wants San Francisco to be solar leader
San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting (left). File photo.
By Jason Bennert, Bay City News Service
February 16, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco Assessor-Recorder
Phil Ting today announced the formation of a task force he called
"the first step toward transforming our city into the leader
in solar energy."
Standing among 60,000 square feet of solar panels on the roof
of the Moscone Center, Ting said the San Francisco Solar Task
Force will be charged with increasing community awareness and
reducing the upfront costs of installing solar power systems for
businesses and homeowners.
Small businesses in San Francisco face an increase in minimum
wage as well as providing sick leave and health care for their
employees, Ting said. Solar panels are a great way to save money
amidst the rising cost of doing business, he said.
"Reducing the costs of installing solar systems of their
rooftops will provide not only a health and environmental benefit
to the city, but provide these business owners some much needed
financial relief from the high cost energy market and from doing
business in the city," Ting said.
In 2001, San Francisco voters approved a $100 million solar bond.
"The city committed to obtaining all municipal energy from
pollution-free sources, yet there is more work that needs to be
done to involve the business community and homeowners," Ting
The newly-formed task force aims to streamline government, examining
ways to provide incentives to those considering solar power, and
creating solar marketing and consumer awareness campaigns, said
David Hochschild, chief executive officer of the solar energy
lobbying firm PV Now.
Hochschild co-chairs the task force with Ting.
The panel will also help homeowners and businesses defend against
rising energy costs, Hochschild said.
"I think there's a real risk of another energy crisis and
another catastrophic increase in energy crises," he said.
San Francisco has about 500 solar powered homes and businesses.
Hochschild spent about $11,000 to install solar panels at his
residence in the Mission District. That amount reflected his net
expense. State incentives and federal tax incentives can cover
up to 50 percent of the total cost of a solar system, Ting said.
Hochschild's power bill has been drastically reduced following
installation of the panels, he said.
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