Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) presented the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) with a celebratory energy savings rebate check for two of its facilities, the San Francisco Federal Building and the Robert E. Coyle Federal Courthouse in Fresno, Calif. Energy efficiency was an essential design aspect of the facilities and earned the federal government a $300,000 rebate check. The rebate is an incentive from one of PG&E’s industry-leading energy-efficiency programs, which have helped its customers save more than $20 billion in energy costs over the past three decades.

“The GSA is an excellent example of how government can do its part for the environment and save taxpayers money by implementing energy-efficient designs into its facilities,” said Helen Burt, senior vice president and chief customer officer for PG&E.

Combined, the GSA’s energy-efficient building designs in San Francisco and Fresno could potentially generate a collective savings of approximately 1 MW and 2.8 million kilowatt-hours and prevent the emission of close to 1.5 tons of greenhouse gases per year. This is the equivalent of powering more than 400 households or taking more than 200 cars off the road for a year.

Design aspects of the San Francisco building include a natural ventilation system with operable windows that dramatically reduces energy consumption. The use of natural ventilation eliminates the need of mechanical ventilation in more than 70 percent of the tower’s area. This 18-story structure uses about 30 percent less energy than traditional high-rise buildings. Both buildings are designed to conserve natural resources, take advantage of the equable climate, minimize waste and create a healthy and productive work environment for all its tenants.