ayor Secures Energy Funding

(February 26, 2010)

Mayor Newsom Secures Additional $3 Million for Environmental Retrofits

Green loan program will launch in early April, when new money is available

Mayor Newsom announced today that San Francisco has secured nearly $3 million in federal stimulus funds to offset the cost of residential and commercial energy and water efficiency projects. This new funding adds additional incentives to the GreenFinanceSF program, which will allow property owners to fund environmental improvements, with the financing attached to the property and paid back on the property tax bill. The program, previously slated to launch March 1, will now launch in early April, once the grant funding is in place, so applicants can take immediate advantage of all of the program's benefits.

"San Francisco's green financing program will help property owners overcome the large up-front costs of major environmental improvements to their buildings," said Mayor Newsom, "and these newly secured funds will lower the cost of these improvements significantly by providing additional financial incentives to borrowers."

The $2,955,957 funding is authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as administered through the California Energy Commission. The money will be directed to home, business and apartment owners--with special incentives for low income residents--for energy and water efficiency upgrades such as insulation, windows, heating, low flow water fixtures, and for renewable energy systems.

"San Francisco prevailed for these funds in a hotly competitive process, but it was our innovative approach that won the day," said Ed Harrington, General Manager of SFPUC. "Our proposal reflects the city's environmental and social values because it shares the benefits across all economic sectors."

"In addition to reducing San Francisco's carbon footprint," said Environment Department acting director David Assmann, "this green financing program is going to sustain hundreds of green jobs in The City."

The Mayor's Office, working with Supervisor Eric Mar, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Controller's Office of Public Finance and the Department of Environment, developed an accessible, low-cost loan program that residential and commercial property owners can use to finance environmental-oriented building improvements. The loan program establishes a Citywide Mello-Roos Special Tax District that would be available to finance privately-owned energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements. The loan is attached to the property, rather than the individual, and is paid back through property taxes over the life of the loan.

The program website GreenFinanceSF.org will go live on March 1, where property owners can find out about the range of activities covered under the program, and how to participate. Information is also available by email, at contact@greenfinancesf.org, or by calling the Green Finance hotline at 800-803-6930. After the early April launch, property owners will be able to apply online, or call San Francisco's municipal information line 3-1-1 for additional information.