Mayor Lee Announces Bold New Target of 50 Percent Renewable Energy by 2020
Offering CleanPowerSF to every eligible SF resident and business is the single most important factor driving greenhouse gas emission reductions from San Francisco’s energy sector
Today, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Department of the Environment announced the City’s goal of a 50 percent renewable electricity supply by 2020. This goal is made possible by the success of the City’s community choice aggregation program, CleanPowerSF, which empowers San Francisco residents and businesses to choose cleaner, more renewable energy at competitive rates.
“By transitioning to at least 50 percent renewable energy, San Francisco will reduce harmful emissions while also creating up to 5,000 jobs that support our renewable energy infrastructure development,” said Mayor Lee. “Our CleanPowerSF program gives us a unique opportunity to accelerate our emission reduction goals and increase the amount of renewable energy we use in the City.”
A fully-subscribed CleanPowerSF program by 2019 will be a giant step forward for the City. California is already one of the most forward-thinking states on climate change, but with this announcement, San Francisco will surpass the state’s 50 percent renewable target by ten years. It is among the most ambitious targets of any major city in the U.S.
“For nearly 100 years, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been generating 100 percent greenhouse gas-free electricity from the Hetch Hetchy Power System for the City’s electricity customers,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “We’re now empowering every San Francisco resident and business to reduce their own environmental impact simply by enrolling in CleanPowerSF.”
Since launching in May 2016, CleanPowerSF has welcomed 75,000 customers across the City. Participation in CleanPowerSF has been strong, with more customers proactively upgrading to SuperGreen—CleanPowerSF’s 100 percent renewable energy option—than opting out of the program altogether. Additionally, CleanPowerSF has one of the highest retention rates of any community choice aggregation program in California, with nearly 97 percent of customers choosing clean energy and staying in the program.
These successes are why the City is accelerating the rollout of CleanPowerSF across San Francisco. CleanPowerSF will enroll approximately 250,000 eligible customers citywide by 2019. Additionally, CleanPowerSF has conservatively committed to increasing the renewable percentage of its basic Green service, from 35 percent at program launch, to at least 50 percent by 2020.
“As we work with our local and international partners to reach deep greenhouse gas emissions reductions and avoid a global climate crisis, we know that we cannot reach our future goals without the accelerated expansion of CleanPowerSF,” said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “San Francisco’s commitment to renewable power is a statement of our progress towards shifting away from dirty fossil fuels and driving the renewable energy market forward in the Bay Area and California.”
The City is also using its Hetch Hetchy resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the next decade, the City will expand Hetch Hetchy power service to customers in the Shipyard on Treasure Island, among other places. Every new Hetch Hetchy Power customer lowers the City’s greenhouse gas emission profile.
Additionally, San Francisco’s GoSolarSF program continues to tap into San Francisco’s rooftops. Since 2008, GoSolarSF has helped to install 15.5 megawatts and nearly 4,300 new solar installations.
These ambitious renewable energy goals support the City’s larger sustainability vision, referred to as “0-50-100-Roots.” The phrase is shorthand for the City’s commitment to send zero waste to the landfill, reach 50 percent sustainable travel, use 100 percent renewable energy and pull carbon dioxide out of the air.
While climate-responsible initiatives at the national and international levels continue to stagnate, San Francisco is leading the way by setting goals and rolling out programs to challenge the environmental and health impacts of climate change.
“Now that we’ve provided the strategy, tools and resources needed to achieve our ambitious goals, I’m asking all of San Francisco to join me in this commitment by taking action,” Mayor Lee said.
For more information regarding CleanPowerSF, to sign up for early enrollment, or to upgrade to SuperGreen, visit cleanpowersf.org.