Mayors Step Up for Opportunity to Win $2 Million Grant Through PG&E Energy Challenge


San Francisco and San Jose Commit to Step Up and Power Down, PG&E’s Community Energy Reduction Initiative

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Today, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo joined Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) new energy-saving pledge to encourage energy efficiency in their cities, with a chance to earn up to $2 million in funds for local businesses to reinvest in sustainability programs.

Sponsored by PG&E, Step Up and Power Down is a community initiative inspiring local companies to adopt behavioral changes in the workplace. Energy efficiency programs and simple behavioral changes can be some of the most cost-effective measures to reduce energy waste and drive down greenhouse gas emissions. The Natural Resources Defense Council, an international environmental organization, has joined the Step Up and Power Down initiative as an advisor to help businesses use energy smarter.

The mayor’s pledge was taken at the Cities’ Climate Action Reception hosted by Mayor Lee at Kilroy Realty Corporation in downtown San Francisco on June 18.

Over the course of the 18-month initiative, Step Up and Power Down is projected to help San Francisco achieve 20 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in energy savings and San Jose to earn 25 million kWh in energy savings – roughly the equivalent of powering two downtown city blocks for a full year. If the energy savings goals are achieved, each city will receive a community award donated by PG&E shareholders of $1 million dollars to reinvest in city-approved efforts focused on increasing sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Through innovative policies and deep community involvement, San Francisco has been a leader in driving change that will create a healthier, more sustainable future for our residents,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. “But we know we have to do even more to meet our ambitious climate goals. With our pledge today, we are taking another step to unite businesses in our City to take action with Step Up and Power Down.”

“As a city deeply rooted in innovation and home to some of the largest technology leaders in the world, we have a responsibility to ensure a sustainable future. By pledging to Step Up and Power Down, we are taking another move towards achieving part of our Green Vision goals to cut our per capita energy use in half by 2022,” said San Jose Mayor Liccardo.

“We are proud to be here today with Mayors Lee and Liccardo along with other business and municipal leaders. Cutting back energy use and emphasizing energy efficiency across our communities are some of the most impactful ways we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, meet California’s ambitious climate goals and create a healthier future for generations to come. We ask that business leaders of all sizes pledge their support and set an example for other cities and communities nationwide,” said Laurie Giammona, senior vice president and chief customer officer for PG&E.

Targeted towards businesses and organizations within designated downtown sections of San Francisco and San Jose, the Step Up and Power Down initiative will work with offices, hotels, retail stores and food service organizations, among other sectors. As commercial buildings across the United States consume roughly 20 percent of the nation’s energy, PG&E is excited to work together with businesses in these key cities to help reduce this figure.

Simple Changes Can Make a Big Impact

Each participating business will be supported by a targeted education and outreach program to drive energy savings through learning sustainable behaviors and increasing participation in PG&E’s portfolio of energy efficiency offerings. By joining the Step Up and Power Down movement, businesses can inspire their employees to adopt simple and no-cost changes that add up to bigger energy savings. These actions include:

  • Making sure to turn off lights when not in use, at night and on weekends. Take advantage of natural light for meetings and other workspaces.
  • Assigning energy champions to encourage employees to turn off and unplug all office computer equipment when not in use, at night and on weekends – including computers, monitors, printers, scanners, water coolers and even break room coffee makers.
  • During hot summer months, closing window blinds to prevent sunlight from heating interior space.

About Step Up and Power Down

Step Up and Power Down is an energy savings movement that will empower businesses in San Francisco and San Jose to encourage smart energy choices by individuals. It is a collaborative initiative of PG&E and cities to inform and encourage people to change behaviors to reduce energy waste. Businesses can find out more information on how to participate here.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and

Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Ellen Hayes, 415-973-5930


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