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April 18, 2003


SF Environment: State Agency Approves $16 Million for San Francisco Energy Efficiency Efforts

Program Aims to Help Shut Down Hunters Point Power Plant

San Francisco -- April 17, 2003. The forty-five year old Hunters Point power plant is one giant step closer to retirement now that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has appropriated $16.3 million to fund an innovative energy efficiency program in San Francisco. The program, a two-year drive to reduce The City's peak energy load by 16 megawatts, is a partnership between San Francisco's Environment Department and PG&E. The CPUC voted unanimously today to approve the funds.

"Hunters Point Power Plant is old, and the residents of The City's southeast don't want it in their back yard -- we need to shut it down," said Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. "We have the expertise to use electricity more efficiently, and eventually to meet our electricity needs through non-polluting technology. The CPUC's decision to fund efficiency programs in San Francisco is good news for The City in general, and for residents of the southeast in particular."

The joint SF Environment and PG&E efficiency program will be designed specifically to meet San Francisco's unique energy needs, taking its climate, buildings, and electrical distribution system into consideration. Program elements may include energy efficiency rebates to residents and the commercial sector, energy audits, and installation support services for the small and medium businesses. The program will also include customer s with language barriers, hard-to-reach customers, and address environmental justice issues.

San Francisco, unlike most California cities, has both summer and winter peaks in electricity demand, driven by energy needed to run lighting, refrigeration, cooling and heating units. The Efficiency Program will help alleviate potential energy shortfalls.

SF Environment has a track record of success in energy efficiency. Its Power Savers Program, also funded by the CPUC, helped small businesses use energy wisely by providing free audits and low-cost lighting retrofits. Power Savers is on budget, and on schedule to retrofit 4,000 businesses and reduce peak load by 6 Megawatts.

"Saving energy is much less expensive than creating new sources of power generation. For many businesses, energy efficiency and conservation measures can make the difference between keeping the lights on and closing shop. We applaud the CPUC for having the vision and wisdom to put their funding and support behind a project that will have tangible benefits f or environmental justice, businesses, and families alike. We are confident that this project, coming as it does during the Earth Day celebrations, will prove a model for the state, country, and planet" said SF Environment Director Jared Blumenfeld.