San Francisco Department of the Environment

San Francisco’s Existing Buildings Ordinance

San Francisco’s Existing Buildings Ordinance applies to existing non-residential buildings with 10,000 square feet or more of space that is heated or cooled and existing multifamily residential buildings with 50,000 sq ft or more of space that is heated or cooled. The Ordinance has three separate requirements:

Energy Benchmarking - due annually on April 1*

The building owner must report the total amount of energy that the building uses every year using the US Environmental Protection Agency’s free ‘ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager’ website. This process is called "energy benchmarking," and the benchmark report must be submitted to the San Francisco Department of the Environment through the Portfolio Manager by April 1st each year.

*Note: Benchmarking for residential buildings is due July 1 in 2019, and April 1 every year thereafter.

Energy Audit - required every 5 years for nonresidential buildings

The non-residential building owner must ensure the non-residential building receives an energy audit by a qualified energy professional every five years. The professional must hold one of the qualifications approved by the Department of Environment, and must examine the entire building. The audit provides the building owner with a list of specific opportunities to save money and save energy in the building, as well as any rebates that may be available.  

For more information, please send your questions to [email protected] or contact us by phone at (415) 355-3750.

Renewable Electricity for Commercial Buildings Ordinance - San Francisco requires large commercial buildings to obtain all on-site electricity use from 100% renewable sources. The easiest way to comply is by subscribing to: CleanPowerSF SuperGreenSFPUC Hetch Hetchy Power, or PG&E’s Solar Choice program. Direct Access electric service can comply. 

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

Resources

Existing Buildings Energy Ordinance - Home page 

Renewable Electricity for Commercial Buildings Ordinance

San Francisco Existing Buildings Ordinance Dashboard

Municipal Benchmark Report - Transparent Data About Performance of Municipal Buildings, courtesy of SFPUC

Existing Buildings Ordinance Data (SF OpenData)

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Existing Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance graphic
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