Utilities' Department News

Here are our latest news stories.  Click on the headline or picture to find out more.
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2013
City of Palo Alto Utilities Awarded Public Power Utility of the Year

City of Palo Alto Utilities is awarded Public Power Utility of the Year. Palo Alto Utilities has a long history of providing innovative and progressive programs on the cutting edge of environmental sustainability. Forward-thinking community support for renewable energy has encouraged development and growth of our comprehensive solar electric programs.


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Palo Alto Launches 311 App for Drought Water Waste Reporting
Palo Alto 311 has been updated to include an option for water waste reporting.
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Be Aware of Scam Calls
We are receiving reports of scammers pretending to be from the Utilities department.
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Smart, Safe and Green Fun Zone
Videos, games and other delights to educate young people about utilities conservation and safety.
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Register for these FREE Palo Alto Workshops
Find out more about tree care, sustainable landscaping, home composting, attractive alternatives to lawns and new EcoHome. Take a tour of the EcoHome or attend one of our open houses.
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PG&E Gas Pipeline Projects in Palo Alto
Click here for more details on PG&E project activity in Palo Alto.
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PG%26E Gas Pipeline Testing

LED Streetlights Shine
PHASE 3 expected to finish this summer---see how the new LED street lights are transforming our town!
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The Second Annual Great Race for Saving Water Makes a Splash!
A crowd of fun runners, walkers and festivity-goers showed up on April 19 to rally behind a good cause - water conservation. The fun didn't stop there - raffle prizes, live music, food, arts & crafts, free goodies from sponsors - view our photos and check back here for details on next year's event!
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City Hall King Plaza Demonstration Garden
A garden planted by community volunteers which showcases sustainable landscape principles for maximum environmental benefits.
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New sustainable demonstration garden at Palo Alto City Hall.

EcoHome Haunted House
Even if you missed the EcoHome Haunted House event, see some fun videos!

Tours are usually scheduled by request, so call (650) 329-2241 to coordinate your tour.

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Avoid Wasting Energy Through Vampire Loads and Game Consoles
Find out how to avoid wasting energy through "phantom loads" and how much energy your video game console uses when it is OFF! Did you know that your set-top cable box uses as much energy as your refrigerator?
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Award-Winning Gas Safety Outreach
Your City Utilities were given the American Public Gas Association award of excellence in consumer education. Now test your knowledge of gas safety!
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"Little Cultural Ambassadors" Visit from China
A group of young Chinese students were hosted by Palo Alto Utilities for an exciting morning of environmental education.
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Council Approves Major Renewable Solar Electric Purchase Agreements
New contracts for 182.5 Gigawatt Hours of clean, green electric power send City full steam ahead down its path to a carbon-free future.
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National Recognition for Palo Alto Green Power Achievements
Top national rankings for renewable and solar programs follow City's recent move to a carbon neutral electric plan.
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Palo Altans Protecting the Planet---2013 Update
Celebrate the Earth all the time! See the community's progress on our Climate Protection Plan and find links to events, programs and services you can take advantage of now!
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How Does Your Water Use Compare?
Save water for all of our futures. Find out how your water use compares with others.
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Keeping Cool In the Summer
Stay comfortable and save energy with these tips.
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Palo Alto ranks in Top 10 for Nationwide Water Conservation Challenge
Over 16,000 residents made the pledge to be more efficient.
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Your Home
How we can help you at home.
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Home Energy Reports
A way to get information about your energy usage is available in Palo Alto.
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How Can a Renter Save Energy and Water?
As a renter, you can't make major upgrades to your home. How do you save water and energy?
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Financing for Residential Efficiency Projects
Find out about our financing program for residential efficiency programs.
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Things You Should Know When Hiring a Contractor
Protect yourself from solar and energy efficiency scammers; use our contractor certification program at www.egia.org/paloalto or look here for more information.
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Palo Alto Plugs into 100% Carbon Free Electricity
Your City Council voted for a Carbon Neutral Electric Resource Plan--an important step down the path to a healthier planet.
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Causes for High Utilities Bills
Find ways to save on your Utility bills!
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Furnace and Hot Water Heater Replacement
Do you want to reduce your gas bill? Upgrade your furnace or hot water heater!
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Reduce High Winter Gas Bills
Now that cold weather is here, use as many of these tips as possible to stay warm and save on natural gas!
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Sewer Clog - Call Us First!
Before clearing a clog in your sewer service, call (650) 496-6995 to have the City check the line for a crossbore. This safety service is provided 24/7.
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Smart Landscape Watering
Hot summer days are the perfect time to consider giving your landscape an irrigation make-over.
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How Does Your Water Use Measure Up?
During Irrigation Month, do you know if you use a typical amount of water? Or should you try to reduce your water use?
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Federal Stimulus Funds Projects
Update on the projects paid for by the Federal Stimulus funds
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Average Electric Rate Comparison
Curious on how the City of Palo Alto Utilities' electric rates compare with others?
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Water Quality and Outage Updates
Fluoride---nothing to fear! Learn more, report water problems and get updates on service outages and quality issues.
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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/.
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Facility Manager Meetings
Check out Meeting Agendas and Presentations here!
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Right Tree-Right Place Program
Trees and power lines can co-exist! If you have a private tree conflicting with power lines, you have several options, including possible free removal and rebates for replacement.
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Digging into Newly Repaved Alma Street

Unfortunate water main break made this action unavoidable.


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El Camino Park Closed During Water Reservoir Construction
El Camino Park will be closed for construction of a new underground reservoir and well for our emergency water supply; park renovation will follow, with full restoration of site by late 2015.
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Customer Service Center Hours
Handy listing of days and times.
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Read Your Own Meter? Annual check-ups are in May!
Every year in May, the Utilities Department needs access to your meters to conduct its mandatory annual meter-reading audit on households where customers usually self-read the meters.
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Planned Electrical Outages for System Improvements
Get information on major planned outages and why they are necessary.
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Home Energy Analysis
The new Home Energy Reports provide comparative information on your energy use. Information about the Home Energy Report is available.

Click here to reach an on-line energy audit service.
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Crossbores---Gas & Sewer Safety Inspection Program
Since July 2011, the Utilities Department has been actively implementing the next phase of its gas-sewer crossbore inspection program.
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Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Info and Report
Learn more about the City of Palo Alto's partnership with the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Responsible Appliance Disposal program and view the 2010 report.
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Project PLEDGE Donations Welcome
By making a voluntary donation via your utilities bill you can help your Palo Alto neighbors who are experiencing an unexpected hardship and can't pay their bill.

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Credits for Solar Electric (PV) Customers
State law mandates how customers who have solar electric or PV systems get credited for their system's generation. Let us know how you wish to receive this credit.
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Bay Friendly Landscapes
It's never been easier to have a beautiful, water efficient garden--Be Bay-Friendly!
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Power to the People---Enjoy Your Investment!
Celebrate with us! Hear us sing to you! And discover the many benefits of having community-owned electric, gas, water and sewer utilities.

Join us on October 8th at King Plaza to celebrate Electric Vehicle week and Public Power week!
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WATER--DROUGHT UPDATE--Palo Alto Water Use Guidelines
Read the latest updates on current water use regulations, drought conditions and what Palo Alto Utilities is asking customers to do. Learn what is happening at the State, regional and local levels. Check out all the free services, rebates and other resources to help you use water efficiently.
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PA water at source--Tuolumne River-photo by C.Elvert

Greenlight Film Festival and Fashion Show
Details on the 2014 Greenlight Film and Fashion Festival are available here. Watch for information on the 2015 Festival coming later in the year!
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2014 Greenlight Call for Entries

Lead and Copper Monitoring
Get info and be a volunteer test site for Utilities' programs to monitor the levels of lead and copper in Palo Alto's water supply.
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Eichler Energy Efficiency
Own an Eichler? Here are some Eichler applicable rebates, tips and resources.
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Palo Alto's Solar PV Program is a National Achiever Again
National rankings show Palo Alto is again among the top utilities nationwide for solar electric installations.
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Watt Meters at Library
Find out how much energy you are using and SAVE!
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Energy Upgrade California
Interested in upgrading your home? Questions about the Energy Upgrade California program? We have answers here.
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Water Cloudiness Does Not Impact Safety
Every year there is work on the water supply system, typically in January. During this time, there may be a slight and temporary change in your water. This will not impact its safety or quality.
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Earthquake Safety Tips
Getting ready for an earthquake
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Photographer: J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey; image is public domain%2Fof free use

Identity Theft
A Guide To Prevention and What To Do If You Are a Victim
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Fiber Optic Services Pricing Overview
General information and examples of how the City's Fiber Optic Service pricing works.
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Gas System Planned Outage
Most gas pipeline repair and replacements do not require a disruption in service.
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Meter Reading Info & Schedule
Find out more about the meter-reading schedules and options.
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Lucie Stern Demonstration Garden
A beautiful, healthy space for the whole community to enjoy.
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How To Keep Your Sanitary Sewer Working Properly
Ways to prevent sewer backups and avoid expensive emergency plumbing.
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Fiber Optics Glossary of Terms
For businesses interested in the City's Fiber Optics program, we provide this handy explanation of common terms.
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Mayor's "Green Leader" Business Recognition Awards
25 facilities honored for high energy efficiency achievements!
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My Utilities Account
See information about your utility bill and usage online.
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