San Francisco Named Top U.S. Clean Energy City

For the second year in a row, San Francisco leads U.S. cities in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions

San Francisco, CA -- San Francisco has been named the top U.S. city for energy efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) 2024 City Clean Energy Scorecard. Mayor London N. Breed today announced San Francisco was selected for the second consecutive year to earn this prestigious ranking, surpassing 75 of the largest U.S. cities. 

San Francisco topped the scorecard for 2024 and ranked best on equity metrics due to recently adopted climate and transportation plans and updated zoning codes that encourage more compact development in residential areas. 

“We are proud to be recognized once again as the top city in the ACEEE’s City Clean Energy Scorecard,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “Much of this success is reflected in San Francisco's longstanding investments in clean public power and the development of our most robust climate action plan to date. We’re working hard to advance our climate efforts in ways that uplift of all our residents in meaningful and impactful ways." 

The scorecard evaluated key sustainability metrics from the most populous U.S. metropolitan regions. For the 2024 ranking, the ACEEE increased its focus on energy policies that advance racial and social equity and included other categories such as buildings, transportation, energy, and local government operations. The scores were based on data collected from cities, utilities, community-based organizations, and numerous publicly available sources.  

“The honor from ACEEE is a testament to our city’s united and unwavering dedication to innovation, inclusion, and inspiration in the pursuit of environmental excellence,” said Tyrone Jue, Director of the San Francisco Environment. “We’re forging a path with our residents, businesses, and partner agencies towards a sustainable future that lifts-up communities and improves the health and well-being for all San Franciscans and the planet.”  

San Francisco was one of only four cities to earn more than half of the equity points on the Scorecard. For example, the City’s newly launched Climate Equity Hub exemplifies the City’s equity-forward approach to electrification. Through the Hub, San Francisco offers lower-income residents with a one-stop-shop for building decarbonization, connecting them with rebates, incentives, technical expertise, and experienced contractors to make the whole process as low-cost and approachable as possible.  

Additionally, the City’s climate and energy successes over the past several years across multiple sectors also contributed to San Francisco’s high scores. Instead of relying on fossil-fuels, San Francisco provides clean, affordable, and reliable electricity for thousands of residents and businesses through Hetch Hetchy Power and CleanPowerSF, which is approximately 98% greenhouse gas-free.  

"Whether it's advancing clean, renewable energy for all City residents or helping new buildings establish water reuse systems to conserve both water and energy, the SFPUC plays a crucial role in helping San Francisco meet its climate goals,” said San Francisco Public Utilities General Manager Dennis Herrera. “Our approach is long-term and equity-focused. For example, we adopted an Affordability Policy to keep our rates manageable for our ratepayers, with special consideration for equity and low-income customers. We have an award-winning program to help low-income customers repair their roof-top solar system as it ages, robust customer assistance programs for all of our utility services, and our Electrify My Ride program offered $1,000 off e-bikes for low-income power customers, breaking down economic barriers to clean, affordable transportation.”  

With a public transportation system that primarily relies on 100% greenhouse gas-free electricity, San Francisco’s status as a transit, eco-first City, also helped assure San Francisco’s Scorecard lead. Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), the forthcoming Geary BRT, and a focus on e-bikes for the City’s new bike lanes added crucial points to the City’s total.   

San Francisco was just as competitive in the private sector. In 2023, 37% of new car registrations in the City were zero emission vehicles. San Francisco has paired this growing demand for EVs with new policies that encourage the installation of charging stations as a mechanism to fuel the continued adoption of EVs. 

San Francisco’s detailed ACEEE’s Scorecard report can be found here

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