Interested in upgrading the electric panel at your home? An electric panel upgrade may be needed if you are adding an EV charger or considering converting your gas appliances to high-efficiency electric appliances, such as a heat pump water heater, heat pump space heater and air conditioner, or an induction cooktop. The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) offers resources to help you get started.
Step One: Assess your need for an electric panel upgrade
When sizing your electric panel, it's important to think about how your electricity needs may change over time. 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 heating space and water with high-efficiency electric appliances.
The Home Efficiency Genie program now also offers a Home Electrification Readiness Assessment, an in-home visit that will give you an initial idea of whether you need an electric panel upgrade in order to accommodate additions to your home's electric load.
Contact the Genie
Phone: (650) 713-3411
The City also has online resources for electric vehicles and heat pump water heaters.
Step Two: Select an Electrician
If you determine that your electrical projects may require an electric panel upgrade, CPAU recommends that you engage the services of a licensed electrician to confirm whether the upgrade is needed and to perform the electrical work.
Get Bids. Request bids from multiple electricians. Ask friends and utilize neighborhood networks to find out which electricians have experience performing electric panel upgrade work in Palo Alto. Be sure you understand hourly rates and estimates of work time.
If you are planning whole-home electrification, you may need to consult with an electrical engineer, potentially available through green building contractors.
Step Three: Plan Your Project
Once you select an electrician, you can get your project underway. Whether you are planning to install an EV charger, rooftop solar or high-efficiency electric appliances, your electrician can guide you through the process. Most electricians can help customers with the City's permitting processes, but communicate clearly and be sure your electrician does not charge for permits before you have made a final decision to proceed with work.