News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Palo Alto's Renewable Energy Program Ranks #1 in the Nation for Participation for Fourth Year in a Row
Contact : Brian Ward, Account Representative, City of Palo Alto Utilities    (650) 329-2251
Joyce Kinnear, Manager, Utility Marketing Services, City of Palo Alto Utilities    (650) 329-2652

Palo Alto, CA  – PaloAltoGreen, the renewable energy program offered by the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU), has achieved the nation’s highest participation rate, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 2008 Top 10 rankings.  With 21% of utility customers enrolled, PaloAltoGreen has over ten times the 2% national average participation for renewable energy programs. This is the fourth consecutive year that PaloAltoGreen has achieved the #1 spot for best-in-nation participation.

PaloAltoGreen also ranks fourth in the nation for green power sales as a percentage of total retail electricity sales. This means that PaloAltoGreen customers purchased renewable energy equaling 5.7% of the electricity CPAU sold in 2008. PaloAltoGreen sales are additional to the 24% renewable energy that CPAU purchases for all customers.

“I’m proud to live in a community that has chosen to support renewable energy and make PaloAltoGreen the enormous success that it is,” said Palo Alto Mayor Peter Drekmeier. “This is a prime example of how Palo Altans can lead the nation in environmental stewardship and create a healthy and sustainable city.” 

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. Each year, NREL releases “Top 10” rankings of the nation’s best performing utility renewable energy programs. Such programs allow electricity consumers to purchase energy generated from renewable resources such as wind, biomass, and solar. “Despite the economic downturn, utility green power sales continued to expand nationally last year,” said NREL senior energy analyst Lori Bird. “These utilities are the national leaders.”

The popularity of Palo Alto’s renewable energy option has far exceeded expectations. A key to PaloAltoGreens success has been the program’s innovative implementation and the community’s enthusiastic support. The program takes a community-oriented approach and promotes the environmental benefits of participation.  

Business support for the program is also strong, confirming that supporting renewable energy is good for business. Over 200 businesses have joined PaloAltoGreen, including major corporations and institutions such as SAP Labs, Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Roche Palo Alto, Schering-Plough Biopharma, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Classic Residence by Hyatt, and the City of Palo Alto.

PaloAltoGreen is an example of a successful utility renewable energy option for customers. It improves environmental quality and decreases dependence on fossil fuels, while rallying public support, pride and enthusiasm. 

About PaloAltoGreen
PaloAltoGreen is a voluntary renewable energy program offered to all residential, commercial and industrial customers within Palo Alto as a way to support energy generated from 100% clean wind and solar power resources at an additional cost of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. CPAU customers can sign up for PaloAltoGreen by visiting, by calling 650-329-2161, or by e-mailing with name, service address, and telephone number.

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) is the only municipal utility in California that operates city-owned utility services for electric, fiber optic, natural gas, water and wastewater. Since 1896, CPAU has been providing quality services to the citizens and businesses of Palo Alto.