City Hall is Getting Greener but at What Cost? - NBC Bay Area

City Hall is Getting Greener but at What Cost?

PUC to green city hall but no one knows how much

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Francisco's City Hall seen on a rainy day.

     San Francisco City Hall is an inescapable black hole! Okay, so everybody knows that already. But we're talking about electricity: every day, the building consumes power several hundreds of times greater than that of a residential building. Several HUNDRED times? How is that even possible? What is Mister Green Mayor DOING over there, splitting the atom?

    Fortunately, the Public Utilities Commission is working on cleaning up City Hall's act, at least at the power meter.

    Starting this fall, a bunch of retrofits will clamp down on the electrical bleeding: Solar panels are going up on the roof; certain lighting will automatically dim when natural light is sufficient; and more efficient motors and timers will improve ventilation.

    All this work comes at a steep price: $82 million. Ha ha ha, just kidding! Actually, there are no figures on how much it'll cost. We do know how much power will be saved, an amount roughtly equivalent to 200 average San Francisco homes.

    That's down from city hall's current usage of ... uh ... actually, nobody knows what the current usage is. So, to recap: the cost is unclear and the benefit is unclear. Another job well done, Newsom administration!

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