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City of Palo Alto Utilities


May 2011 - Using information provided by utilities, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed "Top 10" rankings of utility green power programs for 2010 in the following categories: total sales of renewable energy to program participants, total number of customer participants, the percentage of customer participation, green power sales as a percentage of total utility retail electricity sales, and the lowest price premium charged for a green power program using new renewable resources.

Ranked by renewable energy sales (kWh/year), Austin Energy in Austin, Texas sold the largest amount of renewable energy in the nation through its voluntary green power program. Portland General Electric holds the top spot for total number of customer participants, while City of Palo Alto Utilities ranked highest for customer participation rate. Indianapolis Power & Light Company finished first for lowest residential price premium charged, and Waterloo Utilities in Wisconsin ranked highest for green power sales as a percentage of total retail electricity sales.

Green power sales from utility programs exceeded 6 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in 2010. Wind energy now represents more than three-fourths of electricity generated for green energy programs nationwide.

News Release - NREL Highlights 2010 Utility Green Power Leaders

Contact: Jenny Heeter, 303-275-4366


January 2008 - The City of Palo Alto announced that more than 20% of its residents have enrolled in the city's PaloAltoGreen voluntary renewable energy program, making it the first green pricing program to reach the 20% participation threshold. In December 2006, then-Mayor Judy Kleinberg challenged the community to strive for a 20% participation rate and the goal was achieved in less than 12 months.

Under the PaloAltoGreen program, residential, business and industrial customers can purchase renewable energy equivalent to their electricity needs at an additional cost of 1.5¢/kWh above standard electric rates. Currently, participants in the PaloAltoGreen program are purchasing 41.5 million kWh of wind and solar energy annually, or the equivalent output of 12 wind turbines.

News Release - Community Responds to 2006 Mayoral Challenge; PaloAltoGreen Reaches 20% Goal Before Year-end Target

News Article - Palo Alto Tops Country With Green Program

CPUC Contact: Brian Ward (650) 329-2251


November 2004 - Less than 18 months after unveiling its PaloAltoGreen renewable energy program, the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) announced that it has reached its goal of enrolling 10% of its customers in the program, making it the second utility green pricing program to achieve a double-digit customer participation rate. Currently, about 2,780 residential and business customers participate in the program through which customers can purchase green energy from wind and solar energy resources at an extra cost of 1.5¢/kWh above standard rates.

CPAU also recently announced that Roche, a Swiss-based healthcare group that employs about 1,000 people within the city, has committed to purchase 1.8 million kWh of renewable energy annually through the PaloAltoGreen program, or enough to meet 5% of the power required for its Palo Alto facilities.

News Release - PaloAltoGreen Achieves Enrollment Goal

News Release - Roche Expands its Commitment to Environmental Sustainability: Purchases One Wind Turbine of Renewable Energy through PaloAltoGreen


October 2004 - At a ceremony held during the Ninth National Green Power Marketing Conference in Albany, New York, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued Green Power Leadership Awards to 19 purchasers and six suppliers. The awards are designed to recognize the actions of individuals, companies, and organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources through voluntary green power markets.

Among green power purchasers, Montgomery County (Maryland), Staples Inc., Silk, Clif Bar, and the U.S. General Services Administration received Green Power Partner of the Year Awards—the highest purchasing honor given. In addition, the following purchasers were recognized for their substantial green power purchase commitments: Salt Lake City, Johnson & Johnson, New York Municipal Wind Buyers Group, College of the Atlantic, Whole Foods, Interface, Inc., Alterra Coffee Roasters, Lundberg Family Farms, Edwards Air Force Base, Harbec Plastics, California State University at Hayward, Mauna Lani Resort, Rodney Strong Vineyards, and the City and County of San Francisco, Moscone Convention Center.

Among green power suppliers, Austin Energy received the Green Power Program of the Year award, the highest honor. Lenox Municipal Utilities, PaloAltoGreen, Calpine, The Energy Cooperative of Pennsylvania, and PPM Energy, Inc. were also recognized for their substantial achievements as green power suppliers.

The Center for Resource Solutions issued recognition awards for outstanding leadership in building and shaping the market for renewable energy. Green Power Market Development Awards were presented to the following individuals and organizations: Western Washington Green Power Campaign, World Resources Institute, and Rob Harmon of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Honorable Mention awards were presented to the Maine Green Power Connection, and Alan Apt and Jim Welch of Fort Collins, Colorado.

News Release - 2004 Green Power Leadership Award Winners EPA, DOE, CRS To Honor National Green Power Leaders


October 2003 - The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) announced that defense and aerospace contractor Lockheed Martin plans to purchase enough green power to meet 10% of the annual electricity needs of its Palo Alto facilities through the utility's PaloAltoGreen program. The purchase will amount to 1.8 million kWh of renewable energy annually.

Separately, the utility announced that since unveiling its new program at the beginning of June, nearly 4% of its customers have subscribed to purchase green power and the city has set a goal of achieving a 10% customer participation rate within the next year. Under the program, which is Green-e certified, customers can purchase power generated from wind and solar resources at an additional cost of 1.5¢/kWh.

News Release - Lockheed Martin Commits to Landmark Large-Scale Renewable Power Purchase from the City of Palo Alto Utilities

News Release - City of Palo Alto Utilities Sets Goal for PaloAltoGreen to Become the #1 Renewable Energy Program in the Country

News Release - PaloAltoGreen Earns Important Renewable Energy Industry Certification

News Article - Green-energy program draws Lockheed Martin - No longer online bayarea.com

CPAU Contact: Linda Clerkson (650) 329-2656


August 2003 - Just nine weeks after unveiling its new PaloAltoGreen program, the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) announced that 940 community members, or 3.4% of the utility's residential and business customers, have enrolled in the program. Participating customers purchase energy generated from wind and solar resources at an additional cost of 1.5¢/kWh. 3 Phases Energy (now serviced by 3Degrees), a California-based renewable energy company, helped develop the program and manages the renewable energy purchases on behalf of the City.

News Release - City of Palo Alto Utilities' Renewable Energy Program Posts Impressive Launch (PDF 96 KB) Download Acrobat Reader

CPAU Contact: Linda Clerkson (650) 329-2656
3 Phases Contact: Dan Kalafatas (415) 561-6488


May 2003 - The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) is launching a new renewable energy offering for its residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The new product, known as Palo Alto Green, will consist of 100% renewable energy sourced from newly constructed wind turbine located within the western power system and new California-based solar photovoltaic projects. The city is teaming with 3 Phases Energy to develop the offering and manage the renewable energy purchases. The new product will be Green-e certified.

News Release - City of Palo Alto Utilities Announces Partnership with 3 Phases Energy Services to Launch New Wind and Solar Energy Offering, Palo Alto Green

3 Phases Contact: Dan Kalafatas (415) 346-7662


March 2000 - On March 6, the Palo Alto (CA) City Council unanimously approved a program through which the City of Palo Alto Utilities will offer residents a green power purchase option. The program will be formally announced in April on Earth Day.

The city will offer three green power options—customers can receive 25%, 50%, or 100% of their electricity from "future" green resources with the remainder of the product supplied with "existing" green resources. Resources used to supply the program may include small hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, and landfill gas. The price premiums will range from 1.2¢/kWh for the 25% future renewables product to 2.0¢/kWh for the 50% product and 3.4¢/kWh for the 100% product. City staff propose to use public benefits funds to lower the price of each product by 0.4¢/kWh. An average residential customer choosing the 100% option would pay about $15.00 more per month.

The city's market research found that about 50% of customers surveyed "would like to buy more green energy from Palo Alto." City staff expect that actual program participation will be between 2% and 4% of the residential and small commercial customer base in the first year and reach 5% within five years.

News Article - Making it easy to be green

Palo Alto Utilities Contact: Tom Kabat (650) 329-2659


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