Electricity Markets

SMUD to provide CCA with decarbonization tools

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has entered into an agreement with Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) to provide the community choice aggregator (CCA) with services to support its efforts to reduce in carbon dioxide emissions.

Under the agreement, SMUD will provide Silicon Valley Clean Energy with a “menu of services,” Aimee Baily, director of decarbonization and grid innovation at SVCE, said. Those services support the decarbonization goals laid out in SVCE’s decarbonization roadmap adopted by the CCA’s board in December.

SMUD will be providing support for SCVE’s programs that focus on all-electric building and design incentives, installing more electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and moving from gas to high-efficiency electric water heaters. SMUD will also help SVCE with the development of an online customer resource center that can help customers monitor and reduce their emissions.

“We were seeking a partner that had both great depth and breadth of experience to help us quickly launch a portfolio of innovative programs spanning multiple program areas,” Bailey said. It is an “added and important benefit that SVCE and SMUD are both public agencies with a high degree of mission alignment, specifically the hyper-focus on our customers and community and on addressing climate change,” she said.

SMUD has been providing Valley Clean Energy and East Bay Community Energy, also a California CCA, with call center, billing, data management, wholesale energy, and financial and business operational services since 2018, but this will be the first time SMUD is providing a CCA with an expanded program design and operation services.

“SMUD’s expertise in the utility industry allows us to deliver the full scope of support services needed by CCAs and generate new revenues to support our investments in our infrastructure, customers and community,” SMUD spokeswoman Lindsay VanLaningham said.

VanLaningham noted that SMUD is making “significant investments” in its grid infrastructure to integrate more distributed and renewable resources and is investing more technology to provide its customers with better information, tools and options.

As a result, the utility is seeking new sources of revenue to help fund these investments rather than asking customers to fund all of them through increased electric service rates, she said, adding that SMUD is also interested in helping expand public power options for its neighbors.

SMUD’s mission is “strongly aligned” with the CCA model that values local control, renewable energy, greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability, customer choice and price stability, VanLaningham said.

SMUD’s current power supply portfolio is 50% carbon dioxide free, and its new Integrated Resource Plan has goals to be carbon neutral by 2040. SMUD aims to reach those goals by expanding its renewable power supply and providing rebates and programs to its customers that reduce carbon emissions. Those programs include energy efficiency rebates, home electrification contractors, and electric vehicle incentives.

SMUD and nearly two dozen homebuilders have teamed up to build more than 1,000 all-electric homes over the next two years in several neighborhoods in the community-owned electric utility’s Sacramento County service territory, SMUD noted on June 27.

The homes are included in the SMUD Smart Home program and are part of a broader electrification effort by SMUD.