PaloAltoGreen celebrates 10 years of electrifying change!

For current
PaloAltoGreen members 
On September 9, 2013 the City Council voted to modify the program and we will be sending you an informational packet before the end of September.  It will include a letter explaining more fully the present and future plans for PaloAltoGreen, along with a small token of appreciation for your partipation.  The key elements of the recently approved modifications to the program are:

  • keep current residential and small business participants enrolled in the program but suspending all "per kilowatt hour" premium payments effective immediately 
  • give commercial customers the option of buying "1,000 kilowatt hour" blocks of renewable solar energy certificates at the vastly reduced cost of $2/block 
  • direct staff to develop an alternative PaloAltoGreen gas program which would allow participants to eliminate or reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with their natural gas use, for implementation by mid-summer 2014     

Keep posted on the progress and options of this national-award-winning program---be sure we have your updated email address by sending your name and street address (to identify you) via email here.

Read the full proposal approved by Council for the future of the PaloAltoGreen program-- Click here (approved September 9, 2013)

For people who might like to join PaloAltoGreen in the future
Nationally top-ranked, the PaloAltoGreen program has been supporting 100% California-produced solar energy in 2013. Over its 10 year history, the program has shown time and time again that Palo Altans can and will lead the way down the path to a totally sustainable future.  Palo Alto was the first community in California to be certified as a Green Power Community by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Now the City Council has voted to reconsider the best direction for the program, in light of the decision earlier this year for the City to only purchase carbon-neutral electric power for all customers. 
(Click here to review the proposal approved by the City Council.)

Enroll now or wait?  The Council decision was to suspend the "per kilowatt hour" premium that PaloAltoGreen members were paying effective immediately. City staff has been directed to investigate options including community solar programs and a program to offset the carbon emissions from natural gas use. 

  • Residents not yet enrolled in the program can request to be added to our contact list to receive updates by email as to what may be offered and when.  Click on this link to be added to an update list, 
  • Businesses currently have an option to participate in the PaloAltoGreen program by purchasing "1,000 kilowatt hour" blocks of renewable solar electric power for $2/block. Contact us here or by calling (650) 329-2161 if you are interested in pursuing this option.

How has the City going "100% Carbon Neutral" Changed Things?  Even after City decided to buy only carbon-neutral electricity for everyone, participation in the PaloAltoGreen programs still made sense for people wanting to support 100% California solar energy.  The City's Carbon Neutral Plan took effect in 2013.  Although every customer now gets "carbon neutral" electricity, all "carbon neutral" electric power is not the same. Some power is considered carbon neutral because it comes from new renewable resources the State of California considers "eligible"--that includes sources like solar, wind and small hydroelectric plants.  Other "carbon neutral" power comes from large hydroelectric sources which do not emit carbon, but are not considered "eligible" by the State because large hydroelectric facilities were built a long time ago. (The goal of "eligible" resources is to add more renewables than there were before. Large hydroelectric facilities can also have environmental impacts, especially for fish. There are many debates on this topic but suffice it to say there is no "pure and perfect" power resource--other than using less of it!) Finally, some "carbon neutral" power can come from buying "brown power" but then compensating for that by supporting an equivalent amount of renewable energy production through buying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).  Those who joined PaloAltoGreen were supporting "eligible" renewable power only, some of it being generated right here in Palo Alto and all of it generated within California.                                                                 

PaloAltoGreen by neighborhood--how did your neighborhood compare?      
Click here to find out more about PaloAltoGreen Participation by Neighborhood 

Save Money When You Shop In addition to helping the environment, enrollment saved you money on purchases around town. All residential customers are a part of the PaloAltoGreen Team, a discount program for Palo Alto businesses and residents participating in PaloAltoGreen, a program that rewards customers and promotes local businesses as well. Just bring the Team Card you received in your welcome kit to get discounts at participating PaloAltoGreen Team businessesIs your business interested in becoming a PaloAltoGreen Team member? Sign up here, call (650) 329-2241, or email

More Questions?
Email us at or call (650) 329-2161 or stop by the 2nd floor Customer Service Center at City Hall. To see the Power Content Label for PaloAltoGreen, click here.

PaloAltoGreen Renewable Energy Facilities

PaloAltoGreen participants supported these wildlife-friendly solar facilities in California. Thanks for helping create a stable and clean energy future! 

  • Municipal Service Center (MSC):   Located on East Bayshore Road off Highway 101, this 75 kilowatt project is notable because of its solar trackers, which follow the sun. This results in almost a 50% greater ability to capture solar energy than non-tracking projects nearby.
  • Cubberley Community Center:  The Cubberley Community Center, located in South Palo Alto, has been home to a wide variety of recreational activities for over 20 years. It is also the site of the largest of three city-funded solar projects. In 2008, a 117 kilowatt rooftop photovoltaic system was installed to generate electricity and protect classrooms from sun and rain.
  • Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center:  Located amongst the salt marshes at the east end of Embarcadero Road, the Baylands Interpretive Center is home to a unique tidal and fresh water habitat as well as the City of Palo Alto’s third solar facility. Along with amazing bird watching, visitors can view the Center's rooftop solar panels using a submarine periscope.
Last Updated: Sep 13, 2013