Vote Solar Publishes "GoSolarSF Progress Report: Economic & Environmental Benefits of San Francisco's Solar Program"
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--The numbers are in for GoSolarSF and they are phenomenal.
Yesterday, the Vote Solar Initiative, one of the nation's leading advocates for solar energy, published a comprehensive environmental, jobs, and economic analysis of San Francisco's landmark GoSolarSF incentive program entitled, "GoSolarSF Progress Report: Economic & Environmental Benefits of San Francisco's Solar Program."
The report shows that since its 2008 launch, GoSolarSF has supported 3,070 solar installations that collectively produce 10.2 megawatts of solar power, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 172,631,800 pounds over the lifetime of installed systems, catalyzed $65 million in local economic investment, directly created 400 local jobs, and put $19.5-$22.8 million dollars of wages into the hands of local workers.
The $19.4 million in GoSolarSF rebates shared with SFPUC ratepayers to date has generated over 3 times that amount in positive economic benefit, has drawn national cleantech leaders to headquarter in San Francisco and employ hundreds of additional workers, and will pay itself back over time in the form of increased property revenue for the City.
GoSolarSF promotes equity in the green economy, as 37% of GoSolarSF installations have been provided to low-income single family and multi-family homes and 30% of jobs created by GoSolarSF have gone to disadvantaged workers that previously faced barriers to employment. At least 62% of those hired through the GoSolarSF workforce development program are workers of color.
In April, Mayor Ed Lee announced full funding for GoSolarSF, making fiscal year 2014-15 the first year since 2010 that the program has been fully funded. A Board of Supervisors hearing called by Supervisor David Chiu earlier that month uncovered that GoSolarSF budget cuts in recent years nearly drove the program into the ground.
An advocacy effort followed that discovery, in which organizations such as the Sierra Club, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Leadership for a Clean Economy, the Black Human Rights Leadership Council, Vote Solar, Luminalt, Sunrun, Sungevity, SolarCity, and others came out to express unanimous support for fully funding the program.
A fully funded GoSolarSF is expect to support approximately 1,600 new installations and create an additional 200 jobs over the next two years. After a debate at the Board of Supervisors, full funding for GoSolarSF has remained intact, ensuring the revitalization of the program. The Board has also maintained funding for work on the CleanPowerSF program, energy efficient streetlights, and SFPUC infrastructure upgrades.
The report by Vote Solar's Rosalind Jackson also features case studies on the advocacy of longtime solar advocate and Bayview Hunters Point icon Dr. Espanola Jackson, the leadership of Luminalt Solar CEO Jeanine Cotter, and the training success of Asian Neighborhood Design.
"Policy makers have asked for GoSolarSF by the numbers and the Vote Solar report paints a picture of overwhelming environmental, economic, community, and jobs success," said Brightline policy counsel Eddie Ahn.
(photo courtesy of Asian Neighborhood Design)