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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Utilities at a Look – Metropolis of Palo Alto, CA

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The Metropolis of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) is privileged to offer you 5 municipal utility companies: electrical energy, pure gasoline, water, wastewater, and fiber optics. The Metropolis’s Public Works Division additionally offers refuse assortment and processing for recycle, compost and rubbish, wastewater therapy, and stormwater administration companies.

Our staff work onerous to offer protected, dependable, environmentally sustainable, and cost-effective companies to all residents in our 26 sq. mile space. Learn extra on every of the companies we offer.

Obtain and print a paper model of our Utilities at a Look Brochure(PDF, 6MB).

Electrical energy

Since 2013, Palo Alto has supplied 100% carbon impartial electrical energy. Carbon impartial signifies that we match electrical energy demand with carbon-free provide on an annual foundation. Our electrical portfolio contains photo voltaic, wind, and hydroelectric technology — all carbon-free! We additionally generate electrical energy from landfill gasoline, which retains dangerous methane out of the setting whereas lighting native properties and companies.
Electrical Utility Based in 1900 Fiscal 12 months 2020
Variety of Residential Accounts 25,876
Variety of Industrial Accounts 3,973
Miles of 60kV Sub-transmission Traces 19
Miles of Major Overhead Distribution Traces 116
Miles of Major Underground Distribution Traces 195
Highest Peak Load (in MegaWatts) 176
Substations (w/ 300 MVA Complete Capability) 9
Complete Annual kWh (Kilowatt Hours) Bought 880,509,000
Complete Carbon Impartial Energy Sources 100%
Site visitors Alerts (Intersections) Maintained 109
Streetlights Maintained 7,033
Financial savings Via Effectivity Packages (Cumulative Financial savings, FY 2008-2019, in kWh) 83,975,000


The water that comes out of your faucet begins as snow within the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite Nationwide Park, roughly 200 miles east of Palo Alto. Because the snow melts every spring, water drains into the Tuolumne River, starting its three-day journey to our neighborhood. Alongside the best way, it’s saved in a collection of reservoirs, together with the Hetch Hetchy, San Antonio, and Calaveras.

Two distinctive options of this technique stand out: the ingesting water supplied is among the many purest on the planet, and the system for delivering that water is sort of totally gravity-fed, requiring virtually no use of fossil fuels to maneuver water from the mountains to your faucet.

Water Utility Based in 1896 Fiscal 12 months 2020
Variety of Residential Accounts 16,579
Variety of Industrial Accounts 4,029
Miles of Water Important 236
Variety of Wells 8
Variety of Reservoirs 7
Complete Storage Capability (In Hundreds of thousands of Gallons) 13
Complete Annual Water Bought (In Billions of Gallons) 3.56
Peak Circulate (In Hundreds of thousands of Gallons per Day) 18.5
Fluoride Added (In Components-per-million) (Study Extra) 0.7
Financial savings Via Water Conservation (Cumulative Financial savings, FY 2008–2019, in Gallons) 134,242


Ever surprise what occurs to water after you flush the bathroom or wash the dishes? In most elements of Palo Alto, your wastewater travels by means of sewer traces to the Regional Water High quality Management Plant, which treats over 17 million gallons of wastewater every day! Following a day-long therapy course of that removes pollution, a lot of the handled wastewater is discharged on the Palo Alto Baylands and the Renzel Marsh Freshwater Pond alongside East Bayshore Street. Finally, water from the Renzel Marsh Pond results in San Francisco Bay, the place it helps to take care of a wholesome ecosystem.

Among the wastewater is handled to high-quality recycled water requirements that meet rigorous state necessities for non-potable makes use of. This recycled water is transported by means of a community of purple pipes which might be separate from the ingesting water community.

CPAU makes use of recycled water to irrigate the municipal golf course, the Regional Water High quality Management Plant and Greer Park. Recycled water additionally provides the duck pond and industrial processes on the Regional Water High quality Management Plant. Utilizing recycled water as an alternative of fresh ingesting water for non-potable functions comparable to irrigating landscapes and flushing bogs takes the strain off our freshwater sources and helps buffer our neighborhood towards droughts. We’re all the time evaluating different methods to extend using handled wastewater.

Wastewater Utility Based in 1898 Fiscal 12 months 2020
Variety of Residential Accounts 20,496
Variety of Industrial Accounts 1,914
Effluent Handled from Palo Alto Sewers (Billions of Gallons) 2.225
Complete Miles of Sanitary Sewer Traces 216

Pure Gasoline

In many years previous, pure gasoline was the lowest-cost, cleanest possibility in comparison with different out there heating sources. However, pure gasoline is a fossil gas that produces carbon dioxide, a typical GHG, when burned. As well as, pure gasoline itself is primarily methane, a GHG stronger than carbon dioxide. Some methane inevitably leaks into the environment when pure gasoline is produced and transported. The excellent news is that the growth of renewable electrical energy and the deployment of latest heat-pump applied sciences make electrical water and area heating a extra climate-friendly different. When in comparison with warmth pumps powered by Palo Alto’s carbon impartial electrical energy, pure  gasoline is now not the cleaner possibility. We acknowledge that assist for these new merchandise is rising throughout the Bay Space and past, and we  are dedicated to serving to Palo Altans discover extra methods to scale back their carbon emissions.

In fiscal yr 2019, CPAU’s gasoline effectivity packages lowered gasoline use by 167,186 therms, which is about 0.44 p.c of the Metropolis’s whole gasoline use. The averted GHG emissions from the gasoline effectivity financial savings is equal to taking 191 passenger autos off the highway for a yr. A giant a part of a decarbonized power future begins with stakeholder engagement. Speaking to prospects, enterprise leaders, and power specialists is step one in planning a long-term transition away from pure gasoline. Our packages, insurance policies, and schooling efforts are developed with assist and enter from our neighborhood stakeholders and prospects.

If in case you have a gasoline service at your property or enterprise, you are able to do your half to scale back your carbon footprint by lowering your gasoline utilization. When your gasoline home equipment attain the top of their lifespan, contemplate changing them with environment friendly electrical alternate options. The Metropolis presents rebates of up to $1,500 for the substitute of a gasoline water heater with a heat-pump water heater. Since CPAU’s electrical energy is carbon impartial, there will likely be a right away constructive influence on the local weather.  Whereas we acknowledge the business’s assist for and motion towards constructing electrification, CPAU is dedicated to sustaining the present gasoline distribution system safely so long as it operates. Study extra about how you can safely function gasoline home equipment at your property and what our duties are for sustaining the pure gasoline distribution system at cityofpaloalto.org/gassafety

Gasoline Utility Based in 1917 Fiscal 12 months 2020
Variety of Residential Accounts 21,451
Variety of Industrial Accounts 2,319
Complete Miles of Gasoline Mains 211
Complete Miles of Gasoline Providers Traces 201
Financial savings Via Effectivity Packages (cumulative financial savings, FY 2008–2019, in therms) 2,518,425

Fiber Optics

Native companies and organizations are honing their digital edge utilizing CPAU’s fiber-optic community. As boundaries of time and area recede in a tech-oriented financial system, having safe entry to quick web service is now not a luxurious. It’s a necessity. Palo Alto is acknowledged worldwide as a pacesetter in cutting-edge technological growth, a spot the place revolutionary concepts are developed and launched. Referred to as the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley,” Palo Alto is the place a lot of at the moment’s main high-tech firms  had been incubated.Little shock, then, that CPAU has developed a darkish fiber ring of practically 49 miles for ultra-fast web entry to assist innovation, schooling, and commerce. Darkish fiber, which consists of preexisting underground infrastructure and metropolis companies, requires {hardware} and software program connections to run these metropolis companies. Whereas fiber optic cables which might be actively sending information through gentle wavelengths are thought-about “lit,” the remainder of the unused fibers laying in wait are deemed unlit — or “darkish.”Cities across the nation have additionally chosen to supply unused capability on their fiber optic programs. CPAU initially constructed its fiber optic community to improve its personal electrical energy system, however the nature of fiber optics is that capability is usually far higher than wanted for solely our personal group’s functions.

Fiber Optic Utility Based in 1996 Fiscal 12 months 2020
Variety of Buyer Accounts 194
12 months of Fiber Optic Spine Building 1997
Route Miles of Fiber Cable (Full Spine): 47.96
Spine Fiber-Miles 6,005.9
Miles of Overhead Fiber Optic Cable 23.36
Miles of Underground Fiber Optic Cable 66.4
Industrial Buildings Linked to Fiber Optic Spine 201
Gross Gross sales for “Darkish Fiber Licensing” (in {Dollars}) 4.4 Million

Refuse and Zero Waste

The objectives for the Refuse Fund are to attenuate waste technology and maximize recycling and reuse packages to realize zero waste by 2030; to guard the setting by safely accumulating and disposing of hazardous waste; and to successfully keep and monitor the Metropolis’s closed landfill to satisfy all regulatory necessities.

Refuse and Zero Waste Fiscal 12 months 2020
Waste Diverted from Landfill 81%
Complete Tons of Supplies Recycled/ Composted 51,852
% of Industrial Accounts with Compost and Recycling Service 100%
Households Serviced Via Family Hazardous Waste Program 4,519
% of Households with Mini-can Rubbish Service 44%

Monetary Highlights

2020 Monetary Highlights (in Hundreds of thousands) Electrical Pure Gasoline Water Wastewater Fiber Optics Refuse
Gross sales Income $146,060 $35,174 $46,369 $20,335 $4,445 $30,125
Curiosity, Charges & Different Income $27,706 $3,320 $4,966 $1,503 $1,546 $3,788
Commodity Buy Prices $90,791 $11,102 $21,773 $10,233 0 $23,044
Working Prices $37,427 $13,162 $17,141 $6,569 $2,470 $13,609
Capital Depreciation $8,498 $3,454 $3,002 $2,443 $418 $86

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