San Francisco OK’s $16 Million Energy-Efficiency Program for Commercial, Residential Buildings

San Francisco OK’s $16 Million Energy-Efficiency Program for Commercial, Residential Buildings

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a $16.3 million joint energy-efficiency pilot project with Pacific Gas and Electric Company and San Francisco’s Environment Department (SF Environment). The San Francisco Peak Energy Pilot Program is designed to increase electric reliability by reducing peak energy demand for both residential and business customers.

Through a portfolio of energy efficiency programs, PG&E and SF Environment will work with hotel/motel, restaurant, and apartment owners. The programs are also designed to assist low-income residents -- a special emphasis will target the Bayview Hunters Point community.

The ultimate goal of the program is to reduce electric demand during both the peak summer air conditioning and winter heating seasons. Implementation of the project will include nine energy efficient program elements aimed at reducing usage in San Francisco by 16 megawatts in January 2005 to assist in the closure of Hunters Point Power Plant. One megawatt is approximately equal to the amount of energy needed for 1,000 homes.

“The San Francisco Peak Energy Pilot Program will produce tangible benefits for businesses and residents alike,” said Jared Blumenfeld, director of SF Environment.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company's residential and business customers in San Francisco will be able to take advantage of a number of rebate programs designed specifically for residents and businesses. Some of the many programs include the following for each of the customer classes:

  • Cash Rebates for Business Customers: Cash rebates will be available for all business customers who replace old equipment with new energy efficient technologies. Rebates are available for selected equipment in the following categories: lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration, motors, and food service.
  • Standard Performance Contracts: SPC will offer business customer’s financial incentives based on verified energy savings and demand reductions resulting from custom-designed projects. Any small, medium, large commercial, and industrial customer in San Francisco can apply to the program individually or have a project sponsor (third party) apply on the customer’s behalf.
  • Targeted System Energy Audits: PG&E will provide specialized energy audits to large commercial customers who have a high potential for peak demand reduction. PG&E will survey large commercial facilities and identify energy-saving technologies and projects, including applicable incentive programs to help offset initial investment in energy efficiency measures.
  • Commercial Turnkey Services for Small and Medium Businesses: SF Environment and PG&E will assist business customers and identify potential energy-saving opportunities. After the survey, SF Environment representatives will help business customers find service providers to install energy efficient equipment and complete paperwork for applicable financial incentive programs.
  • Codes and Standards Support: PG&E and SF Environment’s building and planning department will provide energy efficiency review and recommendations on building projects that come to the planning department, promote incentive programs applicable to such projects, and analyze and draft potential energy efficiency ordinances to be considered for adoption for both existing and new buildings.
  • Emerging Technologies: PG&E will demonstrate several new technologies for peak load reduction at customer sites in the city and promote project results to the applicable customer sectors.
  • Residential Direct Install Program: PG&E will leverage contacts being made by the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program to identify homes that qualify for the direct installation of a variety of energy efficiency measures including interior hardwired fixtures, compact fluorescent lamps, programmable thermostats, increased incentives for second refrigerator turn in and halogen torchiere turn in/exchange. Special emphasis will be placed on working with CARE participants, seniors and board and care facilities.
  • Multifamily Energy Efficiency Rebate: Cash rebates will be available for the installation of qualified energy efficiency products in apartment dwelling units and common areas of apartment and condominium complexes. Property owners (and property managers, as authorized agents for property owners) of existing residential multifamily complexes with 5 or more dwelling units may qualify. Rebates will be available to cover installation of hardwired lighting fixtures, programmable thermostats, and coin-operated washers.
  • Residential Case Studies: SF Environment and PG&E will study residential building types in order to verify San Francisco's residential electric heating peak and how energy efficiency and other measures may be used to manage this peak.
Board approval is the first step in the agreement process. The program is slated to get underway shortly pending final program approval on the implementation plan from the California Public Utilities Commission. The program is funded by California utility customers and administered by the investor owned utilities under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.