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Breed sets targets for renewable energy use by commercial buildings


San Francisco Mayor London celebrated Earth Day Monday by announcing a proposal to require private commercial buildings to run on renewable electricity starting in 2022.

Breed said at a press conference at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital — one of the first hospitals to sign on to The City’s CleanPowerSF program, said it was a bold plan, but necessary to combat climate change citywide:

“We need our largest buildings, which are some of the largest energy users, to drive to us to the 2030 goal of 100-percent renewable electricity citywide.”

The proposal, which the mayor plans to introduce next month at the Board of Supervisors, would first require commercial buildings over 500,000 square feet to switch to a renewable electricity source by 2022, followed by commercial buildings over 250,000 square feet in 2024, and finally smaller commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet to switch in 2030.

About 46 percent of The City’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation and 44 percent come from buildings.

Breed said:

“Renewable electricity is our path today to an all-electric, zero emissions tomorrow.”

The City is also keeping an eye on large residential buildings and much energy the buildings consumer.

Last week, the Board of Supervisors passed legislation require owners of the buildings to annually disclose and measure the energy use to the Department of Environment. Supervisor Vallie Brown authored the legislation.

Brown said Monday:

“We have to think greener and we have to think cleaner.”

Jodie Van Horn, director of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign, said The City is setting an example for other mayors across the nation by taking the next forward in curbing greenhouse gas emissions:

“We want city leaders to support one another and learn from each other so we can replicate… bold actions to address climate change right now.”

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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