Our 2030 Clean Energy Vision

Learn about our bold journey to eliminate 100% of our greenhouse gas emissions from our electric generation by 2030. We call this our Zero Carbon Plan.

Leading the nation

For decades, SMUD has been a leader in clean energy and carbon reduction. Our 2030 Zero Carbon Vision continues this commitment.

Our goal is to reach zero carbon emissions in our power supply by 2030 – the most ambitious goal of any large utility in the United States.

This ambitious goal puts the Sacramento Region on the map as an example to follow and a region where innovative, climate-friendly businesses want to be.

Going absolute zero carbon is a bold and ambitious goal – one we believe we can and must achieve.

Read 2030 Zero Carbon Plan     

Why is SMUD going “zero carbon?”

Climate change is a pressing threat facing our nation and the world, but it's more than that.

We live in one of the most polluted cities in the country. A recent report by the American Lung Association ranked the Sacramento area 6th in the nation based on days of unhealthy and unsafe levels of air pollution in the ozone layer.

Going zero carbon brings benefits not only globally, but also locally. Reduced emissions improves our local air quality, overall health and creates jobs.

We can’t do this without you

Our customers, community and partners are at the heart of what we do. By going zero carbon, we’re helping create a cleaner and healthier region for all.

Our 2030 Zero Carbon Vision is anchored on our longstanding commitment to provide safe and reliable power with rates among the lowest in California. We won’t compromise on this commitment.

We’re all part of the solution. SMUD is your community-owned, not-for-profit electric service and your input and participation will help us get to zero.

Join the charge

Stay informed and be heard

We want to make sure you can learn more and provide input on our bold plan.

Read the 2030 Zero Carbon Plan

We're excited to release our plan to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from our power supply by 2030. We know that this is an ambitious goal, but we believe we can and must achieve it. By going zero carbon, we can help create a clean and healthy region for our customers.

Read executive summary     Read full plan

Provide feedback

We welcome your ideas or input on our 2030 Zero Carbon Plan. Email us at ZeroCarbon@smud.org to share your feedback.

We collected public feedback for our Board of Directors through April 16, 2021. View public comments

Process timeline

Between December 2020 and April 2021, we took steps to collect feedback and approve the 2030 Zero Carbon Plan.

  • December 2020:  Customer and community presentation
  • January 2021:
    • 12: Board or Committee meeting with industry expert panel
    • 26: Board or Committee meeting with industry expert panel
  • February 2021:
    • 9: Board or Committee meeting with industry expert panel
  • March 2021:
    • 9: Strategic Development Committee: Review and discussion of draft 2030 Zero Carbon Plan
    • 26: 2030 Zero Carbon Plan released for public comment through April 16
    • 31: 2030 Zero Carbon Plan presented to Board
  • April 2021:

We've put together a variety of resources to help answer your questions and learn more about our 2030 Clean Energy Vision.

Frequently asked questions

We answer many of the questions asked by our stakeholder groups and community members. 

Recorded meetings

Watch recently held meetings where we discuss our 2030 Clean Energy Vision.

Customer research

We surveyed attendees of our community meetings to get feedback on our zero carbon goal.

Stay up to date on our plan

Sign up for 2030 Zero Carbon Plan notifications and receive occasional updates, including opportunities to provide feedback and when this topic will be discussed by our Board of Directors.

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What is our Zero Carbon Plan?

We're working with our customers and community partners to develop our 2030 Zero Carbon Plan - a road map for getting to zero carbon emissions by 2030 that's focused on 4 key areas.


Natural gas generation repurposing

Today, our five natural gas plants provide low-cost, reliable power 24/7. Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our power plants is essential to reach our goal of zero carbon by 2030. We’re focused on reimagining our existing generation portfolio to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions through retirement, re-tooling and using renewable fuels. To drastically reduce operations and emissions, we plan to retire 2 power plants and re-tool our remaining fleet. Maintaining reliable electric service is critical, so we’ll conduct more detailed reliability assessments before finalizing plans for our natural gas power plants.


Proven clean technology

We will expand the use of our existing carbon-free energy technologies like wind, solar, hydro, biomass, geothermal energy, battery storage and demand response. While these proven carbon-free technologies aren’t fully capable of achieving our 2030 zero carbon goal, they can help get us about 90% of the way there. Today, SMUD’s power supply is about 50% carbon-free. Our plan includes adding ~3,000 Megawatts of new renewable energy and storage, which is equivalent to the energy needs of more than 600,000 homes per year. This includes growing rooftop and battery storage adoption.


New technology and business models

We will explore new and emerging technologies - like power-to-gas technology, hydrogen and methane, long-duration batteries and carbon sequestration - that are either currently unknown or are not ready for large scale adoption due to price, reliability or other factors. This work will help us identify potential partnerships and business models like virtual power plants, and launch pilot projects and programs to test and prove new and emerging technologies and develop paths for prioritizing technology adoption and scaling.


Financial impacts and options

Our road map will identify cost ranges and rate impacts associated with expanding our existing proven clean technologies and for researching and piloting new technologies and business models. We’re focused on making sure achieving our zero carbon goal is possible at a reasonable cost that minimizes rate increases for our customers, limiting rate impacts to the annual rate of inflation. We’ll do that by identifying savings and pursuing partnerships and grants that support the Plan.