Tips to Help You Save

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Saving Energy and Water at Home

Home Efficiency

As we are all transitioning into working from home, The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) would like to provide tips to help customers reduce their energy use that could lower their utility bill

Working and Learning from Home

Most of us are now working from home while we shelter in place, which means that our home energy and water use patterns have changed. CPAU would like to share tips for saving energy and water to help keep down utility bill costs. Find more great resources and ideas online.

  • Be sure to turn off computers and other office equipment when not in use.
  • Use an advanced power strip which can cut power off and save energy since they are able to detect when a device is in standby mode.
  • Set your computer for energy savings. Checking your “sleep” settings can save just a bit more on your electricity bill.
  • Set office equipment, such as printers and scanners, to automatically switch to sleep mode when not in use.
  • Take advantage of natural lighting. If needed, a desk lamp is usually more efficient than whole room lighting.
  • Use energy-efficient equipment, such as ENERGY STAR® labeled devices.
  • Install a battery back-up system to safely power-down your computer (and save your files!) in case of an electric outage.
Power Strip

Energy Saving Tips

  • Always turn off the light when you leave the room.
  • Embrace natural light and air by utilizing your curtains and windows.
  • Run full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Give your stove or oven a break and utilize your smaller kitchen appliances. Cooking appliances like slow cookers, microwaves, and toaster ovens use anywhere from 50% - 80% less energy than standard stove tops and ovens.
  • Change out the bulbs in your most utilized light fixtures to ENERGY STAR® certified bulbs. 

Water Saving Tips

  • Learn how to check your home for leaks indoor and outdoor by viewing our easy steps with this short video. The most common leaks are found in irrigation systems and toilets.
  • Contact Valley Water for a free do-it-yourself Water Wise indoor survey kit to easily check your home for leaks and make efficiency improvement opportunities.
  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Wash full loads when laundry day comes around.
  • Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators 
  • Add mulch to your landscaped areas to conserve water outside.
  • Optimize your landscape watering schedule for maximum efficiency.
  • Trade in the hose for a broom when cleaning outdoor areas.
  • Did you know that setting your mower blades to 3” not only encourages deeper root growth, but can also save you 16-50 gallons of water per day? 

Learn more about Palo Alto’s water resources and find tips and resources at

Past Workshop Videos

Videos from our Fall 2019 workshops are now live! Click on the topics below to learn more about fun, water-saving projects you can do at home.

Pruning and Propagation: Making New Plants from Old 

Instructor: Deva Luna 

Rainwater Harvesting: Rain Gardens, Rain Barrels and Cisterns

Instructor: Sherri Osaka 

Celebrate Earth Day at Home


With Earth Day coming up on Wednesday, April 22, there are several ways to celebrate Mother Earth. Our latest #PaloAltoConnect blog includes a summary of ways to join in Earth Day activities and raise awareness from the safety of your home during the Coronavirus pandemic. Read it here.

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Financial Assistance 

Business resources

Current Payment Resources

During the shelter in place declaration, we have expanded some of our financial resources for our customers:

  • A moratorium on residential and commercial service disconnections due to non-payment
  • The period for payment arrangements for all customers has been extended up to 18 months
  • Program availability is subject to change.

Visit for the most up to date information regarding COVID-19.

Project PLEDGE

Through the generosity of Palo Alto resident donors, the City of Palo Alto Utilities is able to provide one-time utility bill assistance for past due amounts up to $750 when unexpected hardship strikes. Available to qualified residential customers, ProjectPLEDGE funds are often their last resort for paying their bills.

Donate Now! Help replenish ProjectPLEDGE funds to provide support to your neighbors in need.

If you are interested in applying or need more information about Project PLEDGE call Customer Service at (650) 329‐2161.

Residential Rate Assistance Program

The Rate Assistance Program (RAP) is a 25% discount on portions of your utility bill and is available to residents who are experiencing financial hardship or have a medical condition that requires higher than normal consumption. Supporting documentation will be required to confirm eligibility for RAP.

To learn more or see if you qualify for RAP, contact us at: or (650) 329-2161.

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The Palo Alto Utilities funded Home Efficiency Genie advisors are ready to help you with energy and water saving advice. Give them a call at 650-713-3411 or email them at

Refrigerator Recycling


The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) is offering $50 for your old Refrigerator or freezer. Pickup is FREE and we will come to your home or office.

Don’t forget to call us for a free pickup of your old refrigerator or freezer! (888) 540-7756 or

Contact Us:


(650) 329-2241