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 - The largest commercial buildings in the city are required to switch to 100% greenhouse gas-free or 100% renewable electricity. On-site renewable generation can help, but large commercial buildings rely on the electric grid. Every electricity customer citywide has the option to purchase 100% renewable electricity meeting the requirements of the ordinance, at no capital cost and with competitive rates, by subscribing to: CleanPowerSF - SuperGreen, PG&E Solar Choice, or SFPUC Hetch Hetchy Power. Purchase of Renewable Energy Credits or virtual electricity procurement methods do not comply with the 100% Renewable Energy Ordinance. Deadlines for transition: 

Gross Floor Area Deadline
500,000 square feet or greater December 31, 2022
250,000 square feet or greater December 31, 2024
50,000 square feet or greater December 31, 2030

 

 

 

 

 


Resources

Overview of Existing Buildings Energy Ordinance (PDF)

San Francisco Existing Buildings Dashboard

Existing Buildings Dataset (SF OpenData)

SF EBO Visualization courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory City Building Energy Saver Project 

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Existing Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance graphic
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