This Tuesday, climate leaders in San Francisco made a major step towards making the city a model sustainable city. In its quest to become powered entirely by clean energy by 2025, the city’s Board of Supervisors approved a policy that would require rooftop solar panels to be installed on all new buildings in the city.
The new policy marks San Francisco’s commitment to becoming an environmental leader. It is estimated that for every 200 installations, the plan will provide enough energy to power 2,500 homes, and slash the city’s carbon emissions by 26,000 metric tons.
San Francisco is proving yet again that climate leadership begins at the local level. From banning plastic bags, to requiring rooftop solar, leaders in the city are showing that bold policy proposals can work for residents, and as climate solutions. Now, mayors and municipal officials must follow suit. Find out how to develop and implement a bold climate action plan in your city by joining with other leaders and getting on the Path to Positive Communities!
Beginning January 1, 2017, San Francisco will require rooftop solar systems on all new buildings under 10 stories – the first mandate of its kind in the United States.
The city's Board of Supervisors unanimously approved legislation Tuesday that will require all future commercial or residential buildings under 10 stories in height to install solar systems for heat, electricity, or a combination of the two. The California cities of Lancaster and Sebastopol, which have populations of about 160,000 and 7,600, respectively, have already enacted similar mandates, but San Francisco is the first city of considerable size to require solar roofs.
"This legislation will activate our roofs, which are an under-utilized urban resource, to make our City more sustainable and our air cleaner," Supervisor Scott Wiener, who introduced the legislation in February, wrote in a press release. "In a dense, urban environment, we need to be smart and efficient about how we maximize the use of our space to achieve goals like promoting renewable energy and improving our environment."
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