How We Power

Renewable Energy 

San Francisco State University currently purchases 32% renewable energy through a direct access agreement with Shell Energy North America and a small portion of the campus uses PG&E. We have a 295 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the of Mashouf Wellness Center, but due to our foggy climate, building additional renewable energy projects on compact roofs has presented many challenges. We are actively working towards purchasing energy from renewable sources that aligns with our budget and other solutions.   

Energy Efficiency 

  • Despite having several old buildings on campus, our campus has low energy consumption due to our low energy use intensity. Our mild climate allows us to cool buildings passively, avoiding the need for air conditioning and greatly decreasing our energy needs. 
  • Even with increases in student population and the total square footage of campus buildings, SF State has stabilized its energy consumption.
  • SF State has implemented dozens of grant-funded energy efficiency projects, including lighting retrofits in the parking garage, motion sensor-activated LED lighting in offices and lighting system automation.
  • All new buildings are required to be LEED Gold certified or higher, which requires stringent energy efficiency.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions 

SF State reduced our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 30% below 1990 levels in January 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, emissions from 2020-2022 were incredibly low. Now that we are fully back in-person and on campus, our GHG emissions have returned to pre-pandemic levels. While SF State has a relatively low greenhouse gas footprint due to its mild climate and sustainable commute patterns, there is still much work to be done to become a carbon-neutral campus and we are dedicated to reach that goal. SF State conducts regular inventories to ensure we know where we are emitting. Currently, 60% of GHG emissions come from commuting. Find out more about how we are reducing emissions in our transportation in How We Commute

Energy & Greenhouse Gas Emissions Dashboard

Check out the CSU Energy Dashboard to see the energy usage of all 23 campus of the California State University system. 

Click the button below to explore how our campus uses energy and where we emit greenhouse gas. 

Malcolm X Plaza

Climate Action Goals

Update January 2024

  • Maintain energy usage as enrollment, on-campus population and building footage grows.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 (Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments). This will be achieved by increasing procurement of renewable energy, renovating older building if funding becomes available, building only LEED Gold new buildings, reducing drive-alone rate and adding electric vehicles stations on campus.
  • Reduce facility carbon emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2040 in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 in accordance with Statewide mandates. 
  • Procure 60% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 consistent with the “100% Clean Energy” bill, SB 100 (PUC§399.11).
  • To minimize use of natural gas, we will transition from fossil-fuel sourced equipment to electric equipment as replacements or renovations are needed. There will be no new investment in, or renewal of, natural gas assets or infrastructure as part of campus projects starting July 1, 2035, with the exception of critical academic program needs. (CSU Sustainability Policy)

AASHE STARS Score 2023

Energy Category:
Credit Status Points
Building Energy Efficiency (OP 5)  Complete 6.00 / 6.00
Clean and Renewable Energy (OP 6)  Not Pursing 0.00 / 4.00
Air and Climate Category:
Credit Status Points
Emissions Inventory and Disclosure (OP 1)  Complete 1.98 / 3.00
Greenhouse Gas Emissions (OP 2)  Complete 3.95 / 8.00