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 2023
250,000 gross sq ft
or greater

December 31, 2024

April 2025
50,000 gross sq ft
or greater

December 31, 2030

April 2031

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. 

Public Workshop on Implementing Regulations

Draft regulations were discussed at a public workshop June 13, 2022. 

Date: June 13,  10 - 11:30 am
Agenda: Workshop Agenda
Resources

A second draft of regulations is forthcoming, which will be followed by additional time for public comment. Regulations are expected to be finalized in August 2022. 

How to Stay Informed

For more information or to submit questions and comments, click here.

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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