The Environmental Sustainability Program started with a $10,000 grant for energy audits from San Diego’s City Council. The energy audits showed that park buildings could realize significant energy savings from retrofits. However, many of the member institutions rent their space and are faced with split incentives to implement these energy efficiency measures.
By collaborating with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), BPCP helped member institutions understand the opportunity offered by SDG&E’s on-bill financing program. In on-bill financing, SDG&E loans an institution the money at zero percent interest to make energy efficient upgrades or improvements. The loan is then paid back through the energy savings realized. After the loan terms have been satisfied, the institution realizes all future savings.
The BPCP Sustainability Program has received most of its funding from a combination of grants from the City of San Diego, SDG&E, and the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block (EECBG). In 2011-2012, Balboa Park’s institutions will spend $2.75 million on EECBG-funded energy efficiency projects. The Sustainability Program is also supported by the Partnership's Learning Institute, fees paid by member institutions, sustainability experts, and other Park stakeholders. Retrofits and other large scale projects carried out by individual member institutions are subsidized through rebates and On-Bill Financing.
Now supported by supported by nearly $3 million in funding from multiple sources, the Environmental Sustainability Program has evolved into a comprehensive set of programs and practices that integrate environmental sustainability into Balboa Park’s strategic plan and daily operations.