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The Palo Alto City Council voted Monday night to implement a Carbon Neutral Plan, which commits the city to pursuing only carbon-neutral electric resources, effective immediately and from now on.

Palo Alto owns all its own utilities, and the city has many contracts for renewable resources in its electric portfolio from wind farms, solar arrays and renewable gas captured from landfills. In addition to these renewable resources, about 50% of the city's electric supply portfolio comes from hydroelectric generation.

The decision to make all its power purchases carbon-neutral from now on involves continued promotion of energy efficiency, taking advantage of existing carbon-free resources, contracting for new short- and long-term renewable resources and, if needed, balancing any small percentage of non-renewable power purchased with renewable energy certificates. The economic impact of being 100% “carbon neutral” is estimated to be under $3/year on the average Palo Altan’s electric bill.

“As a city, we’ve had cheaper, greener power for our citizens for decades, and being able to make this recent move to 100 percent carbon-free electricity is just another example of how owning our own utilities pays off,” says City Manager James Keene.



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