State and Local Policy Database

San Francisco

City Scorecard Rank


San Francisco, CA

74.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 7 out of 15 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of San Francisco has adopted the Climate Action Strategy.

Last updated: September 2021

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

San Francisco City Ordinance 81-08 established a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, with an interim reduction goal of 40% reduction by 2025. In 2018, Mayor Mark Farrell committed San Francisco to a 100% greenhouse gas emissions reduction citywide by 2050. Environment Code Section 902 formally codified San Francisco’s citywide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will meet its near-term community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal.  

The city has conducted a greenhouse gas inventory for 2016. The city also released emissions data on an open data portal and on an online dashboard.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide energy reduction goal for the city.

Renewable Energy Goal

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s 2011 Updated Electricity Resource Plan lays out actions to meet a goal of generating 100% renewable electricity community-wide by 2030.

Last updated: September 2021

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

As part of the Climate Action Plan development process, SF Environment led 11 online workshops, with 2 workshops conducted exclusively in Chinese and Spanish. 

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

SF Environment convened an Anchor Partners Network and established community-based organizations familiar with building and energy policies and programs that provided critical feedback on how to integrate social and racial equity into potential building sector policies and programs.

Equity Accountability Measures

SF Administrative Code 12A.19(d)(4) directs the Office of Racial Equity to conduct a racial and social equity assessment on all legislation. All new legislation must be referred to the Office of Racial Equity within eight days of its introduction.  

SF Environment is currently preparing a major update to the communitywide Climate Action Strategy and is anticipating applying an Equity Assessment Tool developed by Race Forward for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance “Zero Cities” project. This tool and supporting report provide metrics and suggested methodology for energy cost burden on people of color, distribution of economic prosperity, gentrification and displacement, health risks associated with housing, environmental justice/locational exposure to environmental risk, urban heat island, and community engagement.  

Last updated: September 2021

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: September 2021

Mitigation of Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

The city’s Climate Action Strategy includes a goal of increasing the tree canopy of the urban forest to 25% of city land area by 2030.

UHI Policies and Programs

The city has adopted a Better Roofs Ordinance which requires new residential, commercial, and municipal buildings to have either green roofs or roofs with solar systems. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Stormwater Management compliance guidelines require developments of over 2,500 square feet to use green infrastructure.

Last updated: September 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 21 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

San Francisco has adopted building energy codes at the municipal level. The city’s code also includes solar- and EV-ready provisions more stringent than those required by the state code. The city has established a comprehensive energy code compliance verification process. The city has implemented a commercial benchmarking and multifamily properties to benchmark energy use. San Francisco requires both residential and commercial building owners to perform additional above-code energy-saving actions.

Last Updated: June 2021

Building Energy CodesList All


The State of California allows its local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes that are more stringent than the mandatory state codes. Title 24 outlines all California building codes. Title 24, Part 6 includes the California Energy Code and the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (BEES). Title 24, Part 11 includes the California Green Building Code. The 2016 codes exceed the 2015 IECC and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2013. To learn more about California’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


San Francisco amended the California Green Building Code to create the more stringent San Francisco Green Building Code for commercial buildings.

In 2020, San Francisco adopted an ordinance requiring: (A) All-Electric commercial and multifamily to meet the California Energy Code (e.g. no change from state code), and (B) mixed-fuel commercial and multifamily must be designed and constructed to use 10% less energy than allowed by California Energy Code. See the CEC's list of approved Local Ordinances Exceeding the 2019 Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 49.1.


San Francisco amended the California Green Building Code to create the more stringent San Francisco Green Building Code for residential buildings.

Similar to RESNET HERS and ICC Energy Rating Index, the California Energy Design Rating compares the proposed building to a circa-2006 reference home. California's 2019 Energy Efficiency Standards require a "Total Energy Design Rating" inclusive of mandatory solar PV, and an "Efficiency Energy Design Rating". In California Energy Commission compliance Climate Zone 3 (San Francisco), Title 24 requires a Total EDR of 24 or less. San Francisco has adopted a local ordinance which allows all-electric new residential to comply with a Total EDR of 24 and a stricter efficiency requirement for mixed-fuel homes (e.g. buildings that install natural gas). Mixed-fuel new residential construction must achieve a Total EDR of 14. See the CEC's list of approved Local Ordinances Exceeding the 2019 Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 58.1.

Solar-readiness Policies

Per the San Francisco Better Roofs Ordinance, new developments must not only install solar-ready infrastructure but also incorporate a solar PV system, solar hot water heater, or livable roof on all buildings of 10 floors or less. The Better Roofs ordinance was re-adopted for the 2019 CA Energy Standards.

For low-rise residential buildings, a green roof is no longer a compliance option as CA requires PV on all new low-rise residential construction. San Francisco's Better Roofs requirements continue to apply to high-rise multifamily - 4-10 floors - and commercial & mixed-use.

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

For new construction and major renovations, San Francisco requires developers install EV-ready infrastructure into 20% of parking spaces, and provide sufficient electrical service to be able to expand charging services to 100% of spaces. For existing commercial parking, San Francisco Environment Code Chapter 30 requires EV charging stations to be installed in a minimum of 10% of spaces in any commercial parking lot with 100 or more spaces by January 2023. There are more than 300 facilities in San Francisco subject to this requirement

Low-energy use requirements

San Francisco mandates residential and commercial buildings satisfy low-energy use requirements. New residential buildings must achieve GreenPoint Rated v7.0 certification. The city also requires new multifamily high-rises to achieve LEED Silver or higher certification and new commercial construction to achieve LEED Gold or higher certification. In 2020, San Francisco adopted an ordinance requiring all-Electric commercial and multifamily buildings to meet the California Energy Code (e.g. no change from state code). Mixed-fuel commercial and multifamily must be designed and constructed to use 10% less energy than allowed by the California Energy Code.


Last Updated: June 2021

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

San Francisco staffs 11 full time employees solely dedicated to energy, mechanical, and green building code compliance. The city requires plan reviews, site inspections, and performance testing to verify code compliance. This includes plan review of all energy code compliance documentation specified by CA Energy Commission. San Francisco offers upfront support through pre-application technical reviews. The city also invites developers and/or owners to contact the DBI Energy/Green Building/Mechanical Services office.

Last Updated: June 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Retrofit requirements

San Francisco’s Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance requires a minimum set of retrofits at time-of-sale. This applies to residential properties built before 1978.

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Chapter 20 of the San Francisco Environment Code requires all commercial buildings 10,000 square feet and greater and multifamily buildings 50,000 square feet and greater to benchmark energy data in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The policy covers 88% of commercial buildings. San Francisco now also requires multifamily buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to participate. The city’s compliance rate is 84%. The program has achieved energy savings of 6.1% among buildings that benchmarked energy data between 2014-2018.

Cross-cutting requirements

Chapter 20 of the San Francisco Environment Code, the city’s benchmarking ordinance, requires commercial building owners to conduct an energy audit or retrocommissioning every five years.


San Francisco provides commercial and residential property owners a range of financing options and incentives for energy efficiency projects through the Energy Watch and BayREN programs.

The city also offers property assessed clean energy financing to both residents and business owners for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects.

San Francisco’s GoSolarSF program offers several incentives for property owners installing solar PV systems. There are additional incentives set aside for income-eligible homeowners. 

SFPUC Hetch Hetchy Power offers energy efficiency rebates to its customers, including new construction and retrofits.

Voluntary programs

SF Environment developed the Strategic Energy Assessment, a long-term financial planning approach to managing energy efficiency and carbon emissions. Through the Strategic Energy Assessment (SEA), SFE seeks to improve the capital planning process and output to be more carbon aware for building owners. The SEA has been introduced as a voluntary option, and is accepted as a voluntary alternative to a conventional ASHRAE Level 2 audit or retrocommissioning study required by San Francisco’s Existing Buildings Ordinance.

Last Update: June 2021

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The GoSolarSF incentive program has for many years offered a greater incentive payment to companies that hire installers that have received training with support of the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD).

In addition, the CityBuild Academy is a pre-apprenticeship training program delivered in partnership with City College of San Francisco, which includes curriculum in EV charger installation and HVAC.

Last Update: June 2021

Score: 25 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the city of San Francisco is The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. The district also provides the public transportation for the city and broader metropolitan area, including bus, trolley, and ferry service. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses San Francisco, and the cities and towns in the Bay Area. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Connect SF is a multi-agency collaboration to envision, plan, and realize a sustainable, equitable transportation system for San Francisco’s Future. This is a comprehensive roadmap which – though it supports reducing VMT – is predicated on switching from private vehicle mode share to sustainable transport mode share.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

San Francisco has adopted mode share targets. This is seen by the city as being a better metric for managing congestion and vehicular GHG emissions, as opposed to vehicle miles travelled. 

San Francisco’s current target is 80% sustainable mode share by 2030, and the city's codified transport GHG target  is 40% by 2025 from 1990 levels.

However, the City’s Transportation Impact Analysis Guidelines require new developments to analyze VMT. If VMT for the proposed project with all associated transportation demand management measures is 15% below the regional average, then the project is below the level of significance in regard to transportation. If a project is able to demonstrate impacts below significance for all criteria, the project may be eligible to file a negative declaration, foregoing an Environmental Impact Report.  (3)

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Transportation related GHG emissions were 10% below 1990 levels in 2017. The city's transportation GHG emissions have seen annual declines since 2010. 

Last Updated: December 2021

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

San Francisco zoning code has two fundamental components that address density and transit access. The General Plan Housing Element codifies 3 levels of density for residential zoning (low, medium, high). The distribution of these 3 levels is strongly related to public transit resource availability. Additionally, numerous special area plans have been adopted that generally increase the height and density allowed in transit-rich locations and facilitate expansion & improvement of transit infrastructure and services. These are adopted into zoning.

Residential Parking Policies

While San Francisco has had parking maximums in zoning for many years – and eliminated parking requirements for residential, on Dec. 21, 2018, the Mayor signed an ordinance that eliminates minimum parking requirements for all kinds of development citywide. The ordinance went into in January 2019.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

SF Planning offers several density bonus programs that favor greater density than the underlying zoning – particularly for affordable housing.

Last Updated: December 2021

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

San Francisco manages transportation sector GHG emissions mitigation on the basis of sustainable mode share, and publicly reports this metric annually. The 2013 San Francisco Climate Action Strategy, called for shifting 50 percent of trips to non-automobile trips by 2017. Performance targets are regularly reviewed; as the city's goal of 50% sustainable mode share was met from 2017-2018, the target was increased to 58% in 2018-19, and 80% by 2030.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Based on the 2017 Travel Decision Survey, the city has realized the 2017 mode share goal as 52 percent of trips were non-automobile trips (transit, walk and bicycle) and 48 percent of trips were automobiles trips (drive alone, carpool and TNCs). Performance targets are regularly reviewed; as the city's goal of 50% sustainable mode share was met from 2017-2018, the target was increased to 58% in 2018-19, and 80% by 2030.

Complete Streets

SF Better Streets provides complete streets design guidelines which are mandatory per the city's Better Streets Policy, Complete Streets Policy, and longstanding Transit-first policy.

Last Updated: December 2021

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the City of San Francisco have received $841,653,642.20 on average annually between 2015 and 2019. That equates to roughly $931.52 per capita between 2015 and 2019 within the Authority's service area. 

Access to Transit Services

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. The City of San Francisco Transit Connectivity Index value is 9.6, scoring 2 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: December 2021

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

As of Nov 2020, CARB and PG&E offer up to $1500 off an electric vehicle's purchase price.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program offers additional rebates and the installation of a free Level 2 charger to income-qualified households (up to 400% of federal poverty level) after purchase of an electric vehicle.

EV Charging Locations

The City has 874 charging ports available for public use, equivalent to 99.1 ports per 100,000 people.

Electric School Bus Goal

SFUSD solely allows purchase of plug-in electric vehicles and has set a goal of transitioning to electric school buses by 2030, and by 2020 transitioning all diesel-powered buses to renewable diesel.

EV Transit Bus Goal

In 2018, San Francisco committed to transitioning to an all-electric bus fleet by 2035. In the interim, San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency operates the world’s largest electric trolley fleet. All trolley busses, historic cable cars, and light rail vehicles are electric – and electricity for the entire electric transit fleet is 100% GHG-free, supplied by San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Last Updated: December 2021

Freight System EfficiencyList All

San Francisco’s Better Market Street Plan, adopted February 2019, creates a car-free zone throughout downtown, from 10th Street to the Embarcadero, reserving the city’s primary boulevard for bicycles and public transport. In addition, the plan establishes peak-hour loading restrictions to reduce conflicts between bicycles, transit, and commercial vehicles – pushing delivery to off-hours.

Last Updated: December 2021

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Home SF is a density bonus program that incentivizes the construction of affordable and family-friendly housing in commercial and transit corridors through zoning modifications.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

SFMTA provides a Lifetime Transit Pass for income-qualified residents. Low to moderate-income Seniors and the Disabled can each obtain free transit passes. Income-qualified residents are also eligible for discounted bikeshare use. 

Last Updated: December 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 13.5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

CleanPowerSF is San Francisco's Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program, which allows the city to purchase clean energy for its residents. CleanPowerSF provides a variety of clean energy options, with its green service providing 48% renewable energy and its "supergreen" service providing 100% renewable energy.  In addition, San Francisco submitted a bid to purchase PG&E’s electricity distribution assets serving San Francisco and associated transmission infrastructure, though the bid was rejected by PG&E in 2019. 

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is currently the primary natural gas and electric distribution and transmission utility and energy efficiency provider serving the City of San Francisco. The City of San Francisco is an active promoter of the efficiency programs providing technical assistance, quality assurance, contractor training, marketing and outreach, and incentives. On the regional level, the city plays a leadership role in the Bay Area Regional Energy Network and is active in the Bay Area Climate Collaborative. On the state level, San Francisco is a founding member of Green Cities California and helped form the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition. The city works with those organizations and independently strongly advocates at the state level for policies that promote greater reach and depth of energy efficiency programs and additional spending requirements for energy efficiency projects for all of its utilities.

The State of California requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS and regulates and funds local government-utility partnerships through the California PUC. In 2021, California regulators updated state energy efficiency policies to focus on reducing carbon emissions. The state’s new rule rules value efficiency as a grid and decarbonization resource, encourage utilities to offer more programs that primarily serve communities of color and low-income residents, and encourage workforce development programs. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the California page of the State Database.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, a municipally-owned utility, serves the city with access to drinking water, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management, and also provides electricity to the city's municipal departments and other retail customers (described in greater detail in the Local Government section).

Last Updated: July 2021

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, PG&E reported 1,253,154 MWh of net incremental electric savings at the meter, which represents 1.60% of its retail sales across the utility’s entire service jurisdiction, not only San Francisco. In 2019, PG&E spent $219,637,147 on electric energy efficiency programs, which represents 1.72% of its retail revenue.

In 2019 PG&E reported 27.64 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 1.40% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2019, PG&E spent $69,359,099 on natural gas energy efficiency, which equates to $16.19 per natural gas residential customer. These savings and spending figures cover PG&E’s entire service jurisdiction, not just the City of San Francisco.

PG&E offers electric and natural gas efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

The City of San Francisco partners with its energy utility through EnergyAccessSF. The partnership offers support to residents and businesses by connecting them with energy programs, rebates, and services. EnergyAccessSF aims to improve access to incentive programs for low-income residents and businesses in San Francisco.  In addition to EnergyAccessSF, San Francisco is an active participant and partner in the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN), a regional collaboration of the 9 counties that comprise the San Francisco Bay Area.

Last Updated: July 2021

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

PG&E offers the Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESA) to qualified low-income residential customers. The program provides in-home energy education, and direct installation of weatherization and hot water measures, lighting efficiency upgrades, HVAC tune-ups, smart power strips, and refrigerator recycling/replacement at no charge in order to reduce energy consumption in low-income households. The program provides health and safety measures such as the repair and replacement of water heaters and furnaces and minor home repairs. This program is implemented statewide by investor-owned utilities under the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission. It leverages the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and Low-Income Weatherization Program offerings.

The ESA Program’s objective is to assist income-qualified customers to reduce their energy consumption and costs while increasing their health, comfort and safety. PG&E has also administered the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program to qualifying customers since 1989. The CARE program provides a monthly discount on energy bills for qualifying single-family residential households, tenants of sub-metered residential facilities, non-profit group living facilities, agricultural employee housing facilities, and migrant farmworker housing centers throughout PG&E’s service area.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CAPUC) strongly encourages utilities to leverage funds for low-income energy efficiency and weatherization. PG&E’s ESA Program leverages water agency, Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Low Income Weatherization Program (LIWP) funding through individually negotiated agreements with the other agencies.

In 2019, PG&E achieved energy savings of 68,951 MWh and 0.47 MMtherms, while spending $96,478,592 and $50,711,276 on its electric and natural gas low-income programs, respectively. PG&E served 17,169 electric and 7,877 natural gas customers with its low-income program in 2019.

In 2020, the San Francisco Department of the Environment launched EnergyAccessSF, specifically targeting energy efficiency services to residents and businesses of CalEnviroScreen 3.0-designated census tracts disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution, as well as economically disadvantaged.

Multifamily Programs

PG&E offers the California New Homes Multifamily Program, Multifamily Upgrade Program, and Multifamily Cooling Optimizer Program. California New Homes Multifamily Program provides support and incentives for multifamily new construction projects to encourage builders to exceed California’s Title 24 energy efficiency standards. The Multifamily Upgrade Program promotes and facilitates energy-efficient retrofits of existing multifamily buildings through technical support and incentives. The Multifamily Cooling Optimizer Program is a direct install program focused on HVAC measures in tenant spaces. PG&E also implements the Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESA) for income-qualified multifamily customers.

In 2019, PG&E achieved energy savings of 3,322MWh and 0.23 MMtherms, while spending $6,333,027 on its electric and natural gas multifamily programs. PG&E served 3,322 electric housing units, 26 electric multifamily properties,3,594 natural gas housing units, 3,594 natural gas housing units, and 9 natural gas multifamily properties with its multifamily program in 2019.

Last Updated: July 2021

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

PG&E uses the Green Button data sharing platform for electricity data only. The utility provides automatic data entry into Portfolio Manager if given written consent by the customer. The City of San Francisco and PG&E participated in the US DOE Energy Data Accelerator. In addition, San Francisco, through the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LGSEC), participated in CPUC’s Energy Data Access proceeding.

PG&E provides non-confidential, aggregated energy usage data to the public through its Energy Data Request Program. Energy data is publicly released on a monthly basis at the ZIP code level, with significant redaction or further aggregation as needed to comply with California energy data privacy regulations. In addition, PG&E provides citywide energy usage data annually by fuel and customer segment for use in the city’s greenhouse gas inventory. In 2020, BayREN launched the BayREN Energy Atlas, which combines energy usage data with demographic and geographic data prior to publication, allowing more accurate and detailed insight within the limits of California's energy data regulations.

The City of San Francisco and PG&E participated in the US DOE Energy Data Accelerator. In addition, San Francisco, through the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition (LGSEC), participated in CPUC’s Energy Data Access proceeding and served on the Energy Data Access Committee. San Francisco is currently a partner to the Energy Data Vault, a US DOE-funded project developing open source tools and standard methods for the application of differential privacy to advance the distribution of energy usage data and attributes while complying with applicable laws protecting consumer and business energy data privacy.

Last Updated: July 2021

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2018, the State of California set a goal of achieving zero-emission energy sources for its electricity generation by 2045. To achieve this goal, PG&E will need to reduce emissions by 3.7% annually from 2018 levels.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

CleanPowerSF is the City’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program, delivered in partnership with PG&E. CleanPowerSF began delivering cleaner energy to San Francisco neighborhoods in May 2016, and currently serves more than two thirds of San Francisco’s total citywide electricity use. In 2020, the program entered into new contracts to add 260 MW of battery storage to expand renewable energy reliability and capacity.

Currently, over 380,000 customers are enrolled in CleanPowerSF. CleanPowerSF has a target of retaining 95% of its active services and have 5% of eligible accounts enrolled in SuperGreen. As of spring 2020, 2% of customers had opted into the SuperGreen program, with an overall program retention rate of 96.1%.

Last Updated: July 2021

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

The City of San Francisco and PG&E do not offer joint water and energy efficiency programs, but the city does have water-saving rebates independent of the energy utility. The City has updated codes requiring water-efficient fixtures/systems such as toilets, irrigation systems, and shower heads. Rebates are offered for high-efficiency washers and low-flow toilets, as well as free water saving kits. The City’s water conservation program was expanded to offer custom rebates based on projected savings as well as fixed rebates for common measures, similar to its energy efficiency programs. Additionally, the City provides a rebate for residences building a graywater recycling system on-site. PG&E also offers rebates for high-efficiency commercial dishwashers.

San Francisco aims to use less than 50 gallons of water per capita per day city-wide. Water use in the city has remained below 50 gallons per capita per day since 2014.

Water Plant Efficiency and Self-Generation

Energy efficiency projects have been completed at 11 water and wastewater facilities, with additional efficiency improvements planned as part of ongoing system renewal work. For example, through the Sewer System Improvement Program, the Southeast Treatment Plant is undergoing operational improvements and upgrades that will include increased energy efficiency and resource recovery.

The SFPUC has installed large electric cogeneration plants that utilize digester gas at two of its wastewater treatment plants, Southeast and Oceanside. Though no energy-savings target has been set, these systems generate 2 MW and 1 MW at peak, respectively. The electricity generated is used on-site. The SFPUC has also installed six different solar photovoltaic projects at its facilities, including a 5 MW solar project at Sunset Reservoir.

Last Updated: July 2021

Local Government Score:
7.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of San Francisco requires all departments to complete annual greenhouse gas reports in its Departmental Climate Action Plans.

Climate Mitigation Goal

Environment Code Section 902 formally codified San Francisco’s citywide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. Section 902 establishes an emissions reduction goal of 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, with an interim reduction goal of 40% below 1990 levels by 2025. In 2018, the city’s 2050 goal was updated so that the city must now achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will meet its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations. 

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission provides city buildings with 100% fossil fuel-free electricity and aims to continue to do so. San Francisco's goal is to transition all operations to carbon-free sources by 2050.

Last updated: May 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

San Francisco's Zero Emissions Vehicle Municipal Fleet Ordinance requires 75% of light duty vehicles parked at city facilities (8500 pounds curb weight or less) must be ZEV by 2022. Of this number, no more than 25% can be PHEV.  Additionally, all trolley busses, historic cable cars, and light rail vehicles are electric – and electricity for the entire electric transit fleet is 100% GHG-free, supplied by San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. San Francisco’s 2017 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Readiness Plan set objectives for transitioning to alternative fueled and fuel-efficient vehicles for public fleets. In 2017, San Francisco adopted the Zero Emission Vehicle Municipal Fleet Ordinance, which sets requirements zero-emission vehicle procurement. San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency operates the world’s largest electric trolley fleet. All trolley buses, cable cars, and light rail vehicles are electric. San Francisco’s fleet is composed of 19% efficient vehicles, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric.

Public Lighting

San Francisco follows California Title 24 Party 6 Energy Standards for outdoor lighting. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has completed conversion of all 18,500 city-owned streetlights to LEDs. Both prior and updated LED fixtures use photocell controls.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems 

San Francisco has installed onsite renewable energy systems on municipal facilities. The city has installed over 2.9 MW of solar PV on city facilities, as well as 5 MW of solar on the Sunset Reservoir. 

Inclusive procurement 

The city does not currently have inclusive procurement and contracting processes that target marginalized communities for city energy project contracts.

Last updated: May 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

San Francisco benchmarks 100% of municipal buildings. The Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance (ECBO) requires the benchmarking of public and private (non-residential) buildings of more than 10,000 square feet, using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The ordinance requires disclosure of the ENERGY STAR score or the energy usage intensity if a score is not available. The 2017 Energy Benchmark Report for Municipal Buildings complies with the ECBO, and voluntarily includes all buildings with non-trivial energy use, regardless of size. The smallest benchmarked municipal building is the Cow Hollow Clubhouse at 675 square feet.

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

Retrofitting is accounted for annually through budgeting for energy efficiency, by the SFPUC, with retrofits prioritized based on total energy use and other key factors. With the entire municipal portfolio benchmarked annually, the city uses this data to retrofit on the basis of capital budget, utility (SFPUC) efficiency budget, and maintenance status. The city dedicates energy efficiency funding in its annual budget.

Last updated: May 2021