Palo Alto Unanimously Approves Mandate to Require Pre-Wiring All New Homes for EV Chargers


It feels like forever ago when we first reported on the city of Palo Alto, California’s plan to mandate pre-wiring for EV charger in all new-construction homes.

Wired Up...Charger Installed...Ready to Go

Wired Up…Charger Installed…Ready to Go

Thankfully, it’s now a done deal as the Palo Alto city council voted unanimously on Monday night to approve an ordinance requiring that all new single-family homes be pre-wired for EV chargers.

As the San Jose Mercury News reports in a breaking article on the topic:

“New single-family homes that are built in Palo Alto will have to come rigged for electric vehicle chargers.”

“The requirement is spelled out in a new ordinance the city council unanimously approved Monday night.

“Homebuilders would have to install the circuit and panel necessary for a single Level 2 electric vehicle charger. But it would be up to the homeowner to select and install the actual wiring.”

It’s believed that the additional wiring and work will add only $500 to the cost of a new home, which is next to nothing when you consider that homes in Palo Alto go for over $1 million on average..

San Jose Mercury News adds:

“While the ordinance is expected to bolster electric vehicle ownership, it won’t have a significant impact. The city issues roughly 110 permits for new single-family homes every year, and the majority of those are for tear-downs and rebuilds.”

City council says it will look at whether or not it should make the mandate apply to other types of residences, like condos and multi-family homes.  The ordinance remains “open for modification,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

Categories: Charging, General


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9 Comments on "Palo Alto Unanimously Approves Mandate to Require Pre-Wiring All New Homes for EV Chargers"

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Ocean Railroader

What’s funny is I had a giant plug added to my house for a giant six kilowatt 30 amp space heater but it could easily be used for an EV.


Oh jeez . . . you need natural gas or a heat pump. Resistance electric heat is too expensive.


Especially if you’re in a region where your electricity comes from burning natural gas in the first place!


Yes, a concrete house with an uninterrupted insulation envelope on the outside for a start. Put water circulating channels in the concrete walls, ceilings or floors, or where ever you want to control the temperature. Then you have to heat or cool the water and manage how it’s sent or retrieved to where it’s needed. Solar panels that both generate electricity and that need a water jacket for cooling would work in some places.
A good old fashioned wood burning fireplace can both heat and cool and pollute at acceptable levels, if it’s designed to burn at maximum temperature always. Scandanavians have had such things for hundreds of years, ceramic stove is the name of one type. In the hot months, cool underground air can be introduced into the house through the thermal mass of the stove when it’s cold.


@Spec9, probably, although it depends on the circumstances.

Admittedly I’m in a somewhat special case, with a problem many people wish they had, but solar on my roof produced more than I anticipated over the summer. While utilities pay for those excess kW*h, they typically do so at their wholesale production costs, in my case about 5 cents.
Even in a 100% efficient furnace, natural gas would cost me more, so these days I’m burning some of that cheap electricity through stupid resistive heaters.

Of course it’d be smarter to replace my aging gas-fired heater with a heat pump, and this is something I intend to do eventually. Problem is, that is seriously expensive. Such significant upfront cost may not make sense for a garage which probably isn’t heated all season long.

Alan Campbell

Builders should also be required to build a % of homes with solar panels also.


Yes, this is a good idea too.

Bill Howland

So let’s see the text of the mandate: Some locales require a 40 amp circuit. if all that is required is L2 compatibility, then 15 amps would meet the Mandate. (Would legally allow for a 12 amp evse., such as I think comes with the Porche’s).

Bill Howland

This rather looks like Brian’s house.. I do like the very convenient toilet. Sometimes you just gotta go.