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This Chapter 30 may be referred to as the 100% Renewable Energy for Commercial Buildings Ordinance.
(a) With San Francisco’s strong green building codes, the City has some of the most energy-efficient new buildings in the nation. However, San Francisco is also one of the oldest urban areas in California and many of its buildings were built before energy efficiency codes were enacted. San Francisco’s older building stock uses electricity partially supplied by fossil-fuel burning power plants and heat that is primarily supplied by the combustion of natural gas – both of which emit carbon dioxide, one of several pollutants that contribute to global warming.
(b) The City’s Existing Commercial Buildings Task Force, established in 2009, recommended systematically identifying all cost-effective opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings citywide. In 2011, Chapter 20 of the Environment Code was enacted to require owners of nonresidential buildings over a certain size to conduct Energy Efficiency Audits of their properties and file Annual Energy Benchmark Summaries for their buildings.
(c) In 2011 the Mayor convened a Renewable Energy Task Force to develop recommendations to help San Francisco achieve its goal of 100% renewable electricity supply by 2020. The City’s completed 2017 community-wide inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions found that the buildings sector is responsible for 42% of emissions, second only to transportation.
(d) As reported in the City’s 2017 San Francisco Emissions Inventory, San Francisco’s emissions in 2017 were 36% below 1990 levels, well ahead of the statewide goal set in California’s Assembly Bill 32 of achieving 1990 emissions levels by 2020. In 2008, the City enacted Chapter 9 of the Environment Code, which set additional GHG emissions reduction targets of 40% below 1990 levels by 2025 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The City’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions have focused on using less energy, improved efficiency, and energy recovery as well as de-carbonizing the energy supply by replacing fossil fuels sources with renewable energy sources – micro-hydro, wind, geothermal, solar, wave, and biomass.
(e) Chapter 9 of the Environment Code requires a GHG emissions reduction plan for the City, mandates that City departments take certain steps to reduce the City’s GHG emissions, and requires City departments to submit annual reports to the Department of the Environment. As of 2017, just under 3% of San Francisco’s GHG emissions were generated by energy consumed in municipal government buildings and fleet vehicles. Moving to 100% renewable electricity in the private sector is a significant step the City can take to continue reducing GHG emissions and meet Climate Action Strategy goals.
For purposes of this Chapter 30, the following terms have the following meanings:
Building Owner. A person, as defined by California Public Resources Code Section 25116 or any successor law, possessing title to the building.
Director. The Director of the Department of the Environment or the Director’s designee.
Energy. Electricity, natural gas, steam, heating oil, or other product sold by a utility to a customer of a nonresidential building, or renewable on-site electricity generation, for purposes of providing heat, cooling, lighting, water heating, or for powering or fueling other end-uses in the building and related facilities.
Energy Professional. An individual qualified to perform an energy efficiency audit required by Chapter 20 of the Environment Code.
Greenhouse gas (GHG)-free or renewable energy resources. Energy resources qualifying as renewable pursuant to California Public Resources Code Chapter 8.6, Section 25741(a) and California Public Utilities Code Chapter 2.3, Article 16, Section 399.16(b)(1) or (2), as amended from time to time, or provided by a local publicly owned electric utility subject to California Public Utilities Code Chapter 2.3, Article 16, Section 399.30(j), as amended from time to time.
Gross floor area. The total number of square feet measured between the principal exterior surfaces of enclosing fixed walls.
Nonresidential Building. A facility composed of occupancy types(s) other than residential – including type A, B, E, I-1, I-2, I-3, M, R-1, and S, as defined in Chapter 3 of the California Building Code, as amended from time to time, and where a gross area of 10,000 square feet or more is heated or cooled in its interior.
(a) Applicability and Schedule for Compliance. The date of applicability of the requirements of this Chapter 30 to Nonresidential Buildings is as follows, based on gross floor area:
(1) Buildings of 500,000 square feet in gross floor area or larger: December 31, 2022;
(2) Buildings of 250,000 square feet in gross floor area or larger, but below 500,000 square feet: December 31, 2024;
(3) Buildings of 50,000 square feet in gross floor area or larger, but below 250,000 square feet: December 31, 2030.
Nonresidential Buildings of less than 50,000 square feet in gross floor area are not subject to the requirements of this Chapter.
(b) Renewable Electricity Requirement. Each Nonresidential Building subject to this Chapter 30 shall, as of the date specified in subsection (a), ensure that all on-site electricity demands are met through any combination of:
(1) on-site generation from 100% greenhouse gas (GHG)-free or renewable energy resources, and/or
(2) purchase from 100% greenhouse gas (GHG)-free or renewable energy resources.
(c) Tenants. In buildings subject to the requirements of this Chapter 30, it shall be the responsibility of nonresidential building tenants to ensure that all meters for which they are the account holder are in compliance with the renewable electricity provisions of Section 3003(b), and the reporting requirements of Sections 2002(b) and (c). Nothing in this Section 3003 shall be construed to permit a building owner to use tenant utility subscription data or usage data for purposes other than compliance with Chapters 20 and 30 of the Environment Code.
(d) Program Wait List. A nonresidential building subject to this Chapter 30, as of the date specified in subsection (a), will be compliant if they are on a waitlist for enrollment in a program satisfying the conditions of subsection (b).
(a) The Director may adopt rules and regulations for the implementation of this Chapter 30, including rules for an electronic submittal of an Annual Statement of Sources of Electricity, and for the verification of compliance with the requirements of this Chapter.
(b) The Director may modify or suspend any or all of the requirements of this Chapter 30 if the Director submits a written determination to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor indicating:
(1) lack of 100% greenhouse gas (GHG)-free or renewable energy resources available to meet demand, and/or
(2) the cost of all available 100% greenhouse gas (GHG)-free or renewable energy resources is more than 5% of each provider’s default program offering, and/or
(3) the requirement conflicts with or is similar or less comprehensive than a renewable energy requirement adopted by the State of California or the Federal government.
In adopting this Chapter 30, the City and County of San Francisco is assuming an undertaking only to promote the general welfare. It is not assuming, nor is it imposing on its officers and employees, an obligation for breach of which it is liable in money damages to any building owner who claims that such breach proximately caused injury.
The provisions of this Chapter 30 shall be construed so as not to conflict with applicable federal or state laws, rules, or regulations. Nothing in this Chapter shall authorize any City agency or department to impose any duties or obligations in conflict with limitations on municipal authority established by federal or state law at the time such agency or department action is taken.
If any of the provisions of this Chapter 30 or the application thereof to any building owner or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of those provisions, including the application of such part or provisions to building owners or circumstances other than those to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby and shall continue in full force and effect. To this end, the provisions of this Chapter are severable.