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City of Palo Alto

Beacon Participant Profile

“Palo Alto has taken the lead in implementing environmentally sustainable policies at the local level. The city, adjacent to Stanford University, is moving forward to share its experiences with other cities around the world as part of an effort to address the environmental crisis of our time.” -Palo Alto Climate Protection Plan

About Palo Alto

  • Incorporated: April 16, 1894
  • Population: 64,403 (2010)
  • Location: 35 miles South of San Francisco and 14 miles North of San Jose
  • Elevation: 30 feet
  • Area: 25.79 square miles

Climate Action Activities

Climate Action Resources


Platinum Beacon Award (2017)

Silver Beacon Award (2014)

Agency Energy Savings

  • Platinum Level, 22% (2017)
  • Silver Level, 9% (2014)

Agency Natural Gas Savings

  • Platinum Level, 35% (2014)

Agency Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Platinum Level, 52% (2013)

Community Greenhouse Gas Reductions

  • Platinum Level, 21% (2013)

Sustainability Best Practices

  • Platinum Level (2013)

Palo Alto Builds on a Legacy of Innovation as a Sustainable Community

The City of Palo Alto won a Silver-level Beacon Award in 2014 for its 53 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 35 percent reduction in natural gas and 9 percent reduction in energy usage in agency facilities over a 1990 baseline.

Case Story

LED Streetlights in Palo Alto

After completing a DOE sponsored demonstration project, the City of Palo Alto has decided to move forward with the installation of energy-efficient LED streetlights throughout the community.


City of Palo Alto – Involving the Public in Climate Change Action

Palo Alto is using an innovative and interactive online reporting tool to share the City’s progress in achieving its sustainability goals.

Case Story

Palo Alto Solar PV Demonstration Project

Learn more about the City of Palo Alto’s solar PV demonstration project.

Case Story

Palo Alto Launches a Virtual Lottery

The City of Palo Alto is the only municipality in California that operates a full suite of city-owned utility services — electricity, gas, water, wastewater and fiber optic. For years, the city has been providing its residents with home energy reports and neighborhood comparisons in an effort to show how a customer’s energy use stacks up compared to their neighbors’ energy use. In February 2016 Palo Alto launched a new online portal where customers can view in one place their usage and savings of water, gas and electricity.

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