SAN DIEGO. The playing surface isn't all that is green this year at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres and the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Energy Upgrade California, a statewide initiative devoted to promoting energy efficiency and conservation, honored the Padres with its 'Stay Golden Energy Leadership Award,' a designation granted in recognition of the team's commitment to sustainability and effort to reduce the overall carbon footprint of its downtown San Diego home. Among an extensive list of green initiatives, a highlight of the Padres' commitment to sustainability includes the complete conversion of ballpark lighting to state-of-the-art LED technology, reducing overall energy usage by more than 40 percent.
"The Padres' industry-leading dedication in the sustainable operation of Petco Park sets an example for all Californians to follow," said Jean Vreeland, marketing and channel integration manager for Energy Upgrade California. "Whether it's the home of the Padres or the home you live in, we all can take real action to use less energy and reduce our carbon footprint."
Bear, from the state flag and Energy Upgrade California's biggest fan, presented the award to the Padres at the Friday, May 20th game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Energy Upgrade California also had a resource center located at the Park providing fans with energy saving tips and items for their own homes.
The ballpark's reduction in energy use from the new MUSCO LED Sports Lighting system is equivalent to taking 660 cars off the road for an entire year. The system provides numerous benefits ranging from reduced glare both inside and outside the ballpark to improved visibility for both players and fans.
In addition to transitioning ballpark lighting to LED, the Padres are also changing lighting throughout its facilities, with Petco Park converting to 95 percent LED by this July's MLB All-Star Game.
"From the day Petco Park opened in 2004, sustainability and a commitment to the environment have been driving principles of our operations," said Mark Guglielmo, Padres vice president of ballpark operations and general manager of Petco Park. "We're fortunate to live in a beautiful city, and we consider it our responsibility to do everything we can to preserve our quality of life. We're continuously reviewing our operations and evaluating new technologies to make the ballpark one of the greenest in all of baseball." In addition to utilizing LED lighting, other green/sustainable programs at Petco Park include:
Recycling - The Padres diverted 74% of Petco Park waste from landfills in 2015, including 53.5 tons of cooking oil turned into bio-diesel, 247.2 tons of food waste composted and 10.1 tons of food donated.
Water Conservation - The Padres installed in-sink aerators and low-flow fixtures to conserve more than 390,000 gallons of water in 2015.
Green Waste Recycling - Grass clippings from the playing field are sent to the Miramar Greenery for composting.
The Padres leadership in sustainability is among the factors resulting in the ballpark being named a finalist for Sports Facility of the Year by the Sports Business Journal, a distinction drawing from all professional and collegiate facilities across the nation.
"The steps the Padres have taken to improve the sustainability of Petco Park provide some real, transferable examples that all Californians can implement in their own homes," said Vreeland. "Their home may be just a bit larger with more visitors but many of the same principles apply."
Taking a page from the Padres' book, homeowners can realize significant energy savings through tactics including:
Updating the home lighting:
LED bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Changing just 5 of the most frequently used lights in your home can save $75 per year.
Upgrading home appliances: Purchasing household appliances with an ENERGY STAR designation can deliver maximum savings an ENERGY STAR washing machine can save more than 3,000 gallons of water per year.
Prepping for warm weather: In California, 30 percent of energy use in the home is for heating and cooling. As the 'Boys of Summer' take the field, schedule a maintenance check-up for your cooling system before the hot weather hits. Caulking and weather stripping can save up to $50 per year.
Arranging a home assessment: The Padres take a 'whole home' view of Petco Park to evaluate energy saving opportunities. A home assessment can provide a roadmap detailing ways to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient.
For more information on easy ways homeowners can realize energy savings, visit www.EnergyUpgradeCA.org