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City of Palo Alto Ranks in National Top 10 for Most Solar Watts per Customer

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) earned a spot on the national Top 10 utility solar list compiled by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA - formerly the Solar Electric Power Association). SEPA ranked CPAU third for “Watts per Customer” in 2015. As of the time SEPA conducted its survey for 2015, Palo Alto had integrated a total of 1,846 solar electric watts per customer and 861 photovoltaic (PV) systems onto the grid.

SEPA’s ninth annual survey of solar activities includes figures from more than 300 utilities across the country. This is the third time CPAU has made the Top 10 list. Awards were announced April 12, 2016 at SEPA’s flagship Utility Solar Conference in Denver.

“Palo Alto has demonstrated decades of sustained leadership and innovation in promoting solar energy as a viable resource,” said Ed Shikada, Assistant City Manager and interim Utilities Director. “We feel that our community helps us achieve success through support of environmental solutions to reduce the City’s overall carbon footprint.”

The City’s public power utility offers a full set of solar energy evaluation services and incentives, including residential and commercial programs, expedited solar permit processing, workshops and one-on-one advice in coordination with industry representatives. The Local Solar Program strategy offers alternative means for the City to encourage local solar generation, with options such as customer group buys to reduce equipment and installation costs, a potential solar donation program, and community buys, in which multiple residents can invest in solar systems on schools or other community buildings. Additionally, through the Palo Alto CLEAN feed-in-tariff program, third parties can invest in solar installations on local businesses and sell the energy produced back to the utility.  “

We saw record installations of solar in 2015 across the United States. Our Top 10 survey results detail the scale of this growth, and the active role that an increasing number of utilities are playing in it,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA’s President and CEO. “Consumers want solar, and their interest is driving change and innovation at utilities nationwide. This growth is occurring not only in well-known solar markets such as California and Hawaii, but in unexpected pockets of solar activity, such as Tennessee, Ohio  and Georgia.”

The full Top 10 listings are available online at Check out this infographic snapshot of the solar market and top 10 listings from SEPA.

About SEPA:
  The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit that facilitates the utility industry’s smart transition to a clean energy future. Through education, research and collaboration SEPA enables the integration and deployment of solar, demand response, other distributed energy resources, and supporting technologies onto the grid. More at

Last Updated April 15, 2016