Energy Consumption Drops in SF’s Commercial Buildings

Urban Land Institute Greenprint Center for Building Performance released a new report created in collaboration with the San Francisco Department of the Environment with some surprising results.
San Francisco's skyline at night

San Francisco’s skyline at night

San Francisco’s commercial buildings consume less energy than five years ago, according to a performance report released by the Urban Land Institute Greenprint Center for Building Performance in collaboration with the San Francisco Department of the Environment.

The report tracked 176 commercial properties since 2010 and the results show they have reduced energy consumption by 7.9 percent. A wider review of 817 buildings shows that energy reduction measures could save tens of millions of dollars over the course of years while adding to the properties’ value.

The report is the result of the city’s Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance adopted in 2011 which requires nonresidential buildings to annually benchmark energy use as well as undergo an energy audit every five years. The current report is the first major analysis of the ECB Ordinance data.

“The reduction in energy use in San Francisco shows real progress in our commitment to respond to climate change, and we commend those property owners who have already stepped up to do their part. But there’s also more to be done, and we look forward to working with businesses, property owners and the community to accelerate that progress for our residents today, and for the future,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee.

The analysis also shows that more than half of the greenhouse gas emissions in the city come from 197,000 residential and commercial buildings. Controlling the energy use would be the fastest, most accessible, and efficient way to reduce emissions.

Debbie Raphael, director at San Francisco Department of the Environment reports that “Nearly $61 million in cost effective energy efficiency investment opportunities have been identified by local engineers which, if completed, will result in $170 million in net present value. Now we need building owners to take the next step and make these cost effective investments.”

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