New Service FAQs

New Service/Service Changes FAQs

Do I need to talk to Utilities Department for my new project?

Yes. New Water, Gas and Wastewater (WGW) services and meters installation that are the result of new construction, addition or remodel of a building within the limits of the City must have a project with the Utilities department. The process starts when the customer submits a request for new or a change in the existing WGW services.

How can I apply for the installation of a new utility service connection?

The applicant must present to the Utilities Department at the Development Center, 285 Hamilton Avenue, a completed " W-G-W APPLICATION FOR UTILITY SERVICE CONNECTION" (LOAD SHEET" including all service demands and 1 set of plans with a site plan showing the location of existing and new utilities.

Do I have to pay to have a new utility services connected?

To obtain City of Palo Alto utility service, the applicant must first pay for the facilities necessary to deliver these utilities to the property. Payment for these facilities is collected as a connection charge.

Connection charges are computed according to rules as published in the "Rate and Regulations Applicable to Utility Service with Information Affecting Rates and Service of City of Palo Alto, California". Schedules W-5, G-5, and S-5 prescribe connection charges for water, gas, and wastewater service respectively. If the cost of the service installation exceeds the standard connection fee, then the customer is billed for the estimated costs. The Engineering Manager must approve the engineer's estimate.

Who do I call for the schedule of my new water, gas and/or wastewater service installation?

Contact the Water, Gas and Wastewater Utilities Operations at (650) 496-6960.

When will my requested utility service be installed?

Gas should be once you have obtained an approved green tag inspection with UTL Inspector (650) 496-5940, it will be scheduled upon confirmation of payment.

Water can be scheduled by contacting Water Operations (650) 496-6907.

Sewer can be scheduled by contacting Sewer Operations (650) 496-6917.

What forms do I need to apply for disconnection of utility services?

The applicant shall submit a request to disconnect all utility services and /or meters including a signed affidavit of vacancy. Utilities will be disconnected or removed within 10 working days after receipt of request. The demolition permit will be issued after all utility services and/or meters have been disconnected and removed.(Application for utility disconnections prior to building demolition)

Who approves and inspects backflow preventer devices?

Building Inspection inspects and issues a permit for the installation of backflow devices. The phone number is (650) 329-2496.

A licensed tester must perform test and turn in results to Utilities Department Project Coordinator for Backflow (650) 496-6940 at 3201 E. Bayshore.

How long will it take to review my submittal?

Providing all the information is available at the time of submittal, you can expect a 10 days turn around or less.

What kind of costs can I expect for an electric service?

Depending on what kind of service is being requested and what we need to do to provide that service, you can expect either a flat connect fee or an estimated work order inclusive of labor and materials costs to provide the requested service.

How do I go about scheduling a Disconnect/Reconnect for a simple service upgrade of 200amps or less?

We are asking for a load sheet to be submitted for approval on all service upgrades. We recommend you secure an inspection date with the Building Department to approve your new panel. Once that's done, you need to call our Electric Dispatch at (650) 496-6914 to schedule on the same day as your inspection (disconnect/reconnect) for your service. NOTE: we can only reconnect if the Building Inspector approves the new panel.

I am preparing to submit plans for a permit on a new Commercial Development, but before I do, I would like to discuss what can be expected to provide electric service?

We are happy to meet with you for a preliminary review of your electric service needs. We can layout your service options and determine a service location relevant to the available source. We can provide a clear explanation of utilities standards and policies regarding your service request.

Are you located at the Development Center downtown?

Yes, we have a staff person there to help you. Our main office is at 1007 Elwell Court off of East Bayshore Road near the San Antonio exit off Highway 101. Meetings at the main office on Elwell are by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call (650) 566-4500.

I now live in the main house and I have a rental cottage located at the rear of my property. I would like to have a separate meter for the cottage; can that be done?

Our policies allow only one service per lot. To meter a separate unit on your property, you will need to hire a licensed electrician to change out your existing single meter panel with a dual meter panel. You will also need to contact our customer service department at or (650) 329-2161 to set up an account for the new meter.