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Energy Benchmarking for Municipal Buildings

“The City is leading by example by providing transparency and accountability about our own operations, an essential component of San Francisco’s goal to reduce carbon emissions.” - Mayor Edwin M. Lee


The first recommendation of San Francisco’s 2011 Electricity Resource Plan (ERP) is to expand the City’s successful energy efficiency programs. With that goal in mind, the SFPUC has analyzed the recent energy performance of over 465 public buildings, including almost 49 million square feet of building area, and released the results in our fourth annual public report.

As the first city on the west coast to publicly release municipal energy performance data, San Francisco is demonstrating public sector initiative in response to the Energy Performance Ordinance, adopted in 2011. This local ordinance requires owners of non-residential buildings to annually benchmark their buildings’ energy use in comparison to other similar facilities, and then disclose the results.


2013 Energy Benchmarking Report cover image

 2014 Energy Benchmarking Report

Report archives: 2013, 2012, 2011

The report identifies high-performing buildings as well as those that may benefit from cost-effective energy efficiency investments. Calendar year 2014 highlights include:

  • Across the building portfolio, there were significant drops in both Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and GHG emissions from 2013 to 2014.
  • The overall energy intensity of San Francisco’s benchmarked municipal buildings improved 9.9% from 2013 and 16.2% compared to 2009.
  • The average carbon footprint of benchmarked facilities improved 15.9% from 2013 and 27.4% compared to 2009.
  • These improvements were largely due to significant reductions in natural gas use. A combination of warmer weather, energy efficiency projects, and operational improvements were all factors.
  • 87% of the 132 public facilities that are in ENERGY STAR rating–eligible categories performed equal to or better than the national average for similar buildings. Only four of these 132 facilities ranked in the bottom 25% when compared to their national peers.

Energy benchmarking is an extension of the SFPUC’s efforts to help City departments reduce energy use and meet their climate action goals. We offer a range of clean energy programs including detailed energy audits and green building design assistance to help our customers find ways to save energy and money. Energy efficiency projects implemented by the SFPUC over the past decade are saving the City several million dollars in energy costs each year.

For information on how the Energy Performance Ordinance applies to privately-owned buildings, visit the Department of the Environment’s web site.



Last updated: 3/1/2016 11:56:29 AM