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.


 

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:

Call (650) 713-3411

Email advisor@efficiencygenie.com


If you would like to assess electric loads on your own, you can start with this simple load calculator.


The City also has online resources for electric vehicles and heat pump water heaters:

     

 

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.


Navigate Bids. The City of Palo Alto's Home Efficiency Genie can provide neutral advice and help you compare bids.


Contact the Genie:

Call (650) 713-3411

Email advisor@efficiencygenie.com


Before choosing an electrician or signing a contract, review these tips on things to consider when hiring an electrician. 

 

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. If you would like more information on installation requirements and permits associated with home electrical projects, visit our Permits and Requirements informational webpage.