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drafting group

Sustainability Plan / Energy, Climate Change and Ozone Depletion / Strategy

 goal 1   To reduce overall power use through maximizing energy efficiency.
 goal 2   To maintain an energy supply based on renewable, environmentally sound resources.
 goal 3   Eliminate climate-changing and ozone-depleting emissions and toxics associated with energy production and use.
 goal 4   To base energy decisions on the goal of creating a sustainable society.

 goal 1


To reduce overall power use through maximizing energy efficiency.
   long-term objectives

1-A. All those who live or work in San Francisco are educated about energy and climate change issues so that they can make informed choices. Everyone knows that:

  • Their energy choices have an effect on the environment,

  • They can take steps to use energy efficiently, and

  • They can use renewables.

1-B. An identifiable group of energy-efficiency technology providers is located in San Francisco.

1-C. Per capita residential energy use is down 50%.

1-D. Energy use in municipal and commercial buildings has been decreased by 50% through conservation and use of on-site renewables.

1-E. San Francisco has become a model city in developing, implementing, and promoting sustainable energy use and production, as well as conservation.

1-F. “In-fill” development and increased density, which increase use of public transit, are development priorities.

     5-year objectives

1-1. Energy and climate change information and educational programs are available in multiple languages through schools, the media, neighborhood organizations, and work places.

1-2. Local research and other activities for energy efficiency products and services are supported and promoted.

1-3. Each building’s energy characteristics (such as energy use and insulation) are disclosed when it is listed for sale.

1-4. The City of San Francisco’s government design departments have integrated sustainable design concepts into their operations.

1-5. New energy-efficiency requirements that exceed California Title 24 standards by 25% have been enacted into the building code and are being enforced.

1-6. Local tax policies that encourage conservation and discourage pollution and waste (such as a carbon tax) have been enacted.

1-7. Low-interest financing has been made available for energy efficiency measures in all San Francisco subsidized housing projects.

1-8. All city government energy practices are consistent with the sustainability plan.

1-9. Sustainable energy practices are promoted to San Francisco tourists.


1-a. Develop outreach programs that use multiple media such as telephone books (an “energy page”), print and broadcast advertisements, and Web sites.

1-b. Establish and maintain a demonstration center for energy efficiency and renewables.

1-c. Set up a training program on principles of energy sustainability (such as Sweden’s Natural Step program) which can be used in settings such as schools, businesses, public agencies, neighborhood and religious organizations, and building-trades groups.

1-d. Develop a course on sustainable energy and the environment to be part of the core curriculum in San Francisco public schools.
(Suggested for schools)

1-e. Develop an energy efficiency hot line and Web site where people can get general information on:

  • Insulation, windows, and other building materials;

  • Efficient lighting;

  • Efficient appliances and alternatives to appliances;

  • Efficient design;

  • Local suppliers and businesses; and

  • Financing and rebates.

1-f. Develop incentives and recruit manufacturers and suppliers of energy-efficiency technologies and renewable-generation technologies to locate in San Francisco. Support these enterprises by establishing preference pricing for limited periods of time.
(Suggested for city government)

1-g. Create local or regional competitions for the development of energy efficient products and services (such as the Golden Carrot refrigerator design competition).

1-h. Facilitate small-business access to loan and rebate programs for energy-efficiency services.
(Suggested for city government)

1-i. Lobby for state tax laws to discourage waste and encourage efficiency, such as a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

1-j. Lobby for state and federal policies to encourage renewables and energy efficiency.

1-k. Design a program to provide incentives for low energy use.

1-l. Make available for energy-efficiency retrofits one-third of the funds allocated to low-income energy assistance.

1-m. Expand programs for installing individual meters in rental units.

1-n. Establish a pilot program, modeled on that developed by the City of Phoenix, offering:

  • Prepaid energy-use meters that provide lifeline rates to those who pass a means test, and

  • Energy education for participants.

1-o. Lobby the federal government to establish a practice of approving funding for low-income housing only if the housing is energy-efficient.

1-p. Develop a San Francisco building energy certificate, which:

  • Discloses the previous year’s energy bill,

  • Discloses major energy-related construction elements (insulation, window ratings, heating and cooling system efficiency), and

  • Requires that a copy of the certificate be available whenever a property is shown for sale.

(Suggested for The Department of the Environment)

1-q. Revive, strengthen and enforce time-of-sale energy efficiency ordinances (the Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinance and the Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance) for existing buildings.

1-r. Create a revenue-neutral transfer tax to provide matching funds for energy-efficiency improvements.

1-s. Change the city building code to require that at least 80% of all permanent lighting fixtures in new construction and remodeling have an efficiency of 20 lumens per watt or greater.

1-t. Initiate a program to increase market demand for high efficiency lighting fixtures and lamps (20 lumens per watt or greater).

1-u. Develop and implement a program of education and incentives to convert household lighting (such as porches, halls, and basements) to high-efficiency lighting.

1-v. Study and take action on issues that relate to heat-island effects. Potential actions include:

  • Increasing ecologically appropriate vegetation and

  • Decreasing the amount of asphalt to reduce cooling needs.

1-w. Conduct a global information campaign about San Francisco’s energy successes

1-x. Perform an energy efficiency audit on all public facilities and develop a plan to improve efficiency.

1-y. Establish a city policy that requires staff in municipal facilities to turn off lights and computers when not in use.

1-z. Create a map of energy-efficient buildings in San Francisco.

1-aa. Create high-visibility demonstration projects.

1-bb. Establish relationships with other local governments and with research institutes for the purpose of adopting and sharing innovations.

1-cc. Create an incentive-based program for managers of city agencies to save energy. (For example, charge PG&E retail rates for all intra-city sales of Hetch Hetchy electricity and designate a premium over Hetch Hetchy costs to energy efficiency technologies and renewable generation technology within the City).

1-dd. Create pools with other local governments for the purchase of energy efficiency and renewable technology products and services. An example is the program developed by the City of Boston.

1-ee. Promote sustainable energy practices in hotels, restaurants, and other businesses, such as via the Green Hotels Association.

1-ff. Highlight, in promotions to tourists, businesses which practice energy sustainability.

1-gg. Encourage building construction that utilizes passive solar technology.

 goal 2


To maintain an energy supply based on renewable, environmentally sound resources.

2-A. Every building is a renewable energy provider (that is, it is equipped with domestic hot water and photovoltaic, solar systems).

2-B. All mechanically-cooled buildings have been retrofitted with passive cooling.

2-C. The energy supply system is reliable even in times of natural or economic disaster.

2-D. All new and replacement power and gas lines are able to withstand 8.0 earthquakes and 100-year storms.

2-E. Photovoltaic, wind and other alternative fuels for back-up of electrical systems have been installed in critical buildings.


2-1. The permit process has been made easier for renewable-energy- generation plants and harder for non-renewable- energy- generation plants.

2-2. The ratio of renewable energy use to non-renewable energy use has increased.

2-3. A new renewable energy plant has been developed.

2-4. Muni is powered by renewable fuels.

2-5. A system that guarantees that no building is without power for more than 24 hours after a disruption has been established.


2-a. Initiate demonstration projects that use solar, wind, ocean and/or biogas as energy sources (i.e., use of methane at a wastewater treatment plant).

2-b. Restore Murphy and Queen Wilhelmina Windmills in Golden Gate Park to wind operation (no motor).

2-c. Investigate the possibilities for wind energy generation at sites in and around San Francisco.

2-d. Initiate a pilot project to convert diesel buses to bio-diesel, biogas, fuel cells or other renewable fuels.

2-e. Establish incentives for projects that increase energy resources with solar, wind, ocean, and/or biogas energy.

2-f. Establish a simplified permit process for renewable energy systems, such as solar photovoltaics.

2-g. Establish solar enterprise zones in the Mission District and Bay View Hunters Point.

2-h. Develop a solar access ordinance.

2-i. Remove disincentives for utility buy-back of renewable energy.

2-j. Increase the amount of renewable energy purchased by power marketers on the wholesale market for sale to the defined groups, such as enterprise zones. (Bulk purchasers require predictable demand to make such purchases.)

2-k. Reduce the use of non-recyclable batteries and encourage the use of rechargeable batteries, where needed.

2-l. Investigate the possibilities for solar energy in San Francisco and on City-owned property.

 goal 3


Eliminate climate-changing and ozone-depleting emissions and toxics associated with energy production and use.
  3-A. Releases of carbon dioxide, chloro-fluorocarbons (CFC’s) and methane to the environment caused by manufacturing products and processes have been eliminated.

3-B. The costs of pollution and the economic value of land used in parking which arise from fossil-fueled car use have been shifted to those who choose to drive cars.
    3-1. CFC-based cooling and refrigeration equipment in San Francisco has been reduced by 50%.
      3-a. Conduct a baseline survey of CFC-based cooling and refrigeration equipment in San Francisco.

3-b. Establish a refrigerant conversion program for refrigerators, chillers, air conditioning systems.

3-c. Study the opportunities and implications of a regional carbon tax.

 goal 4


To base energy decisions on the goal of creating a sustainable society.

4-A. Basic energy services (such as comfort, light, and cooking) are available and affordable for all residents.

4-B. There is local democratic control of energy policy, where appropriate.

4-C. Local employment and local economic development are promoted through energy policies and programs.

4-D. Social and cultural diversity have been improved and environmental justice has been ensured.

4-E. Levels of air pollution in all districts are within 20% of the city average.
note 2, following the matrix.]

    4-1. Neighborhood panels have been created to decide on neighborhood energy issues.

4-2. Laws encourage work-force diversity in energy industries.

4-3. Energy career paths are available to everyone through training and internships.

4-a. Extend low-income rate assistance to individual rental units.

4-b. Subsidize meter installation in units with low-income tenants.

4-c. Maintain the Energy Partnership Program for low-income weatherization and energy-efficient appliance purchase.
(Suggested for PG&E)

4-d. Train social service agencies to guide clients to energy subsidies and weatherization programs.

4-e. Give priority to hiring San Francisco residents, particularly youth, for energy-related employment.
(Suggested for city government)

4-f. Train and employ local youth in minor home repair, weatherization and commercial efficiency programs.
(Suggested for organizers of programs in every neighborhood)

4-g. Convene an energy and economic development conference among neighborhood associations and local business groups.
(Suggested for city government)

4-h. Convene meetings with community development corporations and neighborhood organizations to discuss:

  • Energy efficiency programs,

  • Opportunities for combining customers into bulk-purchase groups, and

  • Choosing “green” energy sources.

(Suggested for city government)

4-i. Review the municipalization study (which examines shifting control over power delivery to the city) for consistency with sustainability objectives. [See note 1, following the matrix.]

4-j. Dedicate 50% of the utility franchise fee to the promotion of energy efficiency and renewables.

4-k. Change the process of choosing local Public Utilites Commission officials from appointment to election.

4-l. Establish neighborhood energy-planning groups.

4-m. Involve neighborhood groups in the decision-making process.

4-n. Study alternative sources and methods for financing energy efficiency opportunities (such as customer aggregation or municipalization).
(Suggested for city government)
note 1.]

4-o. Develop a policy to phase out the use of fossil fuels for local electricity generation.