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Mayor London Breed Announces New Programs to Reduce Carbon Emissions and Promote Equitable Access to Clean Energy

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  • Mayor’s Office of Communications

NEWS RELEASE 
Mayor’s Office of Communications
mayorspressoffice@sfgov.org

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2022

Mayor London Breed Announces New Programs to Reduce Carbon Emissions and Promote Equitable Access to Clean Energy

New programs will help San Francisco meet ambitious climate action goals, including net-zero emissions by 2040

SAN FRANCISCO — Mayor London N. Breed today announced an array of new programs that will reduce carbon emissions and promote equitable access to clean energy in San Francisco, two priorities highlighted in San Francisco’s recently updated Climate Action Plan. The initiatives, which are being managed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), include discounts for 100% renewable energy for low-income customers, rebates to replace fossil fuel powered appliances, and incentives for installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Together, the programs will help the City make further progress in reaching the Mayor Breed’s  ambitious climate action goals, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2040.

“As we celebrate Climate Action Month in San Francisco, we must recommit ourselves to taking actions that tackle the climate crisis head-on,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “Access to clean, affordable electricity is at the heart of San Francisco’s strategy for reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions and improving the health and well-being of communities across our city. Thanks to the SFPUC’s partnership, we will continue to make progress towards achieving a clean energy future that is equitable and accessible for all San Franciscans.”

Last year, the Mayor and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) announced that CleanPowerSF will provide all customers with 100% renewable electricity by 2025, five years ahead of the City’s goal of 2030 and twenty years ahead of the State’s goal of 2045. Complementing this pledge, the SFPUC has launched a slate of new programs that support a faster transition to renewable energy and more equitable access for communities most impacted by climate change:

  • More Clean Electricity, Lower Monthly Bills: Two new programs offer 100% clean electricity for low-income San Franciscans. The SuperGreen Saver program will offer 100% renewable electricity and a 20% discount on eligible CleanPowerSF customer bills. A newly revamped Customer Assistance Program for Hetch Hetchy Power customers living in affordable and public housing will provide 100% clean electricity at a 30% discount.
  • GoSolarSF Inverter Replacement Program: Eligible low-income residents with rooftop solar provided through the GoSolarSF program may receive up to $3,000 for the inspection, repair, and replacement of their solar system inverter, a crucial component that may only function for about half the expected lifespan of the entire solar system.
  • Rebates for All-Electric Home Appliances: CleanPowerSF customers and approved contractors can take advantage of new incentives when installing a heat pump water heater, an all-electric heating technology that can replace natural gas water heaters. CleanPowerSF residential customers who work with an approved contractor can stack new and existing rebates to receive up to $5,600 in incentives toward the installation of a new heat pump water heater.  
  • EV Charge SF: Building upon the Mayor’s goals to expand electric vehicle (EV) adoption, this new program provides up to $120,000 in financial incentives for installing EV charging infrastructure in eligible new construction projects.

“The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has a long history of providing clean, safe, and reliable power to San Francisco,” said Dennis Herrera, General Manager of the SFPUC. “We continue to see the effects of global climate change right here in California, whether it’s rising seas or more severe wildfires. We know that transitioning to cleaner energy is an essential, urgent step. We are committed to expanding clean energy access through new, innovative programs, and we’re more dedicated than ever to making sure that clean power is a public good, not a for-profit enterprise.”

Background and Sign-up Information

To ensure greater access to clean energy among low-income communities in San Francisco, the SFPUC has launched the SuperGreen Saver program for current CleanPowerSF customers. This program will provide 100% renewable electricity and a 20% monthly discount for customers living on low incomes who reside in State-defined “disadvantaged communities.” Disadvantaged communities are areas disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution. SuperGreen Saver, which is expected to roll out to 1,200 customers, ultimately aims to deliver the benefits of clean energy to communities most impacted by air pollution.

In March 2022, the SFPUC also launched an updated discount program for Hetch Hetchy Power customers living in affordable and public housing. Enrolled customers will see a 30% discount on their electricity bills every month while also receiving 100% clean electricity. Nearly 400 customers have signed up for the new discount program since it launched last month.

The SFPUC has launched a Solar Inverter Replacement Program for customers with low incomes who received a subsidized solar installation through the SFPUC’s GoSolarSF program. The SFPUC will offer up to $3,000 for approximately 500 eligible customers when they need to service and replace their solar inverter, a crucial component of a rooftop solar system that may only function for about half the expected lifespan of the entire solar system. The Solar Inverter Replacement Program ensures that solar owners living on low incomes can continue to see lower electricity bills as a benefit of their solar systems, while also helping the City realize its 100% renewable electricity goal.

The SFPUC is also working to support the Mayor’s effort to achieve decarbonization of all existing buildings by 2040. Starting this month, CleanPowerSF is partnering with the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) to offer $1,000 to certified contractors who help CleanPowerSF residential customers install new heat pump water heaters, which use electricity instead of natural gas to heat water in homes or multi-family buildings. CleanPowerSF residential customers who work with an approved contractor can also stack other rebates and receive up to $5,600 in incentives toward the installation of a new heat pump water heater.  

To address greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, the SFPUC launched EV Charge SF, which offers up to $120,000 in financial incentives per project for installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in new construction. The program builds on San Francisco’s Electric Vehicle Readiness Ordinance, which requires new developments to have sufficient electric capacity for EV charging but does not require any charging stations to be installed. The program, for buildings permitted in 2018 or later, will initially be available only to Hetch Hetchy Power customers but is expected to expand to CleanPowerSF customers later this year.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission currently operates two retail electricity services: Hetch Hetchy Power and CleanPowerSF. Together, these programs serve nearly 390,000 customer accounts in San Francisco and meet over 70 percent of the electrical demand in the City.

Hetch Hetchy Power is San Francisco’s publicly owned-utility, which provides 100 percent greenhouse gas-free energy to public facilities such as City Hall, schools and libraries, some private commercial developments, and affordable housing. The SFPUC launched CleanPowerSF in 2016 with a mission to provide San Francisco residents and businesses with clean, renewable electricity at competitive rates. Over the past six years, CleanPowerSF has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electricity use by 94% from 1990 levels.

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates and delivers clean power for municipal buildings, residential customers, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care.

Mayor’s Office of Communications