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Hetch Hetchy Power

FAQs and Next Steps for Developers and Property Owners

If you are a large commercial or residential facility, you may be eligible to transfer your electrical service and become a Hetch Hetchy Power customer. Please note developments on City-owned land must apply for Hetch Hetchy Power. 

Ready to get started? Scroll below for next steps!

FAQs

What is Hetch Hetchy Power?
Hetch Hetchy Power is generated primarily through hydroelectricity: when San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir releases drinking water for the City, the water passes through our hydroelectric turbines and creates electricity, which we transmit to the Bay Area. The Hetch Hetchy Power mix also includes other local, renewable energy from City-owned solar, wind, and biogas facilities. We have been providing power to San Francisco municipal buildings and critical facilities for over 100 years, and this clean power is now available for use in private facilities within San Francisco. With Hetch Hetchy Power, the SFPUC is your energy producer and publicly–owned utility service provider. We recommend using Hetch Hetchy Power for new or existing large facilities; plus, all new projects on City-owned land must apply for Hetch Hetchy Power. As an added benefit, our Power Customer Programs are available to all new and existing Hetch Hetchy customers.

Is greenhouse gas-free electricity available for my project?
We recommend using Hetch Hetchy Power for new or existing large facilities; plus, all new projects on City-owned land must apply for Hetch Hetchy Power. Smaller private projects can take advantage of other SFPUC services, including CleanPowerSF.

How will becoming a Hetch Hetchy Power customer be different from the PG&E process?
The SFPUC purchases access to PG&E’s grid to deliver Hetch Hetchy Power to our distribution sites within San Francisco. After we conduct a financial review with your team and have our contracts in place, we will apply for wholesale power delivery through PG&E. After you become an SFPUC customer, all of your electrical utility needs will be handled by us, similar to how your water needs are met by us as well.

How is Hetch Hetchy Power different from Direct Access (DA)?
Hetch Hetchy Power is San Francisco's full-serivce, public power utility. Direct Access (DA) is a retail electric service where customers purchase electricity directly from a provider called an Electric Service Provider (ESP). Hetch Hetchy Power is 100% greenhouse-gas free and meets all clean energy mandates in San Francisco, while the power mix varies among ESPs and may or may not meet local mandates. Exit fees are paid by Hetch Hetchy Power if you become our customer; however, on DA, you are responsible for these costs. Finally, as a public utility, Hetch Hetchy Power provides rate transparency and reinvests profits back into the local community, neither of which are offered by DA.

What kind of space requirements are there?
We usually provide 12kV primary power to large new developments, which typically requires a switchgear system that takes up around 700 square feet of space (including clearances). Switchgear can be installed in most basement or garage spaces, and can be shared among multiple buildings and developments for up to 12MW of total power load. SFPUC will work with you to determine the best design and layout of the equipment.

What kind of costs and rates can I expect?
Because the City is a tax-exempt entity, our customers can save on the upfront capital costs of construction. We don’t charge our customers any tax on the cost to install SFPUC-owned infrastructure to provide electricity, which can result in savings of approximately 22-34% of those costs for your development project. Hetch Hetchy Power also has significantly lower long-term energy costs, which can be particularly beneficial for a developer who will own and operate the building after construction. Our rates tend to be about 10% lower than PG&Es because we are driven by a mission of decreasing greenhouse-gas emissions in San Francisco, not by expanding profits for shareholders.

What kind of service will I receive?
Our Customer Engagement Team and Engineers will work closely with you to determine feasibility and will provide design assistance and review. Once you and your occupants start using our power, we’ll provide 24/7 care and troubleshooting. We have been supplying electricity in San Francisco for 100 years to many of San Francisco's most critical facilities, including SFO, Muni, SF Unified School District, SF General Hospital and San Francisco’s police and fire stations. You’ll have the reliability benefits of using the same grid as the rest of the city, but without the greenhouse-gas emissions.

What other green energy initiatives can my project take advantage of?
We support our customers' efforts to conserve energy and generate power locally. SFPUC offers competitive energy efficiency incentives for new and existing buildings.

Next Steps

Contact Us
Be sure to contact us as early as possible in your project planning so that we can evaluate the feasibility for your project and make sure we are able to meet your milestone timing requirements.

Send your basic project information, including project type, address, schedule, phasing, and any known power requirements, to HHPower@sfwater.org or fill out our statement of interest form to get started. You can also call us at 415-554-2419.

Gather Your Materials
As soon as you define the particulars about your project, we’ll request specific details, including:

  • Application for electric service
  • System size and location of any on-site renewable generation, co-generation, or electric energy storage
  • Plans showing the existing site conditions and full extent of new development
  • The number and average square footage of residential units, commercial square footage, parking garage square footage, common area square footage, etc.
  • Electrical system diagrams, including electrical single line diagrams and a plan indicating general routing of electric distribution cables and proposed locations of key facilities such as electric metering, switchgear, and transformers
  • Usage information
  • An estimate of the project’s electric load profile and annual energy consumption for each building, block, and project phase
  • Electric vehicle charging plans
Last updated: 10/10/2019 11:21:33 AM