CESA Member California

“The Sacramento Municipal Utility District serves its customers with affordable and reliable electricity in the most environmentally responsible way possible. SMUD’s goals align with those of the Clean Energy States Alliance. SMUD is always looking for ways to maximize the benefits of energy efficiency, clean technologies and renewable resources to help us develop a balanced and sustainable power supply. CESA’s expertise and support are valuable assets as we move toward a cleaner future.” Timothy Tutt, Program Manager - State Regulatory Affairs, SMUD

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The Sacramento Municipal Utility District generates, transmits and distributes electricity across a 900-square-mile service territory. SMUD is governed by a seven-member of Board Directors selected by Sacramento-area voters to staggered four-year terms. SMUD is the nation’s sixth-largest public utility, serving 604,000 customers and a population of 1.4 million.

Environmental leadership is one of SMUD’s core values. In 2008, SMUD adopted a goal of achieving 33% of its electricity mix from renewable sources by 2020. SMUD has also adopted a goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to 10% of our 1990 total by the year 2050. SMUD’s commitment to clean power extends back to the 1950s with the building of hydroelectric facilities in the Sierra Nevada and continues today with the development of a smarter and more efficient electric grid and a growing supply of renewable resources. SMUD also provides a variety of energy efficiency options for our customer-owners, and has a goal of achieving 15% energy savings in 10 years.

SMUD's Clean Energy Progress

In 2010, SMUD became the first large California utility to have 20 percent of its electricity come from renewable sources. At the end of 2012, roughly 28 percent of SMUD’s electricity came from sources classified by California legislators as renewable: biomass, wind, solar and small hydro. With resources under construction, SMUD expects to about 38% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2014.

  • Factoring in the carbon-free electricity produced by SMUD’s large hydroelectric facilities in the Upper American River Project and its contract with the Western Area Power Administration, over 50 percent of SMUD’s power mix is carbon free. SMUD has no coal power in its mix. 
  • SMUD’s mix of renewable resources demonstrates a true “portfolio” approach, with significant contributions from diverse sources, including biomass, biogas and biomethane, wind, solar, small hydro and soon geothermal power.
  • SMUD has one of the most successful voluntary Green energy programs in the country. Nearly 10% of our residential customers (and close to 5% of non-residential) have agreed to pay a few dollars more each month to receive 50% or 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.
  • In addition to offering incentives for customers that install solar on their homes and businesses, SMUD has one of the first “community solar” type programs in the country.  SMUD’s SolarShares program allows customers to sign up for “shares” in a larger, offsite solar system, and receive credits on their bills commensurate with their “portion” of the larger system.
  • SMUD developed and implemented an innovative feed In tariff program, based on the value of the electricity to our customers, resulting in 100 MW of mid-sized solar systems installed in our service territory by the end of 2012. These systems helped SMUD to be one of the “top ten” solar utilities in the country.

SMUD’s Energy Efficiency and Research and Development

  • SMUD’s energy efficiency programs have resulted in customer savings of approximately $950 million and reduced carbon-dioxide emissions of more than 4 million pounds since 1994. 
  • Since the SMUD Board adopted in 2007 a goal to reduce system-wide power use by 15 percent over 10 years, customers have consistently cut their energy use by at least 1.5 percent annually. SMUD’s energy efficiency goals are 50 percent more aggressive than state requirements.
  • To assure SMUD’s long-term competitiveness and its ability to deliver innovative products and services, SMUD has a robust Energy, Research & Development program that benefits emerging technologies throughout the Sacramento region.
  • Electric Transportation - Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) can curtail our dependence on oil, cut carbon emissions and reduce energy costs to fuel your company vehicles.

SMUD’s SmartSacramento initiative, bolstered by a $127.5 million smart grid infrastructure grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, involves a comprehensive rollout of Smart Meters (finished in 2012) and a variety of distribution upgrades that make the entire grid “smarter”. This creates new possibilities for energy efficiency, new technologies and clean power.

Increasing renewable supplies and reducing carbon emissions while keeping the lights on and offering some of the lowest rates in California requires a balanced approach. The challenges now are to determine the best ways to maintain the reliable delivery of electricity while incorporating increasing amounts of variable resources such as wind and solar into our system, and finding a better understanding of the path to reducing our carbon emissions to 10% of 1990 levels by 2050.

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