Utilities News

Check here for news about the City of Palo Alto Utilities department.   If you are a member of the press and would like to see the department's most recent news releases, visit our news releases page.
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2016
Moody's Upgrades Palo Alto's Water Enterprise Bond Rating
Investors service upgrades City's Water enterprise to Aa1.
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Register for City of Palo Alto Events & Workshops
Find out more about tree care, sustainable landscaping, home composting, attractive alternatives to lawns and more. Take a tour of one of our open houses or the Wastewater Treatment Plant and join us for the Great Race for Saving Water!
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Warning! Possible Utility & Solar Scam
Callers posing as the City of Palo Alto or a solar company partnering with the City to promote solar. Be wary and never give out personal or financial information!
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Groundbreaking for Baylands Major Flood Protection Project
Mayor Pat Burt participated in the groundbreaking for a massive flood-control project along the San Francisquito Creek designed to provide more than 5,700 homes and businesses in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park with 100-year creek flood protection.
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City of Palo Alto Adds 20 MW Solar Energy to its Carbon-Neutral Electric Resources
Large-scale Frontier Solar project begins commercial operations.
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City to Give $1 Million to School District if Palo Alto Wins Georgetown Competition
On Monday, May 9, the Palo Alto City Council approved giving $1 million to the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) if the City wins the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize Competition.
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The 2016 Great Race for Saving Water Made a Splash Again!
Community Earth Day festival and 5K fun run/walk to raise awareness about water resources, conservation and a healthy planet!
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Annual Walking and Mobile Gas Leak Survey In Progress
This routine safety check is conducted every year out to ensure the safety of all who live and work in Palo Alto.
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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!
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Palo Alto Resident Installs Solar PV Array

Mayor Burt Asks Residents to Sign Pledge for Water Conservation
Sign the pledge to conserve water through the end of April at mywaterpledge.com and help Palo Alto win the national competition!
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Dripping Faucet

Mayor's "Green Business Leader" Recognition Awards
Palo Alto businesses are honored for high energy efficiency achievements!
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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.


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Tree-Lined Street in Palo Alto

City of Palo Alto Ups its Energy-Saving Efforts, Ranks in Top Third in Georgetown University Energy Prize Competition
Introducing new programs, tools and incentives to make saving energy personalized and no hassle. Palo Alto customers can help the City win the prize for an efficient, eco-friendly and carbon free future.
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City Of Palo Alto to Solarize City-Owned Parking Structures and Enable Its Electric Vehicle Future
With support from the Clean Coalition, the City of Palo Alto creates a new model for deploying local renewables on municipal properties.
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City of Palo Alto Adds Over 26 MW Solar Energy to its Carbon-Neutral Electric Resources
The City has over 125 MW of solar power commitments throughout California, including five new solar power purchase agreements the City has signed over the past few years. By the end of 2016, all five projects should be online. At that point, solar energy will supply about one-third of Palo Alto’s total electricity needs on an annual basis.

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Large-Scale Solar Project Planned for Unitarian Universalist Church for Palo Alto
Project will be first to participate in Palo Alto's CLEAN feed-in tariff Program.
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City Responds to Drought Stressed Trees in Palo Alto
Trees are stressed by drought throughout Palo Alto, and the City is taking action to prevent a catastrophic loss of our urban canopy.
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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.
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CPAU Workers Help Rebuild 21kv line

Electric Safety Demonstrations for Kids
Contact us to request an electrical safety demonstration for your classrooms.
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Trees Need Water (Especially) During Times of Drought
Palo Alto has done a great job in its water conservation efforts, and through its diligence, the community has cut water usage more than 33 percent compared to 2013 levels. While we need to conserve water, doing so may be impacting the City's trees, which are showing signs of stress.


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Palo Alto Launches Home Efficiency Genie Program
Through Home Efficiency Genie, a Palo Alto homeowner can schedule a discounted assessment with the program’s specially trained building science expert. These experts can help residents learn cost effective ways to improve their home’s comfort, efficiency, health, indoor air quality, building durability and value.
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California Drought Update - Use Palo Alto 311 App for Water Waste Reporting
Palo Alto 311 has been updated to include an option for water waste reporting.
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CPAU Scores Top Marks for Customer Satisfaction
The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) scored top marks again in a nationwide survey of utility customers for large business customer satisfaction.
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Palo Alto Advances in $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize
Palo Alto is among a select number of communities across the nation leading the way on energy efficiency.
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City of Palo Alto Leads the Way in Sustainability
PaloAltoGreen Gas is the First Green-e Climate Certified Natural Gas Offset Program Offered by a Municipal Utility
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Be Aware of Scam Calls
Beware of fraudulent phone calls from scam artists claiming to be from the Utilities Department! Never provide payment or personal information over the phone. Hang up and call us at (650) 329-2161 to verify your account status if unsure.
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Correctly Dispose of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)
FOG can clog pipes and damage property - Ensure that you are disposing of it correctly.
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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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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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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.

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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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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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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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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Average Electric Rate Comparison
Curious on how the City of Palo Alto Utilities' electric rates compare with others?
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City of Palo Alto Participates in Live Demonstration of Emergency Response to Utility Line Strikes
Senator Jerry Hill to Deliver keynote speech in support of public safety and legislation to strengthen California's dig laws
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Water & Drought Update - Palo Alto Water Use Guidelines
California's drought continues. Water use restrictions are in place for Palo Alto. Get current information here.
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PA water at source--Tuolumne River-photo by C.Elvert

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

New Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project in San Joaquin County Completed
4.3 megawatt project expected to generate clean energy to power nearly 2,600 local homes annually.


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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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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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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, 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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Water Service Disruptions
Updates on water service disruptions.
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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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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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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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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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Customer Service Center Hours
Handy listing of days and times.
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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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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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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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Facility Manager Meetings
Check out Meeting Agendas and Presentations here!
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New Customer Portal for Home Usage
The City of Palo Alto Utilities is currently working on developing a new and improved online customer portal for viewing and tracking energy and water use.
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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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Financing for Residential Efficiency Projects
Find out about our financing program for residential efficiency programs.
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My Utilities Account
See information about your utility bill and usage online.
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