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 Participation for Fifth Year in a Row
Contact : Andrea Hart, Utilities Account Representative, Utilities    (650) 329-2434
Joyce Kinnear, Utilities Marketing Services Manager, 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 for the fifth consecutive year, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 2009 Top 10 rankings.  With 20.8% of utility customers enrolled, PaloAltoGreen has nearly ten times the 2.2% national average participation for renewable energy programs.

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 6.9% of the electricity CPAU sold in 2009. PaloAltoGreen sales are additional to the 15% certified renewable energy in 2009 that CPAU purchased for all customers.   The amount of certified renewable energy purchases will increase from 15% to 19% in 2010.

“I’m proud Palo Altans have chosen to support renewable energy and make PaloAltoGreen such a successful program” said Assistant Utilities Director Tom Auzenne. “This is another shining example of how the Palo Alto community can lead the nation in environmental stewardship and create demand for clean, domestic energy.” 

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, consumers are continuing to support the development of renewable energy by voluntarily participating in utility green power programs,” said NREL senior energy analyst Lori Bird. “These utilities are the national leaders.”

The popularity of Palo Alto’s renewable energy option reflects the determination of the community to lead by example. A key to PaloAltoGreen’s 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, HP, Lockheed Martin, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Roche Palo Alto, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Classic Residence by Hyatt, IDEO, 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.