A Big Win for Climate Action on Earth Day

Some of the city’s largest office buildings will soon be required to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and the City’s public power programs may be the way to make it happen.

This week, Mayor London Breed announced plans to introduce an ordinance next month that will eventually require all commercial buildings in San Francisco over 50,000 square feet to rely on 100 percent renewable energy.

Mayor Breed with the CleanPowerSF team announced plans to power SF’s largest buildings with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

The SFPUC will play a critical role in helping Mayor Breed and San Francisco achieve that goal. Companies can reach Mayor Breed’s clean energy goals by enrolling in CleanPowerSF’s SuperGreen program, which offers 100 percent renewable energy service, and already includes Salesforce, LinkedIn and Dignity Health among its customers.

San Francisco Davies Symphony Hall Solar Array

Additionally, businesses can opt to receive 100 percent greenhouse gas free hydroelectricity from the SFPUC’s Hetch Hetchy Regional Power System. With a track record dating back more than 100 years, Hetch Hetchy is the City’s oldest provider of clean electricity and is also the most affordable. It currently provides power to City Hall, the San Francisco International Airport, public libraries, schools and Muni vehicles.

By the end of April, more than 360,000 customers will be enrolled in CleanPowerSF, and combined with the buildings currently served by Hetch Hetchy power, the SFPUC will meet 80 percent of the electricity demand in San Francisco. Those dual clean power alternatives have played a key role in helping the City reduce its greenhouse emissions by 36 percent below 1990 levels—a reduction that has occurred at the same at San Francisco’s population has increased by 22 percent and the economy has grown by 166 percent.

Mayor Breed’s proposed renewable energy ordinance will be phased in as follows:

  • 2022 – commercial buildings over 500,000 square feet
  • 2024 – commercial buildings over 250,000 square feet
  • 2030 – commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet

The Mayor has said repeatedly that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The SFPUC is proud to partner with Mayor Breed on initiatives that will help San Francisco meet our climate action goals.