In San Francisco, the importance of being green hasn’t faced much adversity in moving from alternative to mainstream thought, and Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting wants to make it official.
Ting — also a candidate for mayor — released a plan Thursday to list green certifications of commercial buildings on The City’s official property records. The new label will be applied to about 300 of San Francisco’s 50,000 or so buildings, which account for 55 percent of The City’s overall carbon footprint, Ting said. The initiative would make San Francisco the first county in California to officially record such information, according to the Assessor-Recorder’s Office.
Starting with buildings that already have EnergyStar ratings or certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards, Ting hopes that the new designation in property records will boost attractiveness to prospective buyers. He said the potential for added value could be based on long-term energy cost savings, along with other intangible benefits.
Like consumers who buy home appliances based on labels touting energy efficiency “without really understanding what it is,” Ting said real estate buyers are developing a similar mentality “because they have faith in it.”
The certification information is already available, but Ting said it isn’t widely used in real estate transactions because determining the green status of a building requires cross-referencing properties on different websites. Ting said the influence of the new labels on building value will vary by case, but he assured property owners that their holdings won’t be reassessed simply based on the new green designations.
The effort will begin with commercial properties, but could eventually extend to residences as well, Ting said.