Getting you safely connected to all the electric, gas, water and sewer services you may need is our top priority. We look forward to working with you over the course of your new construction or remodeling project.
The Utilities Department also handles commercial "dark fiber optic network" connections, as well as the billing for storm drain and refuse utilities, although the latter two are operated by the Public Works Department.
Be advised, all utility-related projects within the City's public right of way (including gas services up to and encompassing the gas meter) need to conform to the Water, Gas & Wastewater Standards and Electrical Requirements as described below, as well as any relevant Public Works Standards---unless otherwise approved in writing by the responsible Engineering Manager. Private utilities on private property are under the jurisdiction of the City's Planning Department, Building Inspection Division.
Inspections and Turn-around Times
Procedures vary depending on the utility involved and so to get the most accurate information on expected steps and timelines, we encourage you to talk to Utilities staff about your plans. For new electric service, for example, after submitting your application for installation, you can expect a 10-day turnaround for approval. The next step is scheduling the actual installation of the new lines, which is done through our Operations division. Additionally, both Utilities and Building department inspectors may be involved in your process.
Many incentives, including rebates, loans and free services, are offered to encourage more efficient construction and appliances. Visit the City of Palo Alto Rebates page for more information on Energy and Water rebates.
Solar Energy Systems
The best place to start to explore your solar energy options is to visit City of Palo Alto Utilities Solar in Palo Alto page. One of our more popular programs is PV Partners, which offers consultations and rebates when you want to install a photovoltaic solar energy system on your home or business.
Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations
Electric vehicle owners are encouraged to visit this Utilities department web page detailing answers to questions on topics such as installing chargers, finding local charging stations and electric rates.
Water Heater Options
There are many different types of efficient water heaters and one of the best resources we’ve found for helping you decide what makes sense for you is this chart created by ESource, a company that does objective research for the Utilities industry. The City offers rebates for qualified gas, electric, solar, heat pump and tankless water heaters.
If you have a project which will involve new or upgraded utilities services, including single or multi-meter situations, you should contact the relevant Utilities staff Monday-Friday between 9amand 4pm:
Moving Overhead Service Underground
Undergrounding electric lines is a complicated and expensive process and so is not readily available to individuals. For details on the City’s long-term undergrounding plans and steps you can take regarding undergrounding in your neighborhood, visit the Electric Underground Conversion Projects Page.
Utilities Services for the Builder/Contractor/Developer
Helpful Utilities Forms and Handouts
- A Guide to Utility Disconnection prior to Demolition
- A Guide to Water-Gas-Wastewater Utility Service Application
- Utility Application for Disconnection prior to Demolition
- Commercial / Multi-Family Utility Service Application for Electric, Water, Gas, & Wastewater Facilities Installation
- Packet for Commercial / Multi-family Utility Service Application (Electric, Water, Gas, & Wastewater) - Application, Requirements & Installation Notes
- Utility Declaration concerning Tenancy of Buildings prior to Issuance of a Demolition Permit [ more ]
Electric Temporary Service Packet - Application, Requirements, & Installation Details
- Information on Installing Chargers for your Electric Vehicle
- Lockout/Tagout Protocol
- Single Family Residential Utility Service Application for Electric, Water, Gas, & Wastewater Facilities Installation
- Packet for Single Family Residential Application (Electric, Water, Gas, & Wastewater) - Application, Requirements & Installation Notes
- Water Cross Connection Control Questionnaire