City of Palo Alto Utilities Offers New Green-e Climate Certified Natural Gas Offset Program to Residential and Commercial Customers


City of Palo Alto Utilities Offers New Green-e Climate Certified Natural Gas Offset Program to Residential and Commercial Customers

CPAU launches PaloAltoGreen Gas, a first of its kind Green-e Climate certified gas offset program

Jeff Swenerton
Center for Resource Solutions
Catherine Elvert
City of Palo Alto Utilities

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 12, 2015)—Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) today announced that City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) has launched PaloAltoGreen Gas, a gas offset program that pairs Green-e® Climate certified carbon offsets with customers’ natural gas use. PaloAltoGreen Gas is the first Green-e Climate certified gas offset program offered by a municipal-level utility, and the first-ever Green-e Climate certified gas offset program offered to residential customers by a municipal utility.

Palo Alto residents and businesses can choose to offset 100% of the combustion emissions of their natural gas use. Businesses also have the option to buy carbon offsets in blocks of therms. CPAU customers can sign up for PaloAltoGreen Gas beginning January 8, 2015. The City has conveniently created three different channels for enrollment. Customers can enroll by mail, online at for residents or for businesses and by phone at 650-329-2161.

“PaloAltoGreen Gas is an exciting step forward for reducing the impact of our natural gas use,” said Todd Jones, manager of Green-e Climate. “While options are available for renewable electricity everywhere, this is the first time a municipal utility has offered a Green-e certified option to address the other main source of household emissions—our natural gas use.”

“In 2007, we adopted Palo Alto’s Climate Protection Plan that clearly outlined our goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sources,” said City Manager James Keene. “The PaloAltoGreen Gas program aligns with the plan’s vision, and is the first Green-e Climate certified gas offset program offered by a municipal utility, and the first to be offered to individual community members. This program helps move Palo Alto forward in our goal to become the greenest community in the country. Since 2013, Palo Alto has purchased 100% of its electric supplies from renewable energy sources and matches any ‘brown’ market purchases with Renewable Energy Certificates. However, there is still a carbon footprint associated with the natural gas we use in Palo Alto and emissions reduction projects are an effective way to offset these emissions.”

Through PaloAltoGreen Gas, carbon offsets are sourced from livestock methane capture projects; chiefly the Green Valley Dairy in Krakow, Wisconsin. Green Valley Dairy uses a methane digester to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas produced in its operations, and uses renewable electricity and waste heat from the electricity generators on-site. The offsets are provided by San Francisco–based Terrapass, Inc. and the project is certified by the Climate Action Reserve. Green-e Climate certifies the carbon offsets sold through the PaloAltoGreen Gas program.

Green-e Climate is the global retail standard for high-quality carbon offsets. It is an independent, third-party certification for utility gas offset programs and competitive gas offset products. It ensures that carbon offsets delivered to gas customers are real, permanent and verified. It certifies that the offsets come from projects that are beyond business-as-usual and registered with high-quality project standards. Green-e verifies gas customers’ exclusive ownership of the reductions as well as correct delivery, and protects against double selling. It also checks for certain disclosures related to offsets for gas customers as a safeguard for truth in advertising.


About City of Palo Alto Utilities
The City of Palo Alto is the only municipality in California operating a full suite of utility services. In 1896, two Stanford University professors, Charles Marx and Charles Benjamin Wing contended that the City could provide multiple utilities at rates significantly below those being charged by private companies. They were responsible for adding electric power (1900) to the city’s new water (1896) and sewer (1898) utility systems. A founding principle of those early pioneers was that such services must benefit the community. That principle continues to this day, with the electric and natural gas (1917) utilities returning millions of dollars for public safety (Police, Fire, and Emergency Services), a network of public libraries, and 4,200 acres of parks and open space areas. In 1996, Palo Alto, the “birthplace of Silicon Valley,” expanded its CPAU service by adding the commercial Fiber Optic “dark fiber” utility. These investments and their long-term financial returns to the local community support Palo Alto as a unique place to live and work. For more information, visit and,

About Green‑e and Center for Resource Solutions
A program of the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions, Green‑e is North America’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green‑e offers certification and verification services through Green‑e Energy, a renewable energy certification program; Green‑e Climate, a greenhouse gas emission reduction certification program; and Green‑e Marketplace, a program that provides forward-thinking organizations a simple, nationally recognized logo they can use to communicate their renewable energy and climate commitment to their customers and stakeholders. To learn more about Green‑e Certified products and programs available in all 50 states and Canada, visit‑



©2015 Center for Resource Solutions. For more information, see us at or call 415-561-2100.