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Pacific Gas and Electric Company Announces LEED® Gold Certification of its Historic San Francisco Office Building Nationally-Registered Historic 245 Market Building the Largest in San Francisco to be Certified

Release Date: February 13, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric Company today announced that its historic General Office Building and Annex, located at 245 Market Street, San Francisco, has been awarded Gold-level LEED® certification for existing buildings (LEED-EB) by the U.S. Green Building Council. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is one of six to be LEED-EB Gold certified in California. PG&E is also one of three utilities in the U.S. to achieve LEED-EB Gold or better ratings for its headquarter buildings.

"PG&E is committed to leading by example as we partner with our customers to meet the challenges associated with climate change," said Helen Burt, senior vice president and chief customer officer at PG&E. "LEED Gold certification of our 245 Market office building, which was constructed over 80 years ago, is a milestone and demonstrates the possibility of retrofitting historic buildings to meet today's leading environmentally-responsible design standards."

The PG&E General Office Building and Annex is comprised of 245 Market, built in 1925, and the adjacent 215 Market building, constructed in 1924. The buildings were combined into one following extensive rehabilitation efforts following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. PG&E worked closely with the National Trust for Historic Preservation throughout the rehabilitation effort to maintain the building's historic elements, completing the project in 1995. The resulting building accommodates 1,450 office workers, nine retail spaces and measures more than 470,000 square feet, making it the largest building in San Francisco and one of two within the city to be LEED-EB Gold certified.

"Buildings represent 39 percent of our nation's primary energy use and account for 71 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change," said Andrea Traber, board president of the U.S. Green Building Council's Northern California Chapter. "We commend PG&E for its ongoing environmental leadership and for taking on the challenge to upgrade a nationally-registered historic building."

The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a voluntary third party rating system where credits are earned for satisfying specified green building criteria. Projects are evaluated within five environmental categories, including Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality, with additional points available for innovations. Certified Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of green building certification are awarded based on the total credits earned. The historic design of 245 Market precluded it from qualifying for LEED-EB Platinum certification.

PG&E began exploring LEED certification in 2005 for 245 Market, to build upon many of the LEED principles that were incorporated during the post-Loma Prieta earthquake rehabilitation efforts and were expanded with PG&E's ongoing sustainable practices. PG&E achieved 15 of 16 possible points in the Materials and Resources category for its extensive programs governing recycling, composting and use of recycled materials. In addition, the utility's energy efficiency efforts, use of green products and employee participation in waste reduction scored high marks.

PG&E's 245 Market building has consistently been recognized over the years for its environmentally-responsible design and practices. In addition to the LEED-EB Gold certification, the facility has been recognized since 2001 by ENERGY STAR for its energy efficient practices, most recently receiving 95 out of 100 possible points. The San Francisco Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) has also recognized 245 Market for the past six years for achieving a 67 percent average waste diversion rate, reaching 71 percent in 2007.

PG&E continues to apply sustainability practices at its offices throughout its northern and central California service area. For example, the utility is currently implementing recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation and green cleaning plans at its San Ramon Valley Conference Center. The utility is also expanding application of LEED principles in all of its real estate practices.

The LEED-EB Gold Certification is the latest in a long and distinguished history of recognition for PG&E's environmental programs. With more than 150 environmental honors in total, the company has also recently been recognized by California's Planning and Conservation League as the Environmental Business of the Year, the Natural Resources Defense Council for its environmental leadership, and won the Pacific Forest Trust Award in Climate Protection and Forest Management Leadership, two Governors Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards, and the Solar Electric Power Association's Solar Business Achievement and Solar Portfolio Leadership awards.

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