Summary of the Measure:
The SF Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) can currently issue revenue bonds for water projects; Prop A would expand the types of projects its charter allows to include clean power as well.
Water bonds are subject to the following requirements, and the new clean power bonds would be as well: First, the bonds must be approved by a 2/3 vote of the Board of Supervisors and majority votes of the SFPUC and the Public Revenue Bond Oversight Committee. Second, an independent engineer must also certify that proposed bond projects will meet cost and schedule requirements. Third, the SF Planning Department must certify that these projects comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.
Prop A will help San Francisco increase the infrastructure needed to meet our clean energy goals, reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce particulate emissions by allowing the SFPUC to seek funding for clean power infrastructure and projects. The SFPUC has historically done a good job managing its revenue bonds, and we feel confident about expanding its charter for clean power.
In addition to funding projects directly related to clean power infrastructure such as rooftop solar, the charter amendment allows funding of other clean energy technologies that help stabilize energy demand and supply. These include vehicle charging stations, energy storage, distributed energy, and smart grid innovations. The measure specifically disallows projects that generate electricity using fossil fuels or nuclear energy.
The energy provided by the SFPUC currently saves the city approximately $40 million per year over what it would spend on electricity from PG&E. Allowing the city to build more clean power infrastructure that in turn will generate more electricity will save the city more money (the difference between SFPUC- and PG&E-generated electricity, multiplied by the increased amount of electricity generated). It will also provide more revenue, from SFPUC’s private energy customers such as Salesforce and Digital Realty, that will be reinvested in San Francisco's clean and renewable energy facilities. Federal law now requires San Francisco to own more of the equipment used to deliver electricity to customers, and amending the charter allows the SFPUC to finance such facilities efficiently.
Vote YES on Proposition A!