Ready to apply for Hetch Hetchy Power? Let us know here.
Hetch Hetchy Power is the cleanest, most cost-effective option for larger commercial and residential developments, generated from 100% greenhouse gas-free hydroelectric, solar, and biogas sources. And as a publicly-owned utility, we strive to offer our customers low rates for clean electricity – typically priced 10% lower than PG&E. Our rates and policies are set locally and our revenues stay here in San Francisco, maintaining San Francisco's Hetch Hetchy water and power system and supporting investments in local energy projects and programs.
Is greenhouse gas-free electricity available for my project?
Hetch Hetchy Power
At a Glance
To expand the use of greenhouse gas-free electricity in San Francisco.
Who Should Comply?
Developments on City-owned land must apply for Hetch Hetchy Power. It is also now available for most other large developments.
Hetch Hetchy Customer Development
We recommend using Hetch Hetchy Power for new or existing large facilities; plus, all new projects on City-owned land must apply for Hetch Hetchy Power. Smaller private projects can take advantage of other SFPUC clean power programs, including CleanPowerSF and the GoSolarSF initiative.
What’s the difference between CleanPowerSF and Hetch Hetchy Power?
Hetch Hetchy Power is generated primarily through hydroelectricity: when San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir releases drinking water for the city, the water passes through our hydroelectric turbines and creates electricity, which we transmit down to the Bay Area. The Hetch Hetchy Power mix also includes other local, renewable energy from City-owned solar, wind, and biogas facilities. We have been providing power to San Francisco municipal buildings and critical facilities for almost 100 years, and this clean power is now available for use in private infill and redevelopment projects within San Francisco. With Hetch Hetchy Power, the SFPUC is your energy producer and service provider.
CleanPowerSF is a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), a State program that allows cities and counties to partner with their investor-owned utility (PG&E in San Francisco) to deliver cleaner energy to residents and businesses. Customers get 40% renewable energy, or can opt to pay a little more to get 100% renewable energy (primarily a mix of wind and solar). Under this program, SFPUC procures the energy and PG&E continues to maintain the power grid, respond to outages, and send monthly bills.
CleanPowerSF is a great option for buildings of any size that want cleaner energy, while Hetch Hetchy Power is the most cost-effective choice for large buildings and developments.
How will installing Hetch Hetchy Power be different from the PG&E process I’m used to?
The SFPUC purchases access to PG&E’s grid to deliver Hetch Hetchy Power to our distribution sites within San Francisco. After we conduct a financial review with your team and have our contracts in place, we will apply for wholesale power delivery through PG&E. The PG&E application, review, and approval process can take up to a year, so for complete design, permitting, and review of your project, we’ll need around a year and a half of lead time before power is required. When you contact us early in your design process, we’ll have plenty of time to work together on the planning and design to ensure clean power for your project.
What kind of space requirements are there?
We usually provide 12kV primary power to large new developments, which typically requires a switchgear system that takes up around 700 square feet of space (including clearances). Switchgear can be installed in most basement or garage spaces, and can be shared among multiple buildings and developments for up to 12MW of total power load. SFPUC will work with you to determine the best design and layout of the equipment.
What kind of costs and rates can I expect?
Because the City is a tax-exempt entity, our customers can save on the upfront capital costs of construction. We don’t charge our customers any tax on the cost to install SFPUC-owned infrastructure to provide electricity, which can result in savings of between 22-34% of those costs for your development project.
Hetch Hetchy Power also has significantly lower long-term energy costs, which can be particularly beneficial for a developer who will own and operate the building after construction. Our rates tend to be about 10% lower than PG&Es because we are driven by a mission of decreasing greenhouse-gas emissions in San Francisco, not by expanding profits for shareholders.
What kind of service can I expect?
Our engineers will work closely with you to determine feasibility and will provide design assistance and review. And once you and your occupants start using our power, we’ll provide 24/7 care and troubleshooting. We have been supplying electricity in San Francisco for almost 100 years to many of San Francisco's most critical facilities, including SFO, Muni, SF Unified School District, SF General Hospital and San Francisco’s police and fire stations. You’ll have the reliability benefits of using the same grid as the rest of the city, but without the greenhouse-gas emissions.
What other green energy initiatives can my project take advantage of?
We support our customers' efforts to conserve energy and generate power locally. SFPUC offers competitive energy efficiency incentives for new and existing buildings and we offer support for onsite renewable power generation through our GoSolarSF incentive program.
How do we get started?
Be sure to contact us as early as possible in your project planning so that we can evaluate the feasibility for your project and make sure we have the time to meet your requirements.
Send your basic project information, including project type, address, schedule, phasing, and any known power requirements, to HHPower@sfwater.org or fill out our online Statement of Interest to get started.
As soon as you define the particulars about your project, we’ll request specific details, including:
- Plans showing the existing site conditions and full extent of new development
- The number and average square footage of residential units, commercial square footage, parking garage square footage, common area square footage, etc.
- Requested service voltages
- Electrical system diagrams, including electrical single line diagrams and a plan indicating general routing of electric distribution cables and proposed locations of key facilities such as electric metering, switchgear, and transformers
- An estimate of the project’s electric load profile and annual energy consumption for each building, block, and project phase
- System size and location of any on-site renewable generation, cogeneration, or electric energy storage
- Electric vehicle charging plans
Contact us at HHPower@sfwater.org at any time!
Want to use Hetch Hetchy Power? Let us know here.