Energy efficiency program provides funds for customers to upgrade and save

Small and medium-sized business customers of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) were able to save money on their bills by participating in the SMUD Complete Energy Solutions program. The program provides generous rebates to help business customers pay for comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits that they otherwise might not be able to afford. As a result, those businesses will save a combined nearly 8 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in savings. Those savings deliver positive bottom-line impacts as well as community benefits. The equivalent energy saved is enough to power nearly 1,000 homes annually.

About 400 customers participated in the federally funded grant pilot of the Complete Energy Solutions program that started in 2011 and just concluded. Another 120 customers have participated in a SMUD-funded version of the program started in July 2012 and finishes this June.

The pilots were so successful that SMUD will offer a new 3-year version of the program this summer, making rebates and incentives available to more customers. Energy-saving upgrades include fluorescent lighting, interior and exterior LED lighting, refrigeration, HVAC, controls and other measures. Efficiency improvements averaging 20 percent are well within reach for participating customers.

As the name implies, Complete Energy Solutions is designed to take into account the building as a system and uses an innovative whole-building approach that makes a building perform better by making it more energy stingy. Energy-efficient improvements increase comfort and value, provide better indoor air quality, and lower energy bills. The program also provides community benefits by enabling SMUD to reach long-term energy efficiency goals, reduce peak demand, keep rates stable and maintain high service reliability.

The new Complete Energy Solutions is available for small to mid-sized stores, restaurants, offices and other businesses that draw no more than 500 kilowatts of electricity. These businesses will be eligible for comprehensive retrofits to boost the energy efficiency of lighting, refrigeration and HVAC. Rebates are expected to cover well over half of retrofit costs.

Complete Energy Solutions is yet another energy efficiency program that helps all customers of the community-owned utility. Since 2007, when the SMUD Board of Directors approved an aggressive goal to reduce systemwide power use by 15 percent over ten years, SMUD customers have consistently cut their energy use systemwide by at least 1.5 percent annually. This has resulted in "dividends" being paid back to customers in the form of lower bills and better service. The Board’s ambitious goal, which exceeds state requirements by 50 percent, makes SMUD one of the most energy-efficient regions in California. After five years, the policy is right on track. Since 2007, SMUD customers have saved nearly 1,900 GWh of electricity, which is equivalent to powering over 220,000 homes for a full year.

For more information, visit the Complete Energy Solutions page or call 1-888-742-SMUD.

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About SMUD

As the nation's sixth largest community-owned electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 65 years to Sacramento County (and a small portion of Placer County). SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD is the first large California utility to receive more than 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources