San Diego Libraries Zero Net Energy and Integrated Demand Side Management Demonstration Project

A Blueprint for Local Governements to Achieve Zero Net Energy

Center for Sustainable Energy


San Diego, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

The agreement has ended. All CEC reimbursable funds have been paid. All remaining project activities will be funded by CSE and City match contributions. The team is finalizing deliverables under revised T&Cs that include a liquidated damages clause, to obtain an updated Final report and 2nd final meeting, scheduled for March 29, 2021. This project aims to serve as a blueprint for the City to consider incorporating emerging technology measures, maximizing energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of municipal and small commercial buildings to achieve ZNE goals. The UC San Diego campus plans to install the BertBrain plug load controls in large plug in devices. The has Project updates and case the are posted at their website

The Issue

California's ZNE goals set a requirement of 50% of municipal buildings to be ZNE by 2025. There is a need to test and demonstrate technologies in a ZNE to create a replicable blueprint for local governments to achieve ZNE buildings for continued growth.

Project Innovation

Through a partnership with the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and the City of San Diego, the project demonstrates a BertBrain pre-commercial plug load technology integrated into the building management systems to serve as a blueprint to local governments. The project also improves energy efficiency by installing LED lighting, enhanced building automation, and controls at three City libraries. The research created community outreach by creating energy kiosk displays that allow the public to visualize each library's energy consumption, solar generation, and energy savings.

Project Benefits

The commercial sector, and local governments in particular, tend to be risk averse. This project demonstrated an integrated approach by testing and installing a precommerical plug load technology, and other energy efficiency measures without disrupting municipal operations, which is key to encouraging greater adoption of the technologies. The successful implementation of technology can encourage local governments and the commercial building industry to budget, plan and prioritize these types of projects for existing building ZNE upgrades leading up to the state's 2030 requirements.

Lower Costs


The project reduced energy by integrating a package of energy efficiency measures with a pre commercial technology. It is estimated that the project could save the City of San Diego approximately $36,000 annually, collectively at the three public libraries,not including solar generation savings.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Lindsey Hawes

Project Manager



Mazzetti, Inc.


Sustainability Matters


US Green Building Council - Los Angeles Chapter


M+NLB Construction


ABM Building Services,LLC


ABM Electrical and Lighting Solutions Inc


Match Partners


San Diego Gas &amp


Electric Company


City of San Diego


US Green Building Council - Los Angeles Chapter


ABM Electrical and Lighting Solutions Inc


Contact the Team