Photo Slideshow

Workers installing panels on KQED roof

KQED Goes Solar
From August 11-14, 2008, KQED and Solar City teamed up to install solar panels on the roof of the KQED building.

KQED's Solar Output

Solar Panels on Roof

KQED's Solar Savings
See a chart of KQED's Daily Solar Output, and SolarCity's KQED Case Study.


KQED's science and nature series has many fascinating TV, radio, and web programs on climate change and the environment.

Climate Watch

KQED's multimedia series providing in-depth coverage of climate-related science and policy issues from a California perspective.

KQED Newsletters


Get regular updates on great programs and events

More from KQED

Green Initiatives

Environmental Initiatives

KQED is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner. In our Facility Operation and our Building Design we have attempted, where cost effective, to use materials and technology that reduce our energy usage and reduce the amount of waste produced.

KQED has worked with the San Francisco Green Ribbon Panel, an Environmental Education Program for businesses in The San Francisco Bay Area.

Facility Operation: Recycling
KQED's Recycling Program includes Paper (white and mixed), cans, bottles, newspapers, and magazines. Each month, KQED receives a refund for all Paper that is collected. This refund in turn is directed towards the disposal cost of our Non-Recyclable Waste. Each month we receive a count of how many trees have been saved as a result of our Paper Recycling Program. Our first year, KQED Staff saved a total of 73 trees!

  • Employees are encouraged to use Fax Post-it Notes instead of full page fax cover sheets. These small post-it notes can be reused for frequently used fax numbers and significantly reduce the amount of paper waste.
  • KQED also encourages the use of public transportation by its employees by offering a commuter reimbursement program. Also, Employees who ride bicycles to work park for free in the KQED Garage.

Building Design

  • KQED uses primarily fluorescent lighting throughout the facility, and where possible, has "de-lamped"- removed unnecessary bulbs from specific fixtures. In addition to using high efficiency fluorescent bulbs, electronic ballasts are used.
  • Motion sensors are located in all Conference rooms. Infra-red beams sense movement when a person enters the room, thereby triggering the lights to turn on. The lights automatically turn off when movement discontinues.
  • A Solar Film applied to glass facing the west side of the building reduces heat gain in the summer and heat loss during the winter.
  • The Air Handlers which heat and cool the facility run only during the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. One of the air handlers is equipped with a variable frequency drive which adjusts the speed of the motor to the demand on the unit.
  • The control on the Main Boiler adjusts the temperature of heated water according to time of day- lowering during the hours when less heat is expected to be needed.
  • The Trees which surround our facility were graciously donated by "Friends of the Urban Forest" and were planted by hardworking KQED staff members.

Friends of the Urban Forest
Friends of the Urban Forest is a nonprofit organization committed to the belief that street trees are a critical element in the urban environment. Our urban forest satisfies a basic desire to live among growing things that nurture and inspire us. Future generations will benefit from the trees we plant today.

Friends of the Urban Forest emerged as a group of dedicated tree planters to fill the gap created in the early 1980's by the curtailment of public funds. FUF provides a unique community service by working in partnership with neighbors, community groups, and the business community to improve and care for the environment by planting street trees. FUF's program includes providing financial, technical, and practical assistance in tree planting and maintenance, public education, and tree advocacy.

What is the Green City Project?
The Green City Volunteer Network: The Volunteer Network is a database which lists over 370 Bay Area groups working on any and every aspect of urban sustainability. The Network serves as a free over-the-phone volunteer and information referral service where we "matchmake" over 150 volunteers a month with groups according to interest and location. We are also glad to make information referrals - to the media, groups within the Network, and individuals - just to let people know "who is doing what where." For your own referral, call Maggie at (415) 285-6556.

Education + Action: E + A connects educators from Volunteer Network groups to Bay Area K-12 classrooms. Teachers who want supplementary hands-on curricula on alternative transportation, composting, watersheds, bioregionalism, native plants, native wildlife & their habitat, renewable energy, and more can call Simon at (415) 285-6556. He'll arrange for an informative, entertaining presentation and a hands-on "service learning" project on or around school grounds.

Green City Calendar: The Calendar is the way for Bay Area residents to find out what workdays and special programs the Volunteer Network groups are sponsoring. The Newsletter section of the Calendar explores current urban sustainability vocabulary and lets you know who is putting the words into action. We are now publishing 5,000 copies of the Calendar every other month.

Neighborhood Workshop/Workdays: Green City co-sponsors monthly hands-on and educational workdays with a variety of organizations on a range of topics at project sites throughout the Bay Area. Recent collaborators have included: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, SLUG (San Francisco league of Urban Gardeners), Greenbelt Alliance, and Mission Creek Conservancy. Green City Project also collaborates annually with the Mission Economic and Cultural Association (MECA) to put on the Earth Block/Ciudad Verde component of San Francisco's GIANT two-day multicultural street fair and parade, Carnival.

For more information, check out Planet Drum.

KQED Goes Solar

SolarCity and KQED Partner to Increase Solar Power Awareness and Adoption in Northern California

Broadcaster unveils new solar array at San Francisco headquarters

SAN FRANCISCO and FOSTER CITY, Calif., Sept. 17, 2008 - SolarCity®, the No. 1 provider of residential and small commercial solar power in California, completed a solar power system at KQED's headquarters in San Francisco earlier this week. KQED's new solar arrays will be unveiled tonight at its San Francisco headquarters, during the broadcaster's Annual Fall Preview Event. The new solar installation is part of a broader partnership between KQED and SolarCity designed to educate consumers and businesses about affordable new solar options that can save them money and reduce their carbon footprint at the same time. As part of the partnership, SolarCity is extending a no-money-down solar lease option to KQED members and employees. SolarLease™ can allow homeowners to switch to solar power for less money than they are currently paying for electricity.

"KQED and Northern California Public Broadcasting (NCPB) strive to bring awareness of environmental stewardship to our listeners, viewers, Internet users, and those we serve through our educational services, as well as throughout our organization," said Jeff Clarke, president and CEO of NCPB, the parent company of KQED. "We are proud to be leading the way as one of the nation's greenest public broadcasters, and our use of renewable, solar electricity is an important addition to our own sustainability practices and status as a carbon neutral broadcaster."

KQED's solar panels were installed in August and interconnected earlier this week. SolarCity's SolarGuard™ monitoring system provides a view of the installation's electricity output and environmental impact online. You can also view a slide show of the installation.

"KQED has established itself as a leader in green business, and we are thrilled to collaborate with SolarCity to bring solar power to our organization and to our members," said Don Derheim, KQED's executive vice president of marketing and communications. "This innovative partnership will have lasting effects as SolarCity and KQED work together to leave a lighter footprint on our planet by using sustainable, green practices."

KQED, the first public broadcaster in the U.S. to become carbon neutral, works with local non-profit organization LiveNeutral to measure its greenhouse emissions. Its new solar system is expected to produce approximately 40,000 kilowatt-hours of carbon-free electricity each year, to further reduce its footprint.

"KQED has played a key role in educating Northern California listeners and viewers on the potential effects of power sources that pollute the environment," said Peter Rive, SolarCity's chief operations officer. "We expect this joint effort to help the region continue its leadership in clean power adoption, and we're honored to have been chosen to provide solar power to the broadcaster's historic headquarters."

About KQED

KQED ( is a service of Northern California Public Broadcasting, Inc. (NCPB). KQED Public Television 9, the nation's most-watched public television station, is the producer of local and national series such as QUEST; Check, Please! Bay Area; Jacques P´pin: Fast Food My Way; and Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures. KQED's digital television channels include KQED HD, KQED Life, KQED World, KQED Kids and KQED V-me, and are available 24/7 on Comcast. KQED Public Radio, home of Forum with Michael Krasny and The California Report, is the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento). KQED Education Network brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and the general public through workshops, community screenings and multimedia resources. KQED Interactive offers video and audio podcasts and live radio stream at, featuring unique content on one of the most-visited station sites in public broadcasting.

About SolarCity

SolarCity matches advanced solar power technology with a suite of installation services. The company's comprehensive offering removes the technical, regulatory and financing barriers to solar power, helping customers make smart renewable energy choices that can save money. SolarCity employs the industry's most experienced team in solar system design and installation, with a proven track record of bringing new technologies to market. The company serves more than 300 communities in California, Arizona and Oregon. Additional information about SolarCity is available on the Web at

Media Contacts:

Jonathan Bass
(650) 963-5156

James Cortese
A&R Edelman for SolarCity
(650) 762-2813

Meredith Gandy
(415) 553-2116

KQED Wins Green Awards

June 2008 - The San Francisco Business Times awards KQED its award for "Green Non-profit."
Read the complete article (PDF)

October 2008 - QUEST (, KQED's local science and nature program, wins top honors in the seventh annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ).
Watch the winning television segment
, Condors vs. Lead Bullets, online now.
Read the complete press release (PDF)

Also on this week ...

Through a Lens Darkly
KQED Celebrates Black History Month

KQED proudly celebrates the diversity of our community by commemorating Black History Month. During February, KQED Public TV 9 and KQED 88.5 FM schedule programs that focus on African American themes and issues.

Yo Yo Ma
"Boomtown" History of the San Francisco Bay Area

KQED's "Boomtown" series will seek to identify what is happening in real time in the current boom, and also draw out the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts and pressures between the old and the new.

Sponsored by