Program for Emerging Technologies


Program Overview

Under the program, the City offers staff time and the Utilities/City infrastructure in Palo Alto as a 'test bed' to evaluate and publicize technologies. Applications are reviewed quarterly. The City is open to external funding partnerships, including the American Public Power Association's Demonstration of Energy Efficiency Developments program. No direct monetary funding is available from the City to applicants under this program.


The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) launched this program in 2012 in order to partner with individuals and companies who want to evaluate, test and implement innovative emerging technologies. The goal is to find and nurture creative products and services that will manage and better use electricity, gas, water, and fiber optic services. We want to find the best ideas out there and help get them implemented! 

Evaluation Criteria

An application must pass all of the evaluation criteria to be included in the program. The applications that surpass the threshold requirements set by these primary evaluation criteria will then be evaluated according to a number of secondary evaluation criteria, including acceptance of City’s contractual indemnity and customer privacy protections, local economic development opportunities, and details of the partnering arrangement being sought.

All applications will be evaluated based on the following primary evaluation criteria:

  • Is it new, innovative and potentially transformative? 
    • If it succeeds, will it matter?  
    • Does it significantly advance the utility’s priorities?
  • Added customer & community value
    • Emissions reduction & environmental benefits 
    • Scalable & transferable 
    • Equitable 
    • Core role for City of Palo Alto Utilities 
  • Is the project the right fit for City of Palo Alto Utilities at the right time? 
    • Staff resource impacts 
    • Acceptance of the terms and conditions in the standardized partnership agreements 
    • Availability of co-funding for project, such as in-kind labor or external grant funding 


Examples of Past Projects

Visit our past projects page to read about previous participants.