The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) encourages customers to consider electrification, a shift from fossil fuels to electricity for space and water heating, transportation and cooking. CPAU's electricity is sourced from renewable and hydroelectric resources, but natural gas is a fossil fuel that will always produce greenhouse gas emissions. In Palo Alto, an all-electric lifestyle is cleaner and healthier than using fossil fuels, and can also be more affordable.
What programs and rebates can help me electrify?
- Free Energy Advice - CPAU's Home Efficiency Genie offers free phone-based advice on topics that impact your electricity needs, like home efficiency upgrades, EV charging equipment and new technologies for space and water heating with high-efficiency electric appliances. Call the Genie at (650) 713-3411.
- Home Electrification Rebates – CPAU currently offers a heat pump water heater rebate. Subscribe to the Utilities Newsletter to hear about upcoming electrification rebate programs and events.
- EV Cost Calculator and Rebates – Use CPAU’s EV Cost calculator and find federal, state, and local incentives for EVs and chargers on the Electrify Your Drive page.
- Solar Calculator Tool - Use CPAU's Solar Calculator Tool to get an estimate of savings you could realize by installing a rooftop solar system and to compare your solar financing options side by side.
- Federal Tax Credits - Take advantage of the 26% Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credit for solar and battery storage systems installed by December 31, 2022. The tax credit drops to 22% for systems installed during 2023 and expires for systems installed after December 31, 2023.
- Business Electrification Rebates – CPAU offers rebates for business customers to convert from gas equipment to efficient electric alternatives. See the Business Customer Rebates for more information.
- Technical Assistance for Business Electrification – CPAU offers free consultation and on-site assessment to identify electrification opportunities. See the Business Electrification Technical Assistance Program for more information.
What can I electrify?
Click on the circles in the image below to learn more about the features in an all-electric home.
Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of an all-electric lifestyle?
- Financial - An all-electric home with an electric car costs about half as much to operate and uses about one-third of the energy compared to a home with a gasoline car.
- Environmental - An all-electric home will produce zero greenhouse gas emissions as it is powered with Palo Alto’s 100% carbon neutral electricity.
- Health – Natural gas-fueled appliances such as furnaces, water heaters, cooktops, and clothes dryers generate toxic air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, and fine particulate. Replacing natural gas appliances with electric alternatives can remove sources of these pollutants.
Will I need an electric panel upgrade and how do I get a permit?
The Home Efficiency Genie's $49 Home Electrification Readiness Assessment helps residents determine if their old appliances and equipment are ready to be replaced, and if their electric panel can support new, efficient, electric alternatives. The assessment includes:
- An evaluation of your home's electric panel
- Examination of existing appliances and equipment
- Your own Home Electrification Readiness Report
Schedule an Electrification Assessment
Panel Upgrade Permits and FAQs
How can I find a contractor to help with my electrification project?
Call the Genie at 650-713-3411 to get started. The Genie can provide a list of vetted contractors, guidance on choosing a contractor, impartial estimate/bid review and independent third party project advice throughout their project.
CPAU is a member of the Building Decarbonization Coalition, which is partnering with other energy agencies in the Switch Is On campaign. This campaign provides a contractor portal and resources to assist people all across the Bay Area who want to electrify their homes.
What resources, trainings, and workshops can help me with my electrification project?
CPAU regularly hosts free community workshops and events on efficiency and sustainability and posts materials from past events.
Residents and building professionals can learn more about home electrification with these resources:
- Redwood Energy created construction guides for all-electric single-family construction and retrofits with costs and strategies and case studies.
How does electrifying my home relate to Palo Alto’s sustainability and climate action goals?
Learn more about the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP), including energy and electric vehicle goals and how to get involved.