San Francisco

United States
Interim Mayor Mark Farrell, Elected 2018

Case Studies

San Francisco’s Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance (ECB ordinance) came into force in 2011, targeting all non-residential buildings with more than 10,000 square feet (ft2) of conditioned space (e.g. heated and/or air-conditioned). The programme specifically aims to reduce total energy consumption in non-residential buildings by 2.5% per year, achieving a total reduction of 50% by 2030 below 1990 levels.

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In Focus City Reports: San Francisco

June 4, 2014 San Francisco

The In Focus city reports provide valuable insight into the efforts of the world's leading cities to become more sustainable. This report has been developed with C40's official reporting partner, CDP Cities, and AECOM, using data submitted through CDP's reporting platform. It conveys information about how San Francisco perceives its climate risk, measures key climate change-related data, and manages climate action.

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Zero Waste Program

December 16, 2012 San Francisco

San Francisco (SF) has a goal of zero waste by 2020. In one key way to achieve this goal, the City implemented a project designed to promote the culture of "Recycling Changes Everything." To help achieve this goal, the project included a number of initiatives to improve recycling rates.

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1700 California Street is a combined residential and commercial building in San Francisco. Twenty-one tenants occupy five floors of commercial space. The property management acted promptly after hearing about the potential energy savings in lighting retrofits in order to take advantage of the financial incentives being offered through the program.

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Small Business Case Study: Precita Clean

June 26, 2012 San Francisco

Precita Clean used the services of a SF Energy Watch’s participating lighting contractor to install the energy saving equipment. The Program’s high incentives covered the entire project cost of the upgrades resulting in instant savings. The improvements Precita Clean made through the SF Energy Watch program lowered energy use, energy costs and boosted environmental awareness.

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The Presidio YMCA replaced 14 T2 linear fluorescent lights and magnetic ballasts with T8 linear fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts in the basement. Also, the administration installed 2 LED exit signs and upgraded 22 metal halides with custom induction lighting in the pool area. Within a couple of months after the upgrades were completed, there was a reduction of about 20% in energy cost.

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Wind Power in the Castro

June 26, 2012 San Francisco

Blue Green Pacific installed two of its second-generation vertical-axis wind turbines on Beudoin’s roof. Beudoin calls them kinetic sculptures. Since installation, Beudoin says, “the neighborhood is going nuts. Everyone wants to know if I’m connected to the grid and how it produces power.”

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Multifamily Case Study: 10 South Park HOA

June 26, 2012 San Francisco

The Board determined to upgrade its aging equipment while considering the benefit of energy use reduction and cost effectiveness. SF Energy Watch (SFEW) kicked-off the projects by providing a comprehensive energy assessment. The ensuing report provided estimated incentive-rebates which prompted the Board to replace inefficient lighting, ahead of schedule, as well as the domestic hot water system.

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Small Business Case Study: Dollar Market

June 26, 2012 San Francisco

Dollar Market was approached by a participating SF Energy Watch contractor who identified the store's existing efficient and inefficient lighting. After analyzing the financial benefits of upgrading the inefficient fixtures Dollar Market opted to follow the contractor's recommendations by undertaking lighting retrofits throughout the store.

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Commercial Case Study: Glide Memorial Church

June 11, 2012 San Francisco

Glide Memorial upgraded over 1,200 light fixtures, installed 30 occupancy sensors and retrofit 36 LED exit signs. Also, they replaced gasket material in their walk-in cooler and installed strip curtains on doorways to two kitchen walk-in refrigerators. With almost $16,000 of savings on their utility bills annually, Glide has more money to devote to the important services they provide to the community.

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Wind Turbine Powers San Francisco Zoo

June 11, 2012 San Francisco

Hundreds of animals live at the San Francisco Zoo, but now the Zoo is home to a different type of attraction…a sustainability exhibit, featuring a vertical-axis wind turbine. Together with a small solar panel, the wind turbine powers LED lights in the historic Earthquake Shack which has been restored and converted into an interpretive center.

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San Francisco is an established leader in low emission transport; it has one of the largest clean air municipal fuel fleets in the country. San Francisco’s accomplishments in the area of greening fleet vehicles include:

  • More than half of the city’s Municipal Railway (MUNI) fleet, consisting of buses and light rail, is comprised of zero-emission vehicles
  • More than 700 cleaner air vehicles (compressed natural gas, hybrid, electric)
  • More than 50 heavy duty vehicles on bio-fuel
  • 160 taxicabs are low-emission vehicles
  • Demonstration of 2 Honda FCX hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles through a lease arrangement - this vehicle technology produces no emissions other than pure water
  • 25 fire trucks and ambulances are currently running on biodiesel.
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This is the largest city-owned solar power system in the United States located at San Francisco’s Convention center. Covering 60,000 square feet, equivalent to the size of a football field, it generates 826,000 kWh annually. This is equivalent to power 184 homes in San Francisco for an entire year, removing 7,000 cars from the road, or not driving 88 million miles. Over the lifetime of the project, it will reduce 35,000 tons of CO2.

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