Commercial, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables  -  April 24, 2019

San Francisco to require 100% RE for commercial buildings

Mayor London N. Breed announced a plan to transition private commercial buildings in San Francisco of 50,000 square feet and larger to 100% renewable electricity. This new clean electricity requirement will be the first in the nation and will reduce emissions from the City’s largest commercial buildings by an additional 21% to accelerate San Francisco’s drive towards 100% RE by 2030.

A statement from the Mayor’s office noted that almost half of San Francisco’s citywide emissions (44%) come from buildings, and half of those emissions come from the commercial sector. The city’s largest contributor to emissions is transportation (46%). San Francisco has already reduced its GHG emissions 36% below 1990 levels.

“San Francisco has always been a national leader when it comes to sustainability, but we know that the reality of climate change requires us to go further,” said Mayor Breed. “Transitioning our large buildings to 100% renewable energy is an important step to continuing the progress we have made with CleanPowerSF towards making San Francisco an even more sustainable city.”

The plan calls for the City’s largest commercial buildings to procure 100 percent renewable electricity from any of the City’s electricity providers by 2022. Then, starting in 2024, additional buildings would be subject to the requirement, eventually encompassing all commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger. The requirement is currently phased-in chronologically to ensure adequate renewable electricity is available for procurement.

To accelerate San Francisco’s transition to an all-electric City, Mayor London Breed also announced that she is directing the Department of the Environment to convene a public-private task force to examine how best to electrify San Francisco’s buildings (existing and new). The task force is expected to produce a decarbonization roadmap for buildings in early 2020.

“A renewable electricity supply is more than just a checkbox in San Francisco’s climate action strategy, it’s a bridge to even greater emission reductions,” said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “An all-electric City for buildings, residences, and transportation is how the City leads the way towards an emissions-free future.”

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