Through the new Step Up and Power Down initiative, the City of San Jose and the City of San Francisco will be engaging their communities’ local businesses to save energy. The initiative leverages the power of simple behavioral changes to improve energy efficiency by engaging businesses with energy-saving tips and other energy efficiency outreach.
The mayors of both cities pledged to use Step Up and Power Down to pursue energy savings goals by December 2016: for San Jose, the goal is 25 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in savings; for San Francisco, 20 million kWh. Each city that reaches the goal will receive $1 million from PG&E for reinvestment in community sustainability programs.
Behavioral programs, with the right incentives, can be a great way to enable low-cost energy efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy’s State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network also suggests some non-financial incentives that help behavioral program participation.