Utilities Financial Assistance

If you are on a limited income or currently experiencing financial hardship or have medical needs that increase your utility usage, you may be eligible for help with utility bill costs with programs from the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU). 

  • Residents struggling to pay their utilities bills may qualify for our Rate Assistance Program, which provides a 25% discount on gas and electricity charges and 20% discount on storm drain service fees.  
  • You may be able to permanently reduce energy and water costs by having us help you improve your home's efficiency through the Residential Energy Assistance Program.
  • You can equalize your monthly payment into twelve equal amounts through the Bill Payment Plan.
  • CPAU's ProjectPLEDGE may be able to help you with one-time assistance.   Call Utilities Customer Service at (650) 329-2161 to determine your eligibility.

For more information on CPAU and community assistance programs, call Utilities Customer Service at (650) 329-2161 or visit our Utilities Customer Service page. 

Pre-Emergency Proclamation  Modifications from Emergency Proclamation
1. Disconnection for Non-Payment after 48-Hour Notice (residential and commercial). a. Moratorium during the City of Palo Alto emergency proclamation period on residential and commercial Disconnections for Non-Payment, supporting customer telecommute, education, and health care requirements. 
b. Moratorium during the City of Palo Alto emergency proclamation period on residential and commercial Late Payment Fees (Dunning).
c. Moratorium during the City of Palo Alto emergency proclamation period on residential and commercial monthly full-payment requirements. Customers can make partial payments, without risk of disconnection for non-payment. (Note: the total of missed payments (except Late Fees) will continue to be owed, but eligible for an extended payment plan, at the end of the emergency proclamation period). 
2. Payment Arrangements for residential and commercial Arrears (typically 3-6 months). a. Payment Arrangements (residential and commercial) extended to 18 months.
3. Medical Rate Assistance Program (RAP. 
25% discount on residential gas, electric, 20% on storm drain
a. Qualifying requirements remain the same, based on physician’s certification of need.
b. Decoupled mandatory requirement for RAP customer to participate in the Utilities “Residential Energy Assistance Program”, easing participation requirements
4. Low Income Rate Assistance Program (RAP. 25% discount on residential gas, electric, 20% on storm drain  a. Qualifying documents (prior year W2 or 1040 forms) expanded to include current year termination letter, sequential pay stubs, checking statements for direct deposit, etc.
b. Savings not counted as income.
c. Decoupled mandatory requirement for RAP customer to participate in the Utilities “Residential Energy Assistance Program”, easing participation requirements
5. ProjectPLEDGE (Funded by CPAU customer donations) provides one-time utility bill assistance for residential customers only for past due amounts, up to $750, when unexpected hardship strikes.) a. Customers cannot apply or participate in ProjectPLEDGE unless they  have already had a past due bill. Applications received by customers not currently in arrears are not eligible.
b. Qualifying customers applying for ProjectPLEDGE are only eligible for the funding of their current past due balance on the date they apply. Customers are limited to one-time program participation, up to a maximum of $750, per customer (not per account). Future Utilities bills, where the meter has been read, and the bill calculated but not yet mailed, are not eligible to be included in the funding request made at the time of application. 
c. The funds available for ProjectPLEDGE are subject to the funds on hand at the time of the customer’s application for the program. ProjectPLEDGE is a residential-only program, funded by donations to the program made by residential customers. There are no Utilities ratepayer funds provided for this program. Customer applications and participation in ProjectPLEDGE will be suspended when funds are exhausted, until funds are replenished.