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Sunset Health Center is Carbon-Free! 

Sunset Health Center roof
  • Elizabeth Grubb
Sunset Health Center

Last year, we shared exciting news that Hetch Hetchy Power customer, the Sunset Health Center, began construction on a fuel switching project. Fuel switching is part of a broader effort by the SFPUC’s Power Enterprise to help customers switch from natural gas – a fossil fuel – to all electric systems.

The use of natural gas for hot water and space heating in San Francisco buildings accounts for 35% of greenhouse gas emissions in the City and contributes to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Helping buildings like Sunset Health Center decarbonize is vital for reaching the City’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2040 as outlined in the 2021 San Francisco Climate Action Plan.

The Sunset Health Center is located in the Outer Sunset District and operated by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The health clinic provides vital and accessible care to community members by lowering cost and insurance barriers. In order to serve the health needs of the community, the building requires a lot of energy - both electricity and natural gas. The clinic was identified as a candidate for fuel switching due to the clinic’s natural gas rooftop heating units and a gas fired hot water heater, both of which used harmful natural gas. By electrifying this equipment, the building will no longer be dependent on the use of natural gas. 

Now that the construction phase is complete, we are proud to report that the Sunset Health Center’s energy use is officially carbon-free!

Sunset Health Center

With the installation of two rooftop heat pumps for space heating and cooling and one heat pump water heater for domestic hot water heating, all of which became operational at the end of March – these improvements will help get us one step closer to achieving the City’s Climate Action goals. 

What does carbon-free mean exactly? That means that Sunset Health Center’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems are all electric, and powered by Hetch Hetchy Power’s greenhouse gas-free electricity. The switch to all electric systems at Sunset Health Center equates to 16,150 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions avoided yearly. That carbon offset is equivalent to over 18,000 miles driven in an average gasoline-powered car each year.

Sunset Health Center continues to serve community members, while improving local air quality and ushering San Francisco towards net-zero emissions. SFPUC’s Hetch Hetchy Power has been providing 100% greenhouse gas-free electricity for over 100 years and we are proud to be paving the way to an equitable energy transition citywide!