San Francisco Department of the Environment

100% Renewable Electricity for Commercial Buildings Ordinance

San Francisco Environment Code Chapter 30 (Ordinance 220-19) requires large commercial buildings to obtain all electricity from 100% renewable sources. The easiest way to comply is by subscribing to:  

Direct Access electric service can comply, provided the service meets the definition of Greenhouse gas-free or renewable energy resources as defined in Environment Code Section 3002.

Timing

Deadlines are based on the size of the building:

Commercial Building Size

Must Transition to
Renewable Electricity by
Documentation of Compliance
Will Be Due
500,000 gross sq ft
or greater

December 31, 2022

April 2024
250,000 gross sq ft
or greater

December 31, 2024

April 2026
50,000 gross sq ft
or greater

December 31, 2030

April 2032

Purpose

San Francisco’s goal is to achieve zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large buildings by 2035. Nine percent of commercial buildings in San Francisco are larger than 50,000 square feet, and they account for 73% of commercial building electricity use.

100% Renewable Electricity is:

  • Available today from the grid.
  • Offered by multiple providers at competitive prices.
  • Available at no capital cost, simply by signing up.

To support emission reduction and transition to renewable energy, San Francisco requires large commercial buildings to switch to renewable electricity.

How to Comply

The easiest way to comply is by subscribing all electric accounts a building to one of the services:  

Direct Access electric service can comply, provided the service meets the definition of Greenhouse gas-free or renewable energy defined in Environment Code Section 3002.

Ordinance Implementation and How to Document Compliance

All buildings affected by the 100% Renewable Electricity Ordinance are already required to annually disclose building energy use to the Department of Environment under the Existing Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance (EBO). For convenience, documentation will rely as much as possible on existing procedures for benchmarking and disclosure. The Department of Environment is developing implementing regulations. Reporting procedures will be published after implementing regulations are adopted.

Development of Implementing Regulations: Process and Timeline

New: Draft regulations are open for public comment as of September 9, 2022. Comments are requested by September 30, 2022. 

Implementation Timeline

Date Milestone Supporting Material

June 13, 2022

Public workshop to review draft regulations

Workshop Agenda  

Draft Regulations (June 13 - 1st draft)

Ordinance No. 220-19 (2019) Adopting San Francisco Environment Code Chapter 30

See also: How to Comply with San Francisco’s Benchmarking Requirement

September 9, 2022

Revised draft regulation posted

Public comments requested within 21 calendar days

Draft Regulations (September 9, 2022 - CURRENT DRAFT)

Public comment form

September 30, 2022

End of public comment period

Comments submitted after this point may or may not be addressed.

 

Week of October 10

Public hearing considering adoption of regulation

 

Week of October 10

Director signs regulation

 

December 31, 2022

Compliance deadline for commercial buildings 500,000 gross sq. ft. or greater

 

January 1 - December 31, 2023

First compliance period for commercial buildings 500,000 gross sq. ft. or greater

 

April 1, 2024

Reporting deadline for commercial buildings 500,000 gross sq. ft. or greater

 

 

How to Comment

To submit comments about the draft regulation:

  1. Write the comment. Save your comment in a common file format: PDF, Word, or TXT.
  2. Submit the comment here. (If you have trouble, comments can be emailed to [email protected].)

Comments are due by September 26, 2022. Comments received after the deadline are welcome, but are not guaranteed to be considered prior to adoption. 

Frequently Requested Information

How can I comply?

No capital investment is necessary. 100% renewable electricity is available to any electricity customer in San Francisco, via the electric grid. On-site solar PV is not required.

Does the ordinance affect existing contracts?

Contracts executed prior to December 31, 2019 are exempt during the term of the contract. 

Does the ordinance apply to tenants?

Yes, the ordinance applies to all electricity use in each applicable building, including tenants’ meters. Separately metered tenants are responsible for assisting with overall compliance of the building.  

Can Direct Access customers comply?

Direct Access sourced from qualified 100% renewable generation can comply. Details will be specified in implementing regulations.

Does the ordinance apply to multifamily or mixed-use residential buildings?

No, multifamily and mixed-use residential of any size, and commercial buildings of less than 50,000 square feet in gross floor area are not subject to the 100% Renewable Electricity Ordinance. However, 100% renewable electricity is available to everyone in San Francisco and any building can subscribe to these services.

 

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