As the City’s provider of clean, Hetch Hetchy power, one of our most important jobs is to help customers use their energy as efficiently as possible. The Energy Efficiency Services division plans and implements comprehensive energy retrofit projects in municipal buildings throughout San Francisco to reduce energy use, save money and improve indoor working environments.
Beginning in 1982, the Energy Efficiency team has helped City departments enhance energy performance in San Francisco’s municipal facilities building-by-building. Energy efficiency improvements include, but are not limited to, improved lighting, updated heating and other mechanical systems (HVAC), advanced lighting controls like occupancy sensors, and modern energy management systems.
Energy and Cost Savings for the City
Since 2002, our energy efficiency programs have reduced San Francisco’s current electricity use by over 40,000 megawatt hours each year and natural gas consumption by over 800,000 therms each year. That’s enough electricity to power over 8,000 homes and enough natural gas for 1,600 homes per year. Over time, these energy efficiency investments pay for themselves through reduced energy costs, which saves the City several million dollars each year. Additionally, energy efficiency upgrades often improve comfort for building occupants with better lighting, improved ventilation and better temperature controls.
We provide a range of services that are tailored to meet our customers’ needs which include:
- Energy audits of existing buildings to identify savings opportunities;
- Energy retrofits performed by specialized contractors;
- Green Building commissioning and design assistance for construction and renovation projects and
- Energy performance benchmarking for San Francisco’s municipal buildings.
Further details on our programs can be found in our most recent annual report to the California Energy Commission. This SFPUC report is an excerpt from the comprehensive report submitted on behalf of 40 of California’s public power utilities.
Information about energy efficiency programs for residents and businesses that are not power customers of the SFPUC can be found on the website of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment: http://www.sfenvironment.org/energy/energy-efficiency
SFPUC Power Enterprise has undertaken detailed audits to identify energy efficiency opportunities at over 250 municipal buildings since the year 2000. We have so far completed retrofit projects at over 125 of these locations. These projects have improved heavily-used public facilities throughout San Francisco by modernizing outdated building systems, improving lighting conditions and indoor air quality, creating high-quality construction and engineering jobs, and greatly reducing emissions—all while saving the City several million dollars each year on energy costs.
Department of Public Health - The SFPUC has partnered with DPH on numerous energy efficiency projects over the past decade. These have included lighting retrofits at 13 General Hospital buildings in 2002, a partial loan for a new chiller at the SFGH central plant, EECBG-funded energy retrofits at three neighborhood Health Centers, and design and technical assistance for a major boiler plant and emergency generator upgrade at SFGH. In all, these projects represent approximately 3.4 million kWh per year in electricity savings, 2.3 million therms per year in natural gas savings, and enough water savings (from steam efficiency) to fill Summit Reservoir every year.
San Francisco International Airport (SFIA) - As part of the Clean Energy Clean Air Program, we completed an investment grade energy audit of nine million square feet of SFIA facilities. This audit identified a package of lighting and mechanical system measures estimated to reduce SFIA’s energy costs by approximately $6.9 million per year. Completion of some of these lighting and central heating plant improvements, saved 3.7 million kWh and 376,000 therms of natural gas per year. We continue to provide technical assistance related to the upgrade and optimization of SFIA’s energy management controls.
Civic Center Sustainable District - This initiative is aimed at creating a historic green district as a global model for the integration of green retrofit technologies, by upgrading the City buildings within San Francisco’s historic Civic Center. These improvements funded and implemented by the SFPUC will demonstrate energy and water efficiency, renewable energy generation, and other green building design elements. Buildings receiving energy retrofits are the Main Library, Asian Art Museum, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, DPH Headquarters, and the Civic Center Plaza Garage.
As part of this initiative, the SFPUC completed energy efficient lighting and mechanical retrofits at City Hall in 2011, carefully integrating modern improvements within the historic context of the 1915 building. A new daylighting and ventilation strategy uses sensors to automate perimeter lighting and modulate natural ventilation. These improvements will annually save 530,000 kWh of electricity as well as 8,200 therms of heating energy. These electricity savings at City Hall are equivalent to the annual use of over 100 San Francisco homes.
Human Services Agency (HSA) - We completed energy efficiency improvements at the City’s homeless shelters on Polk and Bryant streets, as well as at the Hamilton Family Center on Golden Gate Avenue. We currently are working at three other HSA sites, including the agency's headquarters, and will undertake four additional retrofit projects in 2012. These retrofits will reduce the HSA’s utility costs and provide needed upgrades to lighting and mechanical systems at these community-serving buildings.
War Memorial and Performing Arts Center - We completed $1.5 million of mechanical system upgrades at Davies Symphony Hall, including replacing chillers and boilers, installing hot and chilled water variable speed pumping, and upgrading controls. We also performed $1 million of lighting retrofits at Davies Symphony Hall, the Opera House, and Veterans Building, installing high efficiency replacement lighting (fluorescent, halogen, and long-lasting LED). Collectively, these lighting and mechanical projects save 1.5 million kWh and 16,000 therms of natural gas each year. Power Enterprise is also providing HVAC design, commissioning, and LEED services for the Veterans Building’s major seismic upgrade project.
Port of San Francisco - As part of the Clean Energy Clean Air program, we completed $1.2 million of lighting upgrades at 18 Port locations, with estimated annual savings of 1,650,000 kWh. Mechanical system upgrades to eight Port facilities will be completed in 2012, estimated to save 260,000 kWh and 12,000 therms of natural gas each year. Energy savings from these retrofits will allow the Port to repay the SFPUC’s design and construction expenses, and will provide many years of environmental benefits and reduced costs.