News Details

City Promotes SunShares Discount Program on Solar, Zero Emissions Vehicles and EV Charging Equipment

The City of Palo Alto is telling the community that there is no better time to go solar or purchase a zero-emissions vehicle. Palo Alto is participating in Bay Area SunShares, a limited time group-buy program that offers discounted rates on solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, zero-emissions vehicle purchases and electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment. SunShares pools the buying power of homeowners, renters and vehicle drivers to offer discounted rates through a bulk-buy process. The program is open to any resident or employee of a company within Bay Area, Sacramento and Yolo counties.

SunShares is administered by the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3), a nonprofit working for collective action on sustainability issues. The group-buy model of the program helps solar and EV companies reduce high costs associated with marketing and customer acquisition, which in turn allows the firms to offer discounted pricing. These “soft costs” are widely seen as one of the primary barriers to accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies. The cities and companies involved in SunShares see it as a way to provide a benefit to their residents and employees while moving toward regional climate goals.

“The City of Palo Alto supports participation in SunShares as one of many ways to reduce or eliminate emissions from energy generation, vehicle transportation and fuel those vehicles through clean solar energy,” said Ed Shikada, assistant city manager and general manager of Utilities. “Participating in a solar group-buy program is part of our Local Solar Plan and further supports our sustainability and climate action goals through making it easier and more economical to drive emissions free.”

The program has vetted solar companies and contractors, as well as zero-emissions vehicle manufacturers, to make it easy for people to participate in the program with little worry about botched deals or false financial promises.

SunShares provides free, third-party technical advice to help inform customer decision-making. In previous years, the SunShares program has led to successful installation of over 5 megawatts (MW) of new solar across Northern California.

SunShares registration is available through November 10 and PV contracts must be signed by December 31, 2017. Palo Alto is hosting a workshop on September 23 to provide additional information and assistance to interested applicants. Details at

About the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU): The City of Palo Alto is the only municipality in California operating a full suite of utility services, including water, wastewater, electric and fiber optics, natural gas, refuse and storm drain services. Since 2013, the City’s electric supply portfolio has been carbon neutral. For more about CPAU’s solar and EV programs, visit or

About the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3): BC3 projects engage a diverse array of Bay Area organizations, spanning the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Learn more at

Last Updated August 17, 2017