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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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City of Palo Alto Utilities - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program   

Last DSIRE Review: 01/14/2013
Program Overview:
State: California
Incentive Type: Utility Rebate Program
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Clothes Washers, Dishwasher, Refrigerators, Dehumidifiers, Equipment Insulation, Water Heaters, Lighting, Lighting Controls/Sensors, Chillers , Furnaces , Boilers, Heat pumps, Central Air conditioners, Steam-system upgrades, Building Insulation, Windows, Motor VFDs, Processing and Manufacturing Equipment, Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Custom/Others pending approval, Led Exit Signs, Vending Machine Controls, Commercial Refrigeration Equipment, Personal Computing Equipment, Food Service Equipment, Tankless Water Heater, Heat Pump Water Heater, LED Lighting, Server Virtualization
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial
Amount:T12 Fixtures: Custom
Reduced Wattage T8: $1 - $1.50/unit
Accent/Directional Lighting: $4 - $45
Signage: Varies
Interior Pulse-Start Metal Halide: $20 - $150/unit
Exterior Pulse-Start Metal Halide: $15 - $75/unit
Interior Induction Fixtures: $25 - $125
Exterior Induction Fixtures: $25 - $100
LED Case Lighting: $60 - $80/door
LED Lighting: Custom
Occupancy Sensors: $20 - $55/unit
Window Film: $1.35/square foot
Attic/Roof/Wall Insulation: $0.15/square foot
Dishwasher: $50 - $500
Ozone Clothes Washer: $24/pound
Gas Water Heater/Direct Contact Water Heater: $2/MBtuh
Heat Pump Water Heater: $30/unit
Tankless Water Heater: $2/Mbtuh
Boiler: $1 - $1.50/Mbtuh
Steam Traps: $14/unit
Tank/Pipe Insulation: $2 - $4/MBtuh or linear foot
Commercial Pool Heater: $2/MBtuh
Furnace: $150 - $300
Unitary/Split System AC: $80 - $100/ton
Package Terminal AC/Heat Pump: $100/unit
VFD for HVAC: $80/hp
Vending Misers: Free
Refrigeration Equipment: varies widely, see program website
Commercial Cooking Equipment: Varies by type and efficiency, see program website
Lab Upgrades: 50% of evaluation costs; $0.08/kWh saved; $1/therm saved
Commercial/Hospitality Direct Install Equipment: Free
Custom Measures: $0.10/first year kWh energy savings
Natural Gas Custom Rebate: $1.00/first year therm savings
Maximum Incentive:$100,000 per CPAU fiscal year (July 1 - June 30)
Incentives exceeding $50,000 must be pre-approved
Custom: 50% of project cost
Eligible System Size:Varies per technology
Equipment Requirements:See program forms for specific efficiency requirements
Rebates are restricted to upgrades of existing equipment.
All projects must exceed all federal and state government-mandated efficiency standards.
Replacement equipment must operate for minimum of 5 years.
New-construction, fuel-switching and co-generation projects are ineligible.
Installation Requirements:All equipment must be purchased and installed within 6 months of application approval
Equipment must be installed by a licensed contractor
Web Site:

City of Palo Alto Utilities, through the Commercial Advantage Program and several separate offerings, provides incentives for commercial customers to replace old equipment with new, more efficient equipment. Eligible businesses must receive electric service from the CPAU. In order to receive a rebate, your application must be accepted before purchasing your equipment. Rebates are available for:

  • Lighting
  • Boilers and Water Heating equipment
  • HVAC equipment
  • Heat rejection equipment
  • Laboratory Upgrades
  • Commercial Cooking equipment
  • Refrigeration equipment
  • Commercial Hospitality Upgrades
  • Custom rebates
  • Networked PC's Power Controls
  • Appliances and General equipment  

The rebate is capped at $100,000 per fiscal year, and applies to replacement equipment only. Applications must be approved before the replacement equipment is purchased, and the equipment must be installed within 6 months of the application approval. Energy savings for the custom rebate must be estimated by a professional engineer.  Facilities with at least 50% of square footage dedicated as lab space are eligible to participate in the Laboratory Energy Efficiency Program.

More information, including a list of qualifying products, specifications, and forms, can be found on the website listed above.

  City of Palo Alto Utilities
Utility Marketing Services
PO Box 10250
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Phone: (650) 329-2241
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.