Friday, July 13, 2012

BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards Innovations - Electric Vehicle Charging Station at Post Montgomery Center

By BOMA Energy & Environment Committee Members Zachary Brown (CBRE) and Jessica Robinson (Zipcar)

The 2012 BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards may have come and gone, but the Energy and Environment Committee is already hard at work using BOMA member feedback to shape next year’s program.

The EARTH Awards recognize member buildings in San Francisco and Oakland that are leading the way in areas of sustainability like commercial recycling, energy and water conservation, and support for alternative transportation. Vanguard developments in these categories actuate the EARTH Award program, and 2013 will be the most innovative yet!

Indeed, your fellow BOMA members are redefining what environmental stewardship means to the industry, and it is the ethos of the 2013 EARTH Awards. Over the coming months, the Energy and Environment Committee will share profiles of EARTH Award applicant buildings to highlight the range and variety of ways members are pushing the proverbial envelope. 

To kick things off, Energy and Environment Committee members sat down with Jose Guevara, Property Manager for Cushman & Wakefield at the Post Montgomery Center. A repeat winner of the EARTH Awards, the Post Montgomery Center took home top honors in the large office building category between 2007 and 2011 and has received ENERGY STAR® recognition annually since its inception in 2001. With the numerous energy efficiency innovations employed at the building, Jose has lately been asked about the Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations launched in January 2011.

Post Montgomery Center was the first commercial building in the United States to install EV charging stations, and it took some convincing at first to get installer Coulomb Technologies on board with the idea - commercial properties weren’t even on their radar at the time. But since the charging stations went online at the Center, there hasn’t been a day where they have gone unused. Early adoption was spurred by existing tenants in the building who already owned EVs, and now other EV drivers seek out the garage as a charge-up point when they are downtown – a win for parking revenue and for the retailers in the Crocker Galleria which anchors the Post Montgomery Center. From a leasing perspective, the chargers are a key selling point and are featured prominently in the building’s environmental marketing and outreach..

Installing EV charging stations not only positively impacts the building’s carbon footprint, but also has an easily-overlooked benefit of improving the health of the valet attendants who work in the garage. Each EV represents an improvement in the air that they breathe every day.

Quick Facts: Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Post Montgomery Center:
  • Two commercial dual output Level 1/Level 2 stations capable of simultaneously charging 4 vehicles.
  • Installation cost: $5600. The building used funds awarded by a Department of Energy grant to offset the costs which would have totaled around $25,000 for the chargers, electrical upgrades, and installation. 
  • The property is part of the ChargePoint America program which publicizes all partner charging stations through their website and mobile apps. 
  • The building offers free charging but bills for the time a vehicle is parked in the garage. Valet attendants manage when the vehicles are plugged in to ensure everyone gets a charge-up. 
  • Jose has put together an Electrical Vehicle Charger Installation Guide to address for other commercial properties to reference. If you would like additional information, he may be contacted at
If you know of an innovation that you think deserves praise or want to share additional feedback about the EARTH Awards, please email Committee Chair Zach Brown at

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