Building sustainable communities



This community-focused program aligns with SMUD’s core purpose and vision to enhance the quality of life for all our customers through innovative energy solutions. The program helps bring environmental equity and economic vitality to all communities in our service area, with special attention given to historically underserved neighborhoods.

The need for equity

A recent report* found that between 2006 and 2016 the Sacramento region ranked in the bottom-third of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in growth and prosperity. The report concluded that the increased disparity in quality of life between high-performing and low-performing neighborhoods, including access to basic services such as health care, transportation, education and economic opportunity, is holding back our entire region's potential.

*2018 Brookings Institute Study, Charting a Course to the Sacramento Region’s Future Economic Prosperity.

See how our Sustainable Communities partnerships are helping all our neighborhoods have the best chance at a high quality of life.

We can make our communities shine

Have a project in mind to strengthen our communities? Our Shine Awards provide funds to help nonprofits support and revitalize neighborhoods in our service territory. The application period is now open!

Apply now

Image of girl with a toy wind turbine.

Partnerships to build thriving neighborhoods

SMUD believes in the ability to make a greater collective community impact through partnerships. We’re looking for private industry, government agencies and nonprofits to invest in and implement programs that provide equitable access to proven indicators of sustainable community success. 

Sustainable Communities social wellbeing icon   Sustainable Communities healthy environment icon Sustainable Communities prosperous economy icon   Sustainable Communities mobility icon

Social Well-being

Healthy Environment

Prosperous Economy


  • Community education
  • Community safety
  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Community events & sponsorships
  • Collective impact partnerships
  • Under-served community development
  • Air quality improvements
  • Carbon emission reduction
  • Climate readiness
  • Environmental justice
  • Health equity
  • Tree canopy
  • Digital accessibility
  • Economic development
  • Small business development
  • Low-income programs
  • Workforce development
  • Technology skills training
  • Electric vehicle
  • Autonomous transportation
  • Public transit access
  • Charging station
  • Walkability
  • Shared mobility access

Screenshot of Sustainable Communities Resource Map updated December 2023

Resource Priorities Map

Updated December 2023

We’ve updated and expanded the data in our Resource Priorities Map, making it easier to identify communities in our service area that need the most help.

This interactive map can assist in pinpointing the neighborhoods most likely to be under-resourced or in distress due to lack of community development, income, housing, employment opportunities, transportation, medical treatment, nutrition, education and a clean environment.

This information will help align the goals of our Zero Carbon plan with regional investment toward creating and supporting healthy, vibrant and economically sustainable communities.

View the map

Partnership spotlight

By creating innovative partnerships, we can help all our communities, from rural to suburban to urban, have the best chance at a high quality of life.

SMUD is partnering with United Way’s Digital Equity Program to address technological barriers to education and employment in our under-resourced communities.

Children’s Receiving Home, an organization dedicated to the education and health of Sacramento youth, was able to keep cool and save money over the hot summer after reaching out to SMUD for help replacing their broken HVAC component with an all-electric heat pump unit.

SMUD partnered with local nonprofit Green Tech and the Sacramento Metro Air District to bring a new all-electric ride sharing program that will make mobility easier for residents of Del Paso Heights without polluting the neighborhood air quality.