San Francisco announced a remarkable step toward increasing clean energy in the city. All new buildings must have solar panels. The panels can be either photovoltaic or solar hot water panels.
On April 20, just in time for Earth Day, San Francisco’s board of supervisors approved Supervisor Scott Wiener’s legislation requiring solar panels on new residential and commercial buildings. “The renewable energy ordinance makes San Francisco first major city in the country to require solar panels be installed on new construction,” the board said. “This legislation will help move San Francisco towards its goal of meeting 100 percent of the city’s electricity demand with renewable energy.”
“By increasing our use of solar power, San Francisco is once again leading the nation in the fight against climate change and the reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels,” Wiener said. “Activating underutilized roof space is a smart and efficient way to promote the use of solar energy and improve our environment. We need to continue to pursue aggressive renewable energy policies to ensure a sustainable future for our city and our region.”
San Francisco is among the cities in the U.S. that are planning to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. For instance last December San Diego announced it would be powered by 100 percent clean energy. Both current Mayor Ed Lee and former Mayor Gavin Newsom have pushed for such a policy. Now San Francisco’s Department of the Environment and the Environment Commission is working to make the goal a reality. This latest announcement should help take the city toward its goal.
It was supported by numerous organizations including the U.S. Green Buildings Council, the Building Inspection Commission and nonprofit Brightline Defense. The latter is working to create sustainable environments in low-income communities and communities of color.
The new city ordinance fits into California’s Title 24 Energy Standards. The standards require that on new small and mid-sized buildings of 10 floors or less 15 percent of its roof area must be “solar ready.” At least a portion of the roof must be unshaded by the proposed building itself, and free of obtrusions.Tweet