions, including the Museum of Photographic Arts and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. A 30-year old HVAC unit at the historic Old Globe Theater was replaced with a water-cooled, screw compressor chiller that is 30 percent more efficient, saving $4,000 - $8,000 monthly in energy costs.  A total of 29 lighting retrofits at the Prado Ballroom, Balboa Park Visitor Center, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego History Center, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Natural History Museum and San Diego Museum of Art Offices are complete.   An upgrade of lighting in the exhibition galleries at the San Diego Natural History Museum reduces the number of lamps by more than half. These energy efficiency projects result in an annual energy savings of 87,000 therms and 6 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and an energy cost savings of over $1 million. Through these energy efficiency initiatives, Balboa Park’s carbon footprint is reduced by 4,137 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is the equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 811 passenger vehicles.

At the San Diego Zoo, purchased electricity is the largest contributor to the Zoo’s carbon footprint. The Zoo is installing energy efficiency technology such as Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) on several of its filtration systems, which has reduced overall energy consumption by 15%. Replacing all of the lighting in the main Zoo gift shop is now saving $15,000 annually.    

SDG&E is committed to promoting energy efficiency as a key component of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping our customers reach their energy goals,” said Ted Reguly, director of customer programs and assistance for SDG&E.

About the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership

The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is a nonprofit organization formed in 2003 through which 26 arts, science and cultural institutions in Balboa Park, San Diego, collaborate to achieve greater organizational efficiency, innovation and excellence. The Partnership’s member institutions include museums, performing arts groups and theatres, cultural centers, gardens and the San Diego Zoo. Its Board of Directors is comprised of executive directors of member institutions.

Balboa Park Sustainability Program

A program of BPCP, through collaboration and community building, the Balboa Park Sustainability Program (BPSP) has developed a shared vision for “greening” Balboa Park. It continues to advance solutions that will help protect Park resources and strengthen economic viability, while enhancing staff and visitor experience and enjoyment. Established in 2008, the Sustainability Program’s purpose is to save money and natural resources through teaching and implementing energy efficiency and other conservation best practices, benefiting business, buildings, collections and attracting partners and funders.

About The Climate Registry

A North American non-profit, The Climate Registry assists its member organizations in measuring, managing and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in an accurate and transparent manner consistent across industry sectors and borders.

About San Diego Gas & Electric

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange Counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

Amy Holm


The Climate Registry


About Us

A North American non-profit, The Climate Registry assists its member organizations in measuring, managing and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in an accurate and transparent manner consistent across industry sectors and borders.


Documents & Links