San Francisco Aims For Zero Emissions By 2050
California has already set a precedent on climate action with San Francisco by being one of the most energy-conscious American cities. Today, Bay Area buildings emit half of the carbon emissions that they did back at the 1990 levels. However, San Francisco buildings are still responsible for 44% of the city’s total emissions. Now, with a new path to Zero Emissions by 2050, San Francisco is going to see further advances in energy-efficient buildings and transformation across their city infrastructure.
As San Francisco sets the standard for efficiency, it will also be looking to set the standard for renewable electricity, by doing away with fossil fuel energy sources. If all goes to plan in the next 30 years, renewable energy sources, like solar energy, will be the sole power source for all of the San Francisco metro area and beyond. (California also announced back in 2018 that all newly-built homes in California are required to have solar panels installed.)
How to Achieve Net-Zero Emissions
Accounting for all carbon emissions and greenhouse gas reduction, the net-zero emissions plan will work its way into many of the Bay Area’s industries, including:
- Commercial & Industrial businesses
- Utility companies
All public transportation is slated to be free of carbon emissions (a massive undertaking for the city). Construction contractors and commercial business owners are already adjusting to higher efficiency standards. Also, utilities like PG&E are offering rebates and incentives on solar installation, like net metering.
Energy Efficiency for Buildings
According to the plan released by San Francisco Mayor Breed and SF Environment titled “Focus 2030: A Pathway to Net Zero Emissions,” part of the city’s strategy includes converting residential and commercial buildings’ water heating and space heating to more energy-efficient all-electric systems. Switching to an all-electric system would consist of installing heat pumps or ductless mini-splits, tankless water heaters, and even non-gas appliances like induction stovetops.
Unlocking New Financial Tools
A pathway to net-zero emissions will not happen overnight. Net-zero emissions are something that is addressed in the Focus 2030 plan, stating that the city plans to:
“...engage with local, regional and state stakeholders and policymakers to unlock new financial tools and resources; bring product manufacturers, contractors, and labor into the electrification marketplace; and educate building owners and the public on the multiple benefits of low-carbon building technologies.”
Educating Bay Area homeowners and business owners will be an ongoing process over the next three decades, as the city works to get San Franciscans keen on adopting a low carbon lifestyle. At the end of the day, many homeowners will need access to financial resources and assistance that will make energy-efficiency upgrades and carbon-reducing improvements possible. Initiatives currently in place include the Clean Fuel Rebate for fueling electric vehicles offered by PG&E and the 2019 Federal Investment Tax Credit for installing solar panels. When coupling incentives and financing opportunities like CaliforniaFIRST financing from the PACE innovators here at Renew Financial, Californians can be well on their way to a zero-emission future.
Adopting a Low Carbon Lifestyle with CaliforniaFIRST PACE Financing
CaliforniaFIRST PACE financing exists so that homeowners and business owners throughout California can pay for the energy upgrades they need. With PACE financing, you can finance 100% of the cost of your carbon-reducing home upgrades with no down payment with low, fixed interest rates. Repayment terms are up to 30 years (depending on the project being financed) and will be a regular payment as a line item on your property tax bill. Upgrades that qualify for CaliforniaFIRST PACE financing include:
- Solar installation
- Heat pump or ductless mini-split installation
- Energy-efficient window replacement
- Water-efficient landscaping (like desert-scaping)
- Tankless water heater installation
Opportunities for Contractors
One way to help San Francisco reach its goal of carbon neutrality is to put this financial resource in the hands of capable contractors in the San Francisco area. Renew Financial outfits qualified contractors with the tools they need to convey the ease of CaliforniaFIRST PACE financing early on in the construction or retrofit process. Therefore, homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint and in need of financing can choose PACE if it is a good fit for them at the beginning of their project.
Prepare for Net-Zero Emissions
There are many benefits to reducing carbon emissions and increasing the energy efficiency of your home. So why not act now and be on the path to zero emissions for your home and city? The earlier you can reduce CO2 levels and overall energy usage in your home, the more you stand to save on electricity.
The team at Renew Financial is here to help you to access the financing resources you need to make those upgrades happen. If you have questions about which carbon-reducing upgrades qualify for CaliforniaFIRST financing, all of the answers you need are only one call away.