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


PRESS RELEASE UTL-CustomerConnectPilot-1
Subject :

New Utilities Advanced Meter & Time-of-Use Rate Pilot Program
Palo Alto Residents Now Encouraged to Apply
Contact : Shiva Swaminathan, Senior Electric Resource Planner, Utilities    650-329-2465
Palo Alto, CA –Up to 300 Palo Alto residents will now have the opportunity to participate in a Utilities pilot program authorized by the City Council last night. This new Residential CustomerConnect and Time-of-Use Rate Pilot program is an exciting step towards placing customers in the driver’s seat when it comes to controlling their utilities use and costs.

The CustomerConnect pilot program will give participants “next day” feedback as to how much electricity, gas and water they are using each day on an hourly basis and how changes they make impact that use. The Time-of-Use Rate aspect of the pilot program was designed to offer residents the chance to save money by shifting their electric consumption (such as charging electric vehicles) to late night hours.

“We would like participating customers to provide feedback on their experience in using the information and analytical tools provided through this pilot program, “explains Valerie Fong, Utilities Director. “They will be playing a role in determining if, when and how to expand the program to all customers in the future.”

In addition to helping customers better manage their utility use and bills, the advanced meter technology has the potential to improve the utility’s service reliability and operational efficiency. The City has contracted with Elster Solutions LLC to provide the metering and monitoring equipment and associated web-based analytical tools.

There is no cost to the customer to participate in this pilot program. The money for the program itself is in the existing Utilities budget, so no rate adjustments are required.

Residents who have electric, gas and water meters and are interested in being part of this innovative pilot program should visit by December 16. Registration can be completed online and qualified applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Selected applicants will be notified by the end of January and services are expected to be activated by the summer.

The process to acquire, install, test and calibrate the new meters and associated networks will take several months, so even though program participants need to sign on now, they will not see much activity until Summer of 2013. However, if accepted, participants will get a welcome packet early in January and will receive regular updates as the preparation moves through its various stages.

The full report detailing the program as approved by the Council last night can be viewed here.