Utilities News

Check here for news about the City of Palo Alto Utilities department.   If you are a member of the press and would like to see the department's most recent news releases, visit our news releases page.

 

 

City of Palo Alto Utilities Named Tree Line USA 5th Year in Row

Recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation for delivering safe and reliable electricity while maintaining healthy community trees.


City of Palo Alto Utilities Named Tree Line USA 5th Year in RowMore...
Tree-lined street in Palo Alto

Rainwater Harvesting Workshop Saturday, March 9

Free workshop with tips for capturing rainwater to conserve water in the landscape & reduce runoff. Rebates are available!


Rainwater Harvesting Workshop Saturday, March 9More...
Native plants

The Great Race for Saving Water & Earth Day Festival

Join us April 13 for a 5K, 10K & Kids Dash fun run plus EV ride & drive, live music, nature activities, & more!


The Great Race for Saving Water & Earth Day FestivalMore...
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Upgrade Downtown Project on the Home Stretch

Wrapping up on the final block of University Ave. by the end of March. Read about important traffic detours here.


Upgrade Downtown Project on the Home StretchMore...
Utility work ahead

Beware: Scam Utility Calls Strike Again

Beware of scam callers claiming to be from the Utilities Department! Hang up and call us at (650) 329-2161 to verify your account status if unsure.


Beware: Scam Utility Calls Strike AgainMore...
Scam alert notice

PG&E Gas Pipeline Replacement Work, February-July 2019

PG&E is replacing sections of its gas transmission pipeline in Palo Alto. Find out the latest here.


PG&E Gas Pipeline Replacement Work, February-July 2019More...
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Affected by the Federal Government Shutdown?

CPAU offers utility bill payment relief. Please contact us to arrange a payment plan & avoid utility service disconnection.


Affected by the Federal Government Shutdown?More...
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Natural Gas Prices Spiked in December - Here's How to Save on Energy Costs

January utility bills may be higher than usual for gas use in December. Here are some tips to help keep your bill low at home & work.


Natural Gas Prices Spiked in December - Here's How to Save on Energy CostsMore...
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Palo Alto Firefighters Provide Wildfire Mutual Aid in Butte County

Palo Alto’s Fire Engine 65 immediately deployed to the Butte County “Camp Fire” on Nov. 8 as part of the Santa Clara County mutual aid strike team.


Palo Alto Firefighters Provide Wildfire Mutual Aid in Butte CountyMore...
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City & VMware Explore Microgrid Partnership

VMware announced its intent to explore developing a microgrid with the City of Palo Alto that will serve as a testbed for the company and the City to explore the potential of microgrids to advance resiliency at the corporate and community level.


City & VMware Explore Microgrid PartnershipMore...
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City Wins Voice of the People Award

Recognized for excellence in the natural environment & being a top performing jurisdiction that best listens & acts for community benefits.


City Wins Voice of the People AwardMore...
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We Are #CommunityPowered - Celebrating Public Power & Natural Gas Week

Oct 7-13, join us in celebrating your community-owned utility empowering Palo Alto for over 100 years!


We Are #CommunityPowered - Celebrating Public Power & Natural Gas WeekMore...
Engineering Staff

2017 Water Quality Report Now Available

Updated information on Palo Alto's water quality conditions for the year 2017.


2017 Water Quality Report Now AvailableMore...
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Mylar Balloon Causes Another Power Outage

On July 2, 2018, a mylar balloon caused a power outage for 1,800 customers. This is the second outage in less than 30 days caused by a mylar balloon. Help keep us all safe by choosing an alternative to metallic foil or mylar balloons and hold on to those balloons!


Mylar Balloon Causes Another Power OutageMore...
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Palo Alto Utilities Recognized as Diamond Level Public Power Provider

City of Palo Alto Utilities recognized as a "Diamond" level Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) by the American Public Power Association!


Palo Alto Utilities Recognized as Diamond Level Public Power ProviderMore...
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Utilities Wooden Pole Inspections & Replacements Underway

City of Palo Alto Utilities contractors are inspecting, treating, reinforcing or replacing wooden utility poles throughout the City.


Utilities Wooden Pole Inspections & Replacements UnderwayMore...
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Utility Rate Adjustments for Fiscal Year 2019

The City is proposing rate increases for electric, gas, water, wastewater & storm drain services. City Council will review on June 11.


Utility Rate Adjustments for Fiscal Year 2019More...
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Utilities 2018 Strategic Plan

The City of Palo Alto Utilities has adopted a new Strategic Plan. Read about our Strategic Direction, Mission, Vision, Priorities and Strategies.


Utilities 2018 Strategic PlanMore...
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Annual Walking and Mobile Gas Leak Survey In Progress

This routine safety check is conducted every year to ensure the safety of all who live and work in Palo Alto.



Annual Walking and Mobile Gas Leak Survey In ProgressMore...
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City Open House Takes Community Behind the Scenes

The City of Palo Alto hosted an Open House on Saturday, May 12 to showcase some of the “behind the scenes” work that it takes to operate a city.


City Open House Takes Community Behind the ScenesMore...
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Upgrade Downtown - Construction Underway

Updates on construction work, maps, road closures, parking, contact info.


Upgrade Downtown - Construction UnderwayMore...
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Power, Gas & Fiber Optic Service Disruptions

Be prepared for outages with these tips. Also, receive notifications on emergencies impacting your neighborhood via AlertSCC at http://www.alertscc.com/.


Power, Gas & Fiber Optic Service DisruptionsMore...
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Utilities Rebate for HP Energy Efficiency Pays Back with New Sustainable Garden

HP unveiled a new sustainable garden at its global headquarters in Palo Alto, partly funded by a rebate from the City of Palo Alto Utilities for an energy efficiency project at the campus.


Utilities Rebate for HP Energy Efficiency Pays Back with New Sustainable GardenMore...
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Gas Safety Awareness Phone Surveys Conducted in December

Annual federally-mandated survey evaluates customer awareness about gas safety and protocols for who to call before digging or in the event of an emergency.


Gas Safety Awareness Phone Surveys Conducted in DecemberMore...
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Palo Alto to Buy “Carbon Offsets” from Sister City, Oaxaca, Mexico

The City is working with sister city, Oaxaca, Mexico, on a forestry project to help offset carbon dioxide emissions associated with natural gas use in the Palo Alto community.


Palo Alto to Buy “Carbon Offsets” from Sister City, Oaxaca, MexicoMore...
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Palo Alto Receives Top Award for Climate Change Leadership

Palo Alto will be recognized as the first city to achieve a Platinum Level Beacon Award – the highest level possible - for its efforts and leadership in addressing climate change when Mayor Greg Scharff accepts the prestigious recognition in front of hundreds of elected leaders from throughout California at this year’s League of California Cities Annual Conference on Sept. 14.


Palo Alto Receives Top Award for Climate Change LeadershipMore...
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Palo Alto Paves the Way for More Electric Vehicles with Local Renewable Energy

On Monday, July 24, the City of Palo Alto unveiled new solar panels installed atop parking carports of two public garages and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that are powered by the renewable energy generated on-site.


Palo Alto Paves the Way for More Electric Vehicles with Local Renewable EnergyMore...
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Palo Alto Takes First Place for Amount of Solar per Customer
Utility connected the most solar capacity per customer to the grid in 2016
Palo Alto Takes First Place for Amount of Solar per CustomerMore...
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Celebrating the 2017 Silicon Valley Water Conservation Awards
On World Water Day, water conservation leaders were honored for their work
Celebrating the 2017 Silicon Valley Water Conservation AwardsMore...
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SFPUC Water Supply Blend Change
Starting mid-March, Palo Alto's water supply will be returning from local surface reservoirs to our typical supply from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. If you have questions or concerns about water quality please call (650) 496-6967 or email UtilitiesCommunications@cityofpaloalto.org
SFPUC Water Supply Blend ChangeMore...
Tuolumne River flows over Rancheria Falls

CPAU Scores Top Marks with Residential Electric Customers
The research finds Palo Alto residential customer satisfaction strong and solid on virtually every dimension, including power delivery reliability, customer service, and utility communication.
CPAU Scores Top Marks with Residential Electric CustomersMore...
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Mayor's "Green Business Leader" Recognition Awards
Palo Alto businesses are honored for high energy efficiency achievements!
Mayor's "Green Business Leader" Recognition AwardsMore...
Mayor's Green Business Leader Award Winners

Palo Alto Adds Two New Large-Scale Solar Projects, 60 MW to Renewable Energy Portfolio
Solar energy now supplying one-third of Palo Alto’s total electric needs each year!
Palo Alto Adds Two New Large-Scale Solar Projects, 60 MW to Renewable Energy PortfolioMore...
Large scale solar panels tilt toward the sun.

Moody's Upgrades Palo Alto's Water Enterprise Bond Rating
Investors service upgrades City's Water enterprise to Aa1.
Moody's Upgrades Palo Alto's Water Enterprise Bond RatingMore...
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Groundbreaking for Baylands Major Flood Protection Project
Mayor Pat Burt participated in the groundbreaking for a massive flood-control project along the San Francisquito Creek designed to provide more than 5,700 homes and businesses in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park with 100-year creek flood protection.
Groundbreaking for Baylands Major Flood Protection ProjectMore...
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City of Palo Alto Adds 20 MW Solar Energy to its Carbon-Neutral Electric Resources
Large-scale Frontier Solar project begins commercial operations.
City of Palo Alto Adds 20 MW Solar Energy to its Carbon-Neutral Electric ResourcesMore...
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City of Palo Alto Ranks in National Top 10 for Most Solar Watts per Customer

Utility ranked third out of more than 300 utilities nationwide for 2015!



City of Palo Alto Ranks in National Top 10 for Most Solar Watts per CustomerMore...
Palo Alto Resident Installs Solar PV Array

Mayor Burt Asks Residents to Sign Pledge for Water Conservation

Sign the pledge to conserve water through the end of April at mywaterpledge.com and help Palo Alto win the national competition!


Mayor Burt Asks Residents to Sign Pledge for Water ConservationMore...
Dripping Faucet

City of Palo Alto Utilities Named 2016 Tree Line USA by Arbor Day Foundation
Utility is recognized for second year in a row for demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for community and citizen benefits.


City of Palo Alto Utilities Named 2016 Tree Line USA by Arbor Day FoundationMore...
Tree-Lined Street in Palo Alto

City Of Palo Alto to Solarize City-Owned Parking Structures and Enable Its Electric Vehicle Future
With support from the Clean Coalition, the City of Palo Alto creates a new model for deploying local renewables on municipal properties.
City Of Palo Alto to Solarize City-Owned Parking Structures and Enable Its Electric Vehicle FutureMore...
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City of Palo Alto Adds Over 26 MW Solar Energy to its Carbon-Neutral Electric Resources
The City has over 125 MW of solar power commitments throughout California, including five new solar power purchase agreements the City has signed over the past few years. By the end of 2016, all five projects should be online. At that point, solar energy will supply about one-third of Palo Alto’s total electricity needs on an annual basis.

City of Palo Alto Adds Over 26 MW Solar Energy to its Carbon-Neutral Electric ResourcesMore...
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Large-Scale Solar Project Planned for Unitarian Universalist Church for Palo Alto
Project will be first to participate in Palo Alto's CLEAN feed-in tariff Program.
Large-Scale Solar Project Planned for Unitarian Universalist Church for Palo AltoMore...
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City Responds to Drought Stressed Trees in Palo Alto

Trees are stressed by drought throughout Palo Alto, and the City is taking action to prevent a catastrophic loss of our urban canopy.



City Responds to Drought Stressed Trees in Palo AltoMore...

Palo Alto Utilities Sends Aid to Fire Victims
City of Palo Alto Utilities crews are providing restoration assistance for damaged power generating facilities, transmission lines and distribution lines, other power equipment impacted by the Northern California wildland fire.
Palo Alto Utilities Sends Aid to Fire VictimsMore...
CPAU Workers Help Rebuild 21kv line

Electric Safety Demonstrations for Kids
Contact us to request an electrical safety demonstration for your classrooms.
Electric Safety Demonstrations for KidsMore...
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Trees Need Water (Especially) During Times of Drought

Palo Alto has done a great job in its water conservation efforts, and through its diligence, the community has cut water usage more than 33 percent compared to 2013 levels. While we need to conserve water, doing so may be impacting the City's trees, which are showing signs of stress.


Trees Need Water (Especially) During Times of DroughtMore...
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Palo Alto Launches Home Efficiency Genie Program

Through Home Efficiency Genie, a Palo Alto homeowner can schedule a discounted assessment with the program’s specially trained building science expert. These experts can help residents learn cost effective ways to improve their home’s comfort, efficiency, health, indoor air quality, building durability and value.



Palo Alto Launches Home Efficiency Genie ProgramMore...
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California Drought Update - Use Palo Alto 311 App for Water Waste Reporting
Palo Alto 311 has been updated to include an option for water waste reporting.
California Drought Update - Use Palo Alto 311 App for Water Waste ReportingMore...
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CPAU Scores Top Marks for Customer Satisfaction
The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) scored top marks again in a nationwide survey of utility customers for large business customer satisfaction.
CPAU Scores Top Marks for Customer SatisfactionMore...
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City of Palo Alto Leads the Way in Sustainability

PaloAltoGreen Gas is the First Green-e Climate Certified Natural Gas Offset Program Offered by a Municipal Utility



City of Palo Alto Leads the Way in SustainabilityMore...
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Correctly Dispose of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)

FOG can clog pipes and damage property - Ensure that you are disposing of it correctly.


Correctly Dispose of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG)More...
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City of Palo Alto Utilities Awarded Public Power Utility of the Year
City of Palo Alto Utilities is awarded Public Power Utility of the Year. Palo Alto Utilities has a long history of providing innovative and progressive programs on the cutting edge of environmental sustainability. Forward-thinking community support for renewable energy has encouraged development and growth of our comprehensive solar electric programs.


City of Palo Alto Utilities Awarded Public Power Utility of the YearMore...
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LED Streetlights Shine
PHASE 3 expected to finish this summer---see how the new LED street lights are transforming our town!
LED Streetlights ShineMore...
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City Hall King Plaza Demonstration Garden

A garden planted by community volunteers which showcases sustainable landscape principles for maximum environmental benefits.


City Hall King Plaza Demonstration GardenMore...
New sustainable demonstration garden at Palo Alto City Hall.

Award-Winning Gas Safety Outreach
Your City Utilities were given the American Public Gas Association award of excellence in consumer education. Now test your knowledge of gas safety!
Award-Winning Gas Safety OutreachMore...
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Council Approves Major Renewable Solar Electric Purchase Agreements
New contracts for 182.5 Gigawatt Hours of clean, green electric power send City full steam ahead down its path to a carbon-free future.
Council Approves Major Renewable Solar Electric Purchase AgreementsMore...

National Recognition for Palo Alto Green Power Achievements
Top national rankings for renewable and solar programs follow City's recent move to a carbon neutral electric plan.
National Recognition for Palo Alto Green Power AchievementsMore...
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Palo Altans Protecting the Planet---2013 Update
Celebrate the Earth all the time! See the community's progress on our Climate Protection Plan and find links to events, programs and services you can take advantage of now!
Palo Altans Protecting the Planet---2013 UpdateMore...
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Keeping Cool In the Summer

Stay comfortable and save energy with these tips.



Keeping Cool In the SummerMore...
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Palo Alto ranks in Top 10 for Nationwide Water Conservation Challenge

Over 16,000 residents made the pledge to be more efficient.


Palo Alto ranks in Top 10 for Nationwide Water Conservation ChallengeMore...
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Palo Alto Plugs into 100% Carbon Free Electricity
Your City Council voted for a Carbon Neutral Electric Resource Plan--an important step down the path to a healthier planet.
Palo Alto Plugs into 100% Carbon Free ElectricityMore...
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Reduce High Winter Gas Bills
Now that cold weather is here, use as many of these tips as possible to stay warm and save on natural gas!
Reduce High Winter Gas BillsMore...
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Sewer Clog - Call Us First!
Before clearing a clog in your sewer service, call (650) 496-6995 to have the City check the line for a crossbore. This safety service is provided 24/7.
Sewer Clog - Call Us First!More...
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Make Water Conservation a Way of Life

Learn about your Palo Alto water supply, precipitation conditions, water use rules and efficiency measures to help you save!


Make Water Conservation a Way of LifeMore...
PA water at source--Tuolumne River-photo by C.Elvert

City of Palo Alto Participates in Live Demonstration of Emergency Response to Utility Line Strikes
Senator Jerry Hill to Deliver keynote speech in support of public safety and legislation to strengthen California's dig laws
City of Palo Alto Participates in Live Demonstration of Emergency Response to Utility Line StrikesMore...

PG&E Gas Pipeline Projects in Palo Alto
Click here for more details on PG&E project activity in Palo Alto.
PG&E Gas Pipeline Projects in Palo AltoMore...
PG%26E Gas Pipeline Testing

New Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project in San Joaquin County Completed
4.3 megawatt project expected to generate clean energy to power nearly 2,600 local homes annually.


New Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project in San Joaquin County CompletedMore...
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Right Tree-Right Place Program
Trees and power lines can co-exist! If you have a private tree conflicting with power lines, you have several options, including possible free removal and rebates for replacement.
Right Tree-Right Place ProgramMore...
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El Camino Park Closed During Water Reservoir Construction
El Camino Park will be closed for construction of a new underground reservoir and well for our emergency water supply; park renovation will follow, with full restoration of site by late 2015.
El Camino Park Closed During Water Reservoir ConstructionMore...
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Read Your Own Meter? Annual check-ups are in May!

Every year in May, the Utilities Department needs access to your meters to conduct its mandatory annual meter-reading audit on households where customers usually self-read the meters.



Read Your Own Meter? Annual check-ups are in May!More...
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Planned Electrical Outages for System Improvements
Get information on major planned outages and why they are necessary.
Planned Electrical Outages for System ImprovementsMore...
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Crossbores---Gas & Sewer Safety Inspection Program
Since July 2011, the Utilities Department has been actively implementing the next phase of its gas-sewer crossbore inspection program.
Crossbores---Gas & Sewer Safety Inspection ProgramMore...
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Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Info and Report
Learn more about the City of Palo Alto's partnership with the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Responsible Appliance Disposal program and view the 2010 report.
Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Info and ReportMore...

Project PLEDGE Donations Welcome
By making a voluntary donation via your utilities bill you can help your Palo Alto neighbors who are experiencing an unexpected hardship and can't pay their bill.

Project PLEDGE Donations WelcomeMore...
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Credits for Solar Electric (PV) Customers
State law mandates how customers who have solar electric or PV systems get credited for their system's generation. Let us know how you wish to receive this credit.
Credits for Solar Electric (PV) CustomersMore...
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Lead and Copper Monitoring
Get info and be a volunteer test site for Utilities' programs to monitor the levels of lead and copper in Palo Alto's water supply.
Lead and Copper MonitoringMore...

Water Service Disruptions
Updates on water service disruptions.
Water Service DisruptionsMore...
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Archive of Past Workshop Presentations
This page contains presentations and information presented at past workshops.
Archive of Past Workshop PresentationsMore...
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Fiber Optic Services Pricing Overview
General information and examples of how the City's Fiber Optic Service pricing works.
Fiber Optic Services Pricing OverviewMore...
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Avoid Wasting Energy Through Vampire Loads and Game Consoles
Find out how to avoid wasting energy through "phantom loads" and how much energy your video game console uses when it is OFF! Did you know that your set-top cable box uses as much energy as your refrigerator?
Avoid Wasting Energy Through Vampire Loads and Game ConsolesMore...
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Palo Alto's Solar PV Program is a National Achiever Again
National rankings show Palo Alto is again among the top utilities nationwide for solar electric installations.
Palo Alto's Solar PV Program is a National Achiever AgainMore...
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Customer Service Center Hours
Handy listing of days and times.
Customer Service Center HoursMore...
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Watt Meters at Library
Find out how much energy you are using and SAVE!
Watt Meters at LibraryMore...

Things You Should Know When Hiring a Contractor

Protect yourself from solar and energy efficiency scammers; look here for more information.


Things You Should Know When Hiring a ContractorMore...
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Water Cloudiness Does Not Impact Safety
Every year there is work on the water supply system, typically in January. During this time, there may be a slight and temporary change in your water. This will not impact its safety or quality.
Water Cloudiness Does Not Impact SafetyMore...

Earthquake Safety Tips
Getting ready for an earthquake
Earthquake Safety TipsMore...
Photographer: J.K. Nakata, U.S. Geological Survey; image is public domain%2Fof free use

Identity Theft
A Guide To Prevention and What To Do If You Are a Victim
Identity TheftMore...
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Meter Reading Info & Schedule
Find out more about the meter-reading schedules and options.
Meter Reading Info & ScheduleMore...
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Lucie Stern Demonstration Garden
A beautiful, healthy space for the whole community to enjoy.
Lucie Stern Demonstration GardenMore...
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How To Keep Your Sanitary Sewer Working Properly
Ways to prevent sewer backups and avoid expensive emergency plumbing.
How To Keep Your Sanitary Sewer Working ProperlyMore...
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Fiber Optics Glossary of Terms
For businesses interested in the City's Fiber Optics program, we provide this handy explanation of common terms.
Fiber Optics Glossary of TermsMore...
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Facility Manager Meetings
Check out Meeting Agendas and Presentations here!
Facility Manager MeetingsMore...
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Smart, Safe and Green Fun Zone
Videos, games and other delights to educate young people about utilities conservation and safety.
Smart, Safe and Green Fun ZoneMore...
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My Utilities Account
See information about your utility bill and usage online.
My Utilities AccountMore...
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