Decision Maker Response

Edwin Lee’s response

May 21, 2014 — Thank you for signing the petition on Change.org to fully fund GoSolarSF.

Building more sources of clean renewable energy, such as solar, is very important to me and for our City. It lowers greenhouse gas emissions and improves our air quality by reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuel energy. And it creates job opportunities for our residents!

I am happy to report that I have fully funded the GoSolarSF program at $5 million per year in my upcoming 2-year budget proposal.

Since GoSolarSF was launched in 2008, we have put solar on over 2,500 homes, businesses, and nonprofits, quadrupling the number of solar rooftops in San Francisco. All of this is generating 8.1 megawatts of clean energy.

But the success of GoSolarSF is more than the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions or the amount of solar energy we are generating. The program makes solar energy accessible to low-income customers in environmental justice communities and creates good paying jobs for disadvantaged workers. We will be able to create even more green jobs with this additional funding.

We want to continue to help homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits access the solar economy and do their part. The City is doing our part.

In addition to the GoSolarSF program, the City is continuing to build new solar arrays on municipal buildings. Just a few weeks ago, I launched to new solar array on the rooftop of Davies Symphony Hall. The new array has 558 solar panels that will produce 182 kilowatts of solar energy. The San Francisco Symphony is known as one of the best classical ensembles in the world – and its home can now also lay claim to being one of the greenest!

In the last three years, the SFPUC has installed 7 solar arrays similar to this one on schools and municipal buildings across our City. And because of it, the City’s total municipal solar generating capacity stands at 7.6 megawatts today!

Combined with the GoSolarSF program, that means 15.7 megawatts of new solar energy for our City in the public and private sectors. We have prevented 7.7 million pounds of CO2 emissions which is equivalent to over 8,000 barrels of oil each year. And we have created hundreds of jobs in the solar industry and for disadvantaged workers from workforce training programs in San Francisco.

Our innovative clean energy policies and programs are a big reason why San Francisco continues to lead the nation and world as a CleanTech hub attracting the innovators and industries that are creating a cleaner energy future for all of us.

I want to thank you for your continued interest and engagement on this important issue and for supporting our GoSolarSF program.