STOCKTON, Calif., Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today unveiled the utility's first zero net energy (ZNE) home display and modular classroom at its Energy Training Center in Stockton. The ZNE home display features best-in-class methods used by three residential zero net energy experts, while the ZNE modular classroom demonstrates zero net energy building techniques and design in practice.
"The addition of these ground-breaking zero net energy educational resources to PG&E's Energy Training Center truly complements our zero net energy curriculum, which equips students to address the demand for improved energy performance in new and existing housing," said Gary Girardi, supervisor of PG&E's Energy Training Center. The oldest of its kind in the U.S., PG&E's Energy Training Center provides continuing education for businesses, construction professionals and participants of energy efficiency education programs.
"Those in the building industry face aggressive energy-saving standards," Girardi added, "and we look forward to using our expertise and resources – including the two exciting and new resources we have now added – to help them realize the energy savings possible through zero net energy buildings."
The new ZNE home display and modular classroom support an action plan of the California Public Utilities Commission for all new residential construction in California to be zero net energy by 2020. The goal for new commercial construction is to achieve zero net energy by 2030. ZNE buildings produce as much clean energy as they use during a year through a combination of designed energy efficiency and on-site, grid-tied renewable energy production.
The ZNE home display provides residential builders with hands-on guidance on how to apply ZNE principles to their practice, including how to design a highly efficient building and how to cost-effectively size on-site renewable generation. A short video features ZNE experts Ann Edminster, Rick Chitwood and Steve Easley demonstrating how technologies and strategies contributed to zero net energy results at a single-family home in San Jose, Calif.
Engineered and manufactured by American Modular Systems, the "Gen7" ZNE modular classroom leverages advanced design and performance to exceed Title 24 energy standards by an average of 50 percent before the addition of renewable energy. Energy-efficient features include an ultra-tight building envelope, high R-value insulation, large low-E view windows and skylights, natural ventilation, and automatic light and climate control. With the addition of roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels, the classroom becomes zero net energy.
PG&E's Energy Training Center in Stockton focuses on residential buildings and is the longest continuously operating weatherization training center in the nation, supporting the state's energy goals since 1978. Over time, the center has trained more than 91,000 participants who, in turn, have performed energy audits, weatherization or home performance services for more than two million Californians.
About Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.
About American Modular Systems
American Modular Systems (AMS) is the leading manufacturer of Zero Net Energy (ZNE) and green modular schools and classrooms. In 2009, AMS transformed the industry with the introduction of the award-winning Gen7 line of high performance classrooms—healthy, sustainable, energy-efficient classrooms that provide the ideal learning environment for students of all ages. For more information, visit www.americanmodular.com or www.gen7schools.com.
About Steve Easley & Associates
Steve is an internationally recognized construction consultant who specializes in green building and high performance building practices for existing and new construction and remodeling. Steve's business advises industry professionals on how to build and remodel structures that are durable, energy efficient, healthy and comfortable to live and work in. Steve is a frequently requested speaker because of his practical approach to building science, his dynamic speaking style and his unique ability to explain complex concepts in simple terms that can be easily integrated into practice.
About Ann V. Edminster
Ann V. Edminster, M.Arch., LEED AP, is a leading international expert on green home design and construction. A central focus of her consulting practice is assisting design and building professional firms in developing their capacity to create better buildings. She is a principal author of the LEED for Homes Rating System and author of the award-winning book, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, a comprehensive guide for those seeking to design and build zero net energy homes. An acclaimed speaker, teacher, and writer, Ann advises a wide range of building industry clients.
About Rick Chitwood
Rick Chitwood, BSME, founder and principal of Chitwood Energy Management Inc., is an expert in energy-efficient residential building construction, diagnostic testing, and performance evaluation. Pursuing building performance, and practicing home performance contracting, started in 1985 with the company's first blower door purchase – 20 years before the term "Home Performance Contracting" began to be used. Today Rick spends most of his time training contractors, project consulting, doing field research, helping with the updates to the California Energy Code, and is the co-author of a new book, Measured Home Performance.
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)