Electric Engineering and Operations

Palo Alto's electric utility system---
empowering you every day!

The job of maintaining and operating the entire electric distribution system falls to both the Engineering and Operations Divisions of the department. The Engineering Division is also responsible for the engineering and construction involved in providing new services and for the on-going electric projects budgeted in the Capital Improvement Program.

Undergrounding Overhead Lines
Since 1965, the Utilities Department has had an ongoing Capital Improvement Project (CIP) to underground overhead utility lines

Prior to an area being selected and proposed for undergrounding, the City's Electric Utility engineering staff must determine whether the local telephone and the Cable TV (CATV) companies will also be willing to underground their lines.  Hence, underground district areas selected need to meet not only the City guidelines for undergrounding, but also the California Public Utilities Commission guidelines, which dictate what areas local telephone and the CATV companies can underground. 

The areas shown on the Proposed Electric Underground Program Plan meets these standards and were chosen for the next 5 years.

Capital Improvement Program Details



The Electric Utility is proud to have earned this designation by the American Public Power Association based on our superior reliability, safety and system improvement record.


Electric Utility 
Capital Improvement Program

New Construction

Need a new electric service?
Need a meter installation?

If you're involved in a new construction, addition or remodeling project on a Palo Alto building click on the "Start New Services" button on the far left.  

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2015
Community Workshop for Utilities Strategic Plan Update
The City of Palo Alto Utilities is hosting a community workshop to provide information on our Strategic Planning efforts and gather public input.
[more]


City of Palo Alto Ranks in National Top 10 for Most Solar Watts per Customer
Utility ranked third out of more than 300 utilities nationwide for 2015!
[more]
Palo Alto Resident Installs Solar PV Array

City of Palo Alto Utilities Named 2016 Tree Line USA by Arbor Day Foundation
Utility is recognized for second year in a row for demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for community and citizen benefits.


[more]
Tree-Lined Street in Palo Alto

Palo Alto Utilities Sends Aid to Fire Victims
City of Palo Alto Utilities crews are providing restoration assistance for damaged power generating facilities, transmission lines and distribution lines, other power equipment impacted by the Northern California wildland fire.
[more]
CPAU Workers Help Rebuild 21kv line

LED Streetlights Shine
PHASE 3 expected to finish this summer---see how the new LED street lights are transforming our town!
[more]


Power, Gas & Fiber Optic Service Disruptions
Be prepared for outages with these tips. Also, receive notifications on emergencies impacting your neighborhood via AlertSCC at http://www.alertscc.com/.
[more]


Palo Alto Adds Two New Large-Scale Solar Projects, 60 MW to Renewable Energy Portfolio
Solar energy now supplying one-third of Palo Alto’s total electric needs each year!
[more]
Large scale solar panels tilt toward the sun.

Apply Online for Electric Residential Disconnect and Reconnect
Learn if you are ready to apply Online for Electric Residential Disconnect and Reconnect.
[more]

1. Electrical Standards
Standard Details
2009 Electric Standard Drawings - Complete Download
File Name: 2009Elec-Std-Drawings.pdf
Revision Date: 11/10/2009
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Direct Buried Conduit
File Name: dtpru_1004.pdf
Revision Date: 3/27/2008
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DRAWING DT-CL-U-1031 - PADMOUNT CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS
File Name: 1031-D- CL- U-1031 rev.1.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING DT-SE-U-1032 - UNDERGROUND SERVICE CONDUIT AND CABLE REQUIREMENTS
File Name: 1032-DT-SE-U-1032- rev3.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING DT-SS-C-1005 - CONCRETE TRANSFORMER PAD
File Name: 1005-DT-SS-C-1005-rev10.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING DT-SS-C-1028 - PRECAST CONCRETE PAD FOR LBC CABINET
File Name: 1028-DT-SS-C-1028-rev1.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING DT-SS-C-1029 - VAULT COVER WITH LADDER BAR
File Name: 1029 - DT-SS-C-1029 10-16-09.pdf
Revision Date: 11/10/2009
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DRAWING DT-SS-U-1001 - INSTALLATION OF STEEL RISER CONDUIT ON WOOD POLE
File Name: 1001-DT-SS-U-1001-rev3.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING DT-SS-U-1001A - INSTALLATION OF PVC RISER ON WOOD POLE
File Name: 1001A-DT-SS-U-1001A-rev2.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING DT-SS-U-1002 - UNDERGROUND 0-600 VOLT JUNCTION BOXES
File Name: 1002-DT-SS-U-1002-rev7.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING DT-SS-U-1003 - UNDERGROUND DUCT LINES – TYPICAL TRENCH SECTION DETAILS
File Name: 1003-DT-SS-U-1003-rev4.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING DT-SS-U-1025 - MANDREL TESTING
File Name: 1025-DT-SS-U-1025-rev1.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING DT-SS-U-1026 - CONCRETE SWITCH PAD DETAIL
File Name: 1026-DT-SS-U-1026.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SL-SS-C-1021 - STREET LIGHT FOUNDATION - 10' TO 14'
File Name: 1021-SL-SS-C-1021-rev1.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SL-SS-C-1022 - STREET LIGHT FOUNDATION - 20' TO 25'
File Name: 1022-SL-SS-C-1022-rev1.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SL-SS-C-1023 - STREET LIGHT FOUNDATION - 30'
File Name: 1023-SL-SS-C-1023-rev1.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SL-SS-C-1024 - STREET LIGHT FOUNDATION - PEDESTAL TYPE
File Name: 1024-SS-C-1024-rev1.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-CL-O-1011 - SERVICE DROP CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS
File Name: 1011-SR-CL-O-1011-rev2.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-CL-O-1015 - MINIMUM GROUND CLEARANCES FOR RESIDENTIAL SERVICE DROPS
File Name: 1015-SR-CL-O-1015-rev3.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-CL-O-1016 - GROUND CLEARANCES FOR COMMERCIAL SERVICE DROPS
File Name: 1016-SR-CL-O-1016-rev2.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-CL-O-1017 - CLEARANCE FOR SERVICE POLE FOR SUPPLY SERVICE DROP
File Name: 1017-SR-CL-O-1017-rev1.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-CL-O-1018 - CLEARANCES FROM SWIMMING POOLS, HOT TUBS AND SPAS
File Name: 1018-SR-CL-O-1018-rev2.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-CN-O-1009 - TYPICAL OVERHEAD SERVICE INSTALLATION
File Name: 1009-SR-CN-O-1009-rev4.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-CN-U-1010 - RESIDENTIAL UNDERGROUND SERVICE REQUIREMENTS
File Name: 1010-SR-CN-U-1010-rev3.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-MT-E-1012 - REQUIRED MINIMUM CLEARANCES OF METER SOCKETS
File Name: 1012-SR-MT-E-1012-rev4.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-MT-E-1013 - CLEARANCE FOR METER CABINET ENCLOSURES
File Name: 1013-SR-MT-E-1013-rev1.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-MT-E-1014 - DIAGRAM OF CONNECTIONS, METER SOCKETS
File Name: 1014-SR-MT-E-1014-rev3.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-MT-E-1035 Meter Installation in Residential Driveway
File Name: 1035 - SR-MT-E-1035.pdf
Revision Date: 6/9/2014
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DRAWING SR-MT-M-1019 - VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER MOUNTING PLATE
File Name: 1019-SR-MT-M-1019-rev1.pdf
Revision Date: 11/10/2009
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DRAWING SR-TS-O-1006 - OVERHEAD TEMPORARY SERVICE
File Name: 1006-SR-TS-O-1006-rev4.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-TS-O-1007 - TEMPORARY SERVICE OUTHOUSE
File Name: 1007-SR-TS-O-1007-rev2.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-TS-U-1008 - UNDERGROUND TEMPORARY SERVICE
File Name: 1008-SR-TS-U-1008-rev2.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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DRAWING SR-XF-E-1020 - TRANSITION CABINET
File Name: 1020-SR-XF-E-1020-rev5.pdf
Revision Date: 3/12/2014
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Electric Requirements Complete List of Drawings
File Name: electric-details-complete.pdf
Revision Date: 5/21/2008
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Electric Standard Drawings - Section I
File Name: List of Drawings for Section I.pdf
Revision Date: 10/4/2016
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Electric Standard Drawings - Section II
File Name: List of Drawings for Section II.pdf
Revision Date: 10/4/2016
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Electric Standard Drawings - Section III
File Name: List of Drawings for Section III.pdf
Revision Date: 10/4/2016
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Electric Standard Drawings - Section IV
File Name: List of Drawings for Section IV.pdf
Revision Date: 10/4/2016
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Electric Standard Drawings - Section V
File Name: List of Drawings for Section V.pdf
Revision Date: 10/4/2016
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Info
Installation of PVC Riser Conduit on Wood Poles
File Name: dtssu_1001a.pdf
Revision Date: 3/27/2008
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Info
Installation of Steel Riser Conduit on Wood Poles
File Name: dtssu_1001.pdf
Revision Date: 8/6/2012
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Info
Pad Mount Clearance Requirements
File Name: DT-CL-U-1031.pdf
Revision Date: 8/6/2012
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Info
Pre-Cast Concrete Pad for LBC Cabinet
File Name: DT-SS-C-1028.pdf
Revision Date: 8/6/2012
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Info
Vault Cover with Ladder Bar
File Name: dtssc_1029.pdf
Revision Date: 8/6/2012
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Info