DMV San Ysidro Field Office Earns Incentives for Going Green

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: DMV Media Relations

June 6 , 2007

Sacramento –Officials from the state Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of General Services today recognized the DMV’s San Ysidro Office as “Gold” certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building rating system during a morning plaque unveiling ceremony in San Ysidro.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) jointly presented Louis Stewart, Special Advisor to the Director of DMV and Will Semmes, Chief Deputy Director of Real Estate at DGS, with a $13,815 incentive check, as part of the utility’s innovative Sustainable Communities Program which provides funding to deserving public and private entities to further promote green building endeavors.

DMV Director George Valverde said that the LEED Gold Certification and the recognition from SDG&E is only the beginning of the department’s permanent and ongoing commitment toward “greening” all facilities—whether they are newly constructed or retrofitted with the latest environmentally-sound technology. “We are delighted to accept the incentive check from SDG&E that acknowledges the hugely complex planning, design and construction process that went into the creation of this beautiful new building,” Director Valverde said.

LEED Gold certification is the second-highest awarded by USGBC. DMV is currently pursuing a Platinum rating for the San Ysidro office, which is awarded to buildings that meet and sustain certain prerequisites and performance benchmarks.

“The office was built to provide great service to our many customers in the city of San Ysidro and the San Diego metropolitan community, as well as to meet Governor Schwarzenegger’s goal of reducing energy consumption by 20 percent in all state buildings by 2015 as directed by Executive Order S-20-04. We are extremely proud of the LEED Gold certification, which is a landmark for DMV. Our absolute goal is to make it the first of many,” he said.

The 14,656 square-foot San Ysidro building was designed to achieve LEED certification, and was constructed by utilizing the industry’s latest, most innovative and environmentally-sound technologies. For example, in late January, SDG&E approved DMV to start utilizing electricity generated from photo-voltaic (PV) panels located on the building’s roof. That system is part of the Governor’s “Million Solar Roofs Plan” introduced in 2004 that aims to provide 3000 megawatts of clean energy statewide, thereby reducing the output of greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million tons.

The strips of panels used for the collection of solar energy were also an integral part of the building’s construction process. The panels feed directly into the office’s electrical system and provides up to 7 percent of the building’s total daily energy needs. That equates to enough electricity to power two average-sized California homes for an entire year. SDG&E, in turn,  purchases the power generated by the building’s PV system on weekends when the office is usually closed, which means added savings for DMV and approximately 10,000 fewer pounds of carbon emissions pumped into the earth’s atmosphere.

“The San Ysidro DMV participated in our Sustainable Communities Program, which promotes green building, energy efficiency and renewable energy,” said Rick Morrow, vice president, customer services-major markets for SDG&E, “and we’re pleased to present the incentive check for being a ‘Sustainable Communities Champion.’  SDG&E is committed to meeting our customers’ and the State’s energy needs in the most environmentally  responsible way possible and we’re proud of our track record to help influence sustainable development and encourage energy efficiency by allocating more than $800,000 in incentives to similar completed and future Sustainable Communities projects in the region,” Morrow said.

In addition to the solar panels, the San Ysidro DMV office also features specially glazed windows, energy-efficient fluorescent and high-pressure sodium lighting and skylights to increase natural lighting and reduce electrical lighting needs as well as to lower heating and cooling costs.

DMV officials also report that 50 percent of the building’s construction waste was recycled in some way, and even integrated some of it in landscaping materials around the office. Plus, all of the building’s electricity costs have been “offset” by the purchase of wind energy through a two-year contract with “Green-e” Renewable Certificates based on the building’s estimated energy use. Shortly after the office opened, the building earned a “SANDEE” (San Diego Excellence in Energy) Award from the San Diego Regional Energy Office for its outstanding conservation practices.

By incorporating both energy efficiency and energy conservation, the estimated annual energy savings will be 34 percent greater than that required by California Energy Efficiency standards.

Editors note: After the plaque unveiling and check presentation ceremony all speakers will be available for comment to media representatives. There will also be tours of the facility for anyone who is interested. For security and privacy reasons, DMV asks that no photographs/video be taken of confidential paperwork or computer screens behind work counters.

Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (, including online appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions.

DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools.


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