2022 CEO letter

""2022 was the first full year of work to achieve our 2030 Clean Energy Vision and we made critical foundational progress toward our ambitious zero carbon goal. I’m especially proud of all we achieved for our customers and community, while reimagining many aspects of our business amid significant operational and economic challenges and the 3rd year of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As a community-owned company, it means so much to be able to get back out in the community through our STEM education, workforce development and other community engagement and outreach efforts. We were out at over 500 events: from SMUD’s solar car races to our job and career fairs educating youth and under-resourced communities about the new clean energy career pathways to our flagship events like the California State Fair, which resulted in 25,000 pounds of food donated to the Elk Grove Food Bank.

SMUD demonstrated noteworthy leadership, flexibility and operational excellence to deal with complex issues head-on, including a record-setting heatwave. While facing soaring power prices in an increasingly tight power market, shortages of key materials due to global supply chain constraints and labor shortages and persistently escalating inflation, we didn’t just persevere and overcome, we continued to move confidently toward our 2030 Clean Energy Vision. With the commitment to affordability, reliability and equity firmly in place, we are continuing to innovate and collaborate our way to a clean energy future.

2022 was full of significant accomplishments:

  • Continued progress in delivering on our 2030 Zero Carbon Plan, including significant outreach, customer engagement, securing new clean energy resources and extensive studies to ensure continued world-class reliability to support the most aggressive carbon reduction goal of any large utility in the United States.
  • By engaging our customers to reduce their energy usage, we not only kept the lights on for SMUD customers, we also partnered with the Governor’s Office, California Energy Commission and California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to help the State avoid rotating outages during the September heatwave.
  • We supported our customers and community during the 3rd year of the COVID-19 pandemic as we returned to normal collection activities. Through extensive outreach and communications, and by securing nearly $10 million in 2022 from the California Average Payment Program (CAPP), we were able to ease the burden on our impacted families. This builds on the additional funding we received to pay down customers’ bills in the prior 2 years from CAPP, the Sacramento Emergency Rental Assistance, Home Energy Assistance program, EnergyHELP and other Bill Assistance programs.
  • We took a large step forward in our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) efforts, completing and communicating our DEIB strategy, which includes goals, metrics and tactics to make DEIB part of everything we do internally and externally.
  • We finalized our Community Impact Plan in partnership with external partners to ensure we bring low-income customers and small/medium business customers along on our journey to zero carbon.
  • 2022 was an important year for collaboration and partnerships that support our Clean Energy Vision and other strategic priorities and deliver benefits for the entire Sacramento Region in the process. We joined a four-agency partnership with the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Sacramento Area Council of Governments and Sacramento Regional Transit to forge a regional approach to electric transportation and secure funding to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, abate exposure to toxins and transform the region’s neighborhoods into sustainable communities
  • We made major progress on reliability and capacity projects that support grid reliability and make our power supply cleaner. These included progress on securing additional renewable power resources, planning for new bulk substations and the cutover from Station A to Station G as well as go-live for phase 1 of our Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) and Distribute Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) project.
  • In a multi-department effort, we safely and successfully helped 830 employees who had been working remotely due to the pandemic return to SMUD campuses.

Because our customers and community are at the heart of all we do, our employees are deeply committed to SMUD’s mission of making the Sacramento region a better place to live. Through our SMUD Cares employee giving campaign, employees personally donated close to $400,000 to local non-profits in 2022 and volunteered nearly 3,000 hours in the community.

2022 was an exceptional year for SMUD thanks to the dedication, innovation and hard work of our employees, while being under a tremendous amount of pressure during some extraordinarily challenging situations.

I’m extremely excited to see the progress we’ll make on our 2030 Clean Energy Vision, taking even bolder steps forward together with our partners, customers and community this year!


Paul Lau
CEO & General Manager