This week we took a moment to talk to Liz Perez, President and founder of GC Green Industries, a General Contracting firm providing Veteran-based workforce and construction solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Who are you and what does your organization do?
GC Green is a certified woman, Native American, and Service Disabled Veteran owned renewable energy and energy efficiency general contracting and consulting firm. We specialize in identifying and installing best of class energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for residential, commercial, and institutional customers.
We look to fully leverage the value of Veterans on behalf of our projects and customers. We believe that Military DNA represents an untapped asset and we are committed to teaming/partnering with other Veteran-Owned subcontractors. In addition, we look to develop and utilize the skills and experience of Veterans on our clean energy projects by means of education, on the job training and apprenticeship.
Example of Services Offered:
1. Water and Energy Efficiency – Assessments, audits, benchmarking, HVAC and lighting retrofits.
2. Renewable Energy – Solar photovoltaics, concentrating solar, solar thermal
3. Fuel cell. Small wind. Electric charging stations
4. Training – LEED, Solar, BPI, mentoring, Veteran entrepreneurship
5. Outreach – Veteran sourcing and placement
6. Water conservation
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability = Security (National Security)
After my 8.5 year Naval service I wanted to be a part of a solution to this national security threat (energy & water conservation)….this is why I have worked in the clean energy industry for over 6 years and started a company in late 2009 called GC Green (Getting Communities Green). We are a renewable energy and efficiency general contractor. In addition, we are not only addressing energy and environmental issues but also we are contributing to training & connecting employment to returning Veterans, displaced workers and contractors into the emerging green economy in various clean energy fields. In late 2011 thru 2012 we have trained over 950 contractors in 30 different counties across the state in residential building performance institute energy assessment certification. We have increased trained contractors in those areas by over 50% in the residential industry alone. In addition, at GC Green we place our trained students to work on our projects and/or we connect students to seven large US owned clean energy companies in California.
There is a need today and that need is to start the conversation on why it is imperative to conserve energy and think of things like climate change. The military happens to be the driving force for energy efficiency because they understand the national security and global threat if something doesn’t change. In San Diego, the Navy has started the Great Green Fleet….which is an entire aircraft carrier strike group powered by biofuels and other eco-friendly energy sources.
With GC Green….I am also in the business of creating jobs and entrepreneurs in the clean energy industry by coordinating & aligning efforts with the DOD is already doing and provide them with a Veteran ready clean energy workforce in California.
This will enable other Veterans and Veteran owned companies like GC Green to still protect the country outside of uniform, perform clean energy projects on the bases we stood watch and keep money where it needs to be…in the US.
How has your involvement with the U.S. Green Chamber helped your organization think about sustainability issues?
We just joined the Chamber. As the Chamber grows….we want to grow with it.
How has your organization adopted new practices or policies in an effort to reduce your environmental impact?
Our company is a Social Venture that addresses and finds solutions for energy, environmental and Veterans issues. This is our core business model.
Does your organization currently have a “green team” or designated “champion” for managing your environmental affairs?
Our trained Veterans & Veteran firms we do business are our designated “Green Team”. Everyone that works with us is “green”.
Does your organization address concerns such as transportation efficiency, water management, waste reduction, or energy efficiency?
We address by green building and training. Just an example below:
In January 2012 we started working with San Diego State to instruct two of their “Green Certificate” programs: “Energy Auditing” and “Water Essentials.”
GC Green was chosen to work with SDSU primarily for our mission to put Veterans & students to work on GC Green energy projects. We are currently working on a strategic effort to put the certification programs online to allow Veterans to utilize the new GI Bill to obtain the training and certifications they need nationwide.
Energy Upgrade California-2011 BPI Training
In July 2011, GC Green was selected to provide training and outreach services for Energy Upgrade California through the Subsidized Contractor Training Program (SCTP) that offered very low cost technical training for building professionals, trades persons and other motivated individuals. With this program GC Green is assisting building professionals fulfill a major requirement to become an Energy Upgrade California Participating Contractor, which are the only professionals who can qualify homeowners for more than $4,000 in rebates for home improvements available from Energy Upgrade California. Prepare for Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification exams. Outreach services included statewide trainee recruitment, identifying and securing training facilities, and identifying and securing training field houses. In collaboration with Ecology Action and Conservation Services Group, GC Green trained over 950 individuals that varied from Veterans, contractors and displaced Californians.
SDGE Premium Cooling Training & OJT
Since August 2011 GC Green has been providing Sales and Operation training and HVAC “Quality Assurance and Quality Control” support for Conservation Services Group and SDGE with the commercial Premium Efficiency Cooling Program. (This program supports the maintenance and decommission of air conditioning equipment and the sales of new premium-efficiency HVAC packaged rooftop equipment. This included training with examining which commercial buildings and equipment qualify for the program. In addition, the program researches which program discounts, tax credits, and/or seasonal manufacturer promotions that the client qualify for as well).
For more information on Liz and GC Green visit the website at: www.gcgreen.com