Please give us your opinion!
There are trade-offs involved in the decision for the City to buy electricity primarily from “green” sources. After reviewing the background information below, pleaseclick here to take a very short three question survey to let us know how you---as a customer of our community-owned utility---would value those trade-offs.
On May 21, 2012 the City Council declared support for a policy to pursue a carbon-neutral electric portfolio. They directed Utilities staff to develop a plan by December 2012 to achieve that goal. Click here to read the full report to the Council.
A “carbon neutral electric portfolio” would be one where all the sources for the electricity Palo Alto buys are considered to be “green,” i.e. they do not generate carbon emissions and release them into the atmosphere. Examples of resources typically considered “carbon neutral” would be hydroelectric power, solar power and wind power. There are debates on exactly how to define “carbon neutral” and agreeing upon this definition will be part of the process in establishing such a carbon neutral portfolio policy.
While it may seem obvious that pursuing a policy to buy 100% cleaner “green” power is a good thing, this decision comes at a cost, since green power sources are typically more expensive than more traditional “brown” power sources. Also, when people know their power is coming from “green” sources, they may feel less concerned about being as careful in their energy use.
Therefore, as staff considers various alternatives for achieving a carbon-neutral portfolio, we need and want community input on the various trade-offs. Click here to take a very short survey and let us know what you think!