The Energy Training Center showing the exterior and interior of model homes

Buildings and Facilities

Our focus on responsible practices at PG&E extends to our buildings and facilities, where we are working to reduce our environmental footprint through reduced water and energy usage and increased waste diversion. Our efforts rely on the engagement and participation of all employees, including a network of grassroots volunteers who train their colleagues in best practices and the impact they can have at work.

Our Approach

Energy, Water and Waste Reduction

We continue to execute a multifaceted strategy to invest in key facility improvements, engage employees and incorporate sustainability principles and continuous improvement into all aspects of our real estate management. In 2015, we set new annual targets for reducing energy, water and landfill waste in our office facilities and service yards. We also set a goal to achieve top-decile performance in facility energy and water reduction among industry peers by 2020, as part of PG&E’s climate pledge under the Obama Administration’s American Business Act on Climate initiative.

We committed for all of PG&E’s operations service centers—nearly 100 facilities in Northern and Central California—to be powered by solar energy through PG&E’s Solar Choice program, which enables customers to purchase up to 100 percent of their electricity from solar projects in PG&E’s service area.

We also continue to pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for new buildings and large remodel projects, guided by a set of healthy building standards and practices to help us improve indoor air quality, generate less waste and increase operational efficiency over the lifespan of our facilities.

Hazardous and Other Waste

In the normal course of business, our operations generate certain hazardous wastes. Waste is also created during the remediation and cleanup of historic legacy sites.

PG&E manages all hazardous waste in accordance with federal and state regulations. Our comprehensive approach includes providing guidance and training to employees to reduce waste and ensure it is properly managed from the point of generation to its ultimate disposal or recycling.

Federal hazardous waste management statutes include the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. In addition, our operations are subject to California’s hazardous waste management laws and regulations, which are more stringent and encompass a broader scope of waste streams. For example, wastes such as used oil are subject to California’s hazardous waste requirements.

2015 Milestones

Solar panels against blue skies

Supporting Solar Choice

All of PG&E’s operations service centers—nearly 100 facilities in Northern and Central California—are powered completely by solar energy through our Solar Choice program.

Highlights of our efforts at office facilities and service yards include:

  • Reduced water use by 7.8 percent compared to 2014, exceeding our target of 4.5 percent. We remained focused on repairing leaks, managing irrigation systems, installing low-flow plumbing fixtures and replacing landscaping with drought-resistant approaches. Our San Francisco Service Center earned a U.S. Green Building Council award for innovative systems that capture ground water for cooling and grey water for toilets.
  • Reduced energy use by 1.9 percent compared to 2014, falling short of our 2.5 percent target, primarily due to higher than expected natural gas use for heating late in the year. PG&E’s Step Up and Power Down initiative, an employee behavior-driven energy savings campaign, contributed to our gains. We also achieved reductions through upgrades, such as installing LED exterior lighting, and by adopting energy efficient designs during major remodel projects.
  • Reached a 79 percent waste-diversion rate, slightly below our 80 percent target. Engaging employees in a friendly waste competition was key to our efforts—as was ensuring yard bins were the right size and adding composting and single-stream recycling at more locations.
  • Achieved LEED certification for nearly 40 percent of our facility square footage. Our work in this area continues, with more than 20 LEED-certification projects in progress, including nine major remodel and new construction projects.
  • Offered a vehicle charging program for employees who drive their EVs to work. We have installed more than 180 Level 2 chargers at our facilities, which provide up to 25 miles of range for every hour of charging, with plans to install about 235 more in 2016.

Measuring Progress

Progress Toward PG&E’s Energy, Water and Waste Reduction Goals
Composite Total
Energy Reduction Footnote 1 16.4% 2.5% 1.9% 2.0%
Water Reduction Footnote 2 30.4% 4.5% 7.8% 3.5%
Waste Diversion Rate Footnote 3 81% 80% 79% 80%
  • 1. The energy reduction goal is measured in million BTUs (MMBtus) and is displayed in the table as a percentage reduction in MMBtus. The metric included between 156 and 168 sites from 2010 to 2014 and measured 171 sites in 2015. Return to table
  • 2. The water reduction goal is measured in gallons. The metric included between 91 and 135 sites from 2010 to 2014 and measured 133 sites in 2015. Return to table
  • 3. The waste diversion rate measures the diversion rate in the final quarter of each year for all non-hazardous waste at 115 sites covered by the California Mandatory Recycling regulation. Return to table

In 2015, PG&E continued to reduce energy and water use and to achieve high rates of waste diversion at office facilities and service yards. For 2016, we adjusted our methodology to measure energy and water reduction on a square-foot basis to facilitate improved benchmarking. Our goals are to reduce energy use by 2 percent, water use by 3.5 percent and achieve an 80 percent waste-diversion rate. In addition, we are working across departments to find opportunities to reduce the total amount of waste generated.

Energy Consumption Statistics

These figures represent electricity and natural gas usage at 171 facilities managed by our Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department.

Energy Consumed Footnote 1
2013 2014 2015
Electricity Consumed (Gigawatt hours) 78 73 76
Natural Gas Consumed (Million cubic feet) 119 101 99
Energy Intensity (Million BTUs per square foot) Footnote 2 60 58 54
  • 1. The data reflects the 12-month period from December to November and is normalized for weather. Return to table
  • 2. Figures are reported in the industry standard of BTU per square foot, which incorporates all of the energy used in a facility into one comparative number. Return to table

Water Use Statistics

In 2015, we made continued progress toward quantifying our “water footprint.” Please see the Water and Drought Response section for statistics on PG&E’s water usage.

Waste Generation Statistics

Waste Diversion at Facilities Footnote 1
Total Waste Generated (tons) 24,390
Total Waste Diverted (tons) 19,392
Waste Diversion Rate Footnote 2 79%
  • 1. The tonnage data reflects all of the non-hazardous municipal waste at 115 sites managed by PG&E’s Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department for the 12 months from October 2014 to September 2015. Return to table
  • 2. The percentage reflects the diversion rate in the final quarter of the metric year. Return to table

PG&E strives to minimize the overall amount of waste we generate, while composting organic waste and recycling non-hazardous materials such as glass, paper and certain metals. These figures represent the total waste diverted from the landfill at 115 sites managed by our Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department.

Other waste reduction efforts included:

  • Recycling nearly 27 million pounds of scrap iron, aluminum and copper from conductors, meters and miscellaneous material. We also recycled nearly 1.1 million pounds of recovered meters, 15.9 million pounds of transformers and 312,000 pounds of plastic, including pipes and hard hats.
  • Recycling 244 tons of e-waste, including consumer electronic devices, CPUs, monitors, servers, printers and other equipment.
  • Recycling more than 208,000 pounds of steel, copper and lead from the Humboldt Bay Power Plant and the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

Hazardous and Other Waste

The following table provides statistics on PG&E’s waste generation. While PG&E works to reduce hazardous waste, certain projects such as infrastructure upgrades or remediation of historical contamination may increase the amount generated in a given year.

Hazardous and Other Waste
2013 2014 2015
Total Hazardous Waste (tons) 22,234 28,164 78,750
RCRA Footnote 1 Hazardous Waste 1,570 1,391 1,747
TSCA Footnote 2 Hazardous Waste 2,901 885 1,082
California Regulated Hazardous Waste 17,763 25,888 75,921 Footnote 3
Federal Regulated Hazardous Waste (TSCA)—PCB Waste ≥ 50 ppm PCB (tons)
Total 2,901 885 1,082
Incineration 204 250 205
Landfill 2,697 504 804
Recycled 0 131 73
% Recycled 0% 14.8% 6.7%
California Regulated Hazardous Waste (Non-RCRA) Footnote 4 (tons)
Total 17,763 25,888 75,921
Disposed 12,539 17,860 64,254
Recycled 5,224 8,028 11,667
% Recycled 29.4% 31.0% 15.4%
Other Waste
Universal Waste (tons)
Total 199 268 488
Recycled 199 268 488
% Recycled 100% 100% 100%
Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposed (cubic feet)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant 2,630 810 947
Humboldt Bay Power Plant 13,404 18,966 60,814
Radioactively Cleared Waste Disposed (pounds)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant 167,871 291,728 169,577
Humboldt Bay Power Plant 5,429,786 12,586,215 27,846,637
Recycled Materials from Power Plants (pounds)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Steel 31,649 18,167 0
Copper 1,450 0 12,404
Lead N/A 3,007 0
Humboldt Bay Power Plant
Steel 120,340 129,940 160,820
Copper 12,500 0 0
Lead 0 17,305 35,100
  • 1. Refers to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Return to table
  • 2. Refers to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Return to table
  • 3. The increase in hazardous waste was largely driven by PG&E’s remediation at some larger-scale remediation sites. Return to table
  • 4. These figures include polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste < 50 ppm PCB. Return to table

Air Emissions

To comply with local air quality regulations, PG&E is focused on minimizing air emissions from its conventional sources of power generation. The following figures reflect emissions from PG&E-owned generation sources.

Air Emissions Footnote 1
2013 2014 2015
Total NOX Emissions (tons) 153 141 160
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 23 25 30
Gateway Generating Station 78 80 79
Colusa Generating Station 52 36 50
NOX Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.04 0.15 0.15
Gateway Generating Station 0.05 0.05 0.05
Colusa Generating Station 0.04 0.03 0.03
Fossil Plants 0.05 0.05 0.04
All Plants 0.01 0.01 0.01
Total SO2 Emissions (tons) 17 14 17
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 1 1 1
Gateway Generating Station 11 8 8
Colusa Generating Station 5 5 8
SO2 Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.004 0.004 0.005
Gateway Generating Station 0.007 0.005 0.005
Colusa Generating Station 0.004 0.004 0.004
Fossil Plants 0.005 0.005 0.005
All Plants 0.0011 0.001 0.001
Total Particulate Matter Emissions (tons) 95 92 108
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 44 45 49
Gateway Generating Station 25 23 23
Colusa Generating Station 25 25 35
Total CO Emissions (tons) 45 39 48
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 15 20 29
Gateway Generating Station 10 9 7
Colusa Generating Station 20 10 12
Total VOC Emissions (tons) 59 53 61
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 41 40 46
Gateway Generating Station 11 8 8
Colusa Generating Station 7 5 6
  • 1. Due to rounding conventions, some data above sum to an amount greater or less than the totals provided. Additionally, there were no reportable mercury air emissions from PG&E’s facilities during 2013 to 2015. Return to table

Looking Ahead

Our environmental goals are based on promoting a safe and healthy workplace and making our facilities more sustainable over time using LEED green building standards. This approach is central to achieving our 2020 goal to be top decile among industry peers in energy, water and waste reduction.

PG&E Chief Customer Officer Laurie Giammona receiving flag from Congressman Jerry McNerney

New Stockton Regional Office a vision in energy efficiency and green building

We opened our Stockton Regional Office—with solar panels that provide 30 percent of the building’s power usage, electric vehicle charging stations and a display home to educate visitors on zero net energy.

Congressman Jerry McNerney presents PG&E Chief Customer Officer Laurie Giammona with a resolution and U.S. flag commemorating the grand opening of the new Stockton Regional Office.





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