Blue Shield of California

At a Glance


Health Care

Project Type

Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




San Francisco, CA

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Net Present Value:


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Annual kWh Savings:

7,600,000 kWh

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Annual CO2 Reductions:

3,500 metric tons


Sam Holing identified opportunities for energy efficiency projects at Blue Shield facilities, including the implementation of on-site solar installations.


Blue Shield of California (Blue Shield), a leading health plan, wanted to explore its options for implementing renewable energy projects, retrofitting lighting, upgrading HVAC, and deploying an employee engagement program. EDF Climate Corps fellow Sam Holing was brought in to examine energy efficiency opportunities across three owned facilities, which together comprise nearly 500,000 square feet of office space. 


Working alongside the Facilities and Corporate Citizenship team, Sam conducted a financial and environmental analysis for two on-site solar installations and developed a model to evaluate the impact of moving two on-site data centers to colocation facilities. Transitioning his attention to the “low-hanging fruit,” Sam identified opportunities for retrofitting existing fluorescent lighting with more efficient LED lamps. He also worked on HVAC optimization. By matching cooling capacity to equipment load and strategically scheduling, Sam anticipated load changes and eliminate wasteful spending. His last days were spent working alongside the Internal Communications team to develop an employee awareness campaign focused on sustainability and energy conservation.

Potential Impact

The on-site solar installations together will generate over 3.2 megawatts of energy, saving Blue Shield nearly $6 million in electricity costs over their lifetime. Based on Sam’s evaluation, replacing the fluorescent lamps with LEDs could reduce energy use by 682,000 kilowatt-hours annually. In total, Blue Shield could save approximately $318,000 annually, cut 7.6 million kilowatt-hours annually and avoid approximately 3,500 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

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