For Immediate Release: March 10, 2017

SMUD celebrates 70 years of powering what you love

On December 31, 1946, SMUD began providing electricity—and much more—to the Sacramento region. Over the last 70 years, SMUD directors, executives and employees have worked hard to brighten the community they serve and help it become one of the best places in the country to live, work and play. By strongly supporting education, economic development, environmental stewardship and much more, SMUD has served a pivotal role in Sacramento’s past successes and will be a key catalyst of its future growth.

“We’re very grateful to our customers for helping SMUD become what it is today—one of the most respected electric service providers in the world,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard. “Not many organizations are able to focus solely on doing whatever it takes to improve their community. But at SMUD, that’s our north star.”

SMUD has provided some of the lowest rates and most reliable power in California for seven decades. SMUD has also worked with customers, community leaders, elected officials, business owners, educators and nonprofits to align the programs and services it provides with the community’s values and priorities. These efforts have driven SMUD’s continued investment in the areas of economic development, renewable energy generation and delivery, residential and commercial energy efficiency, green technology development and STEM education.

SMUD has also played a unique role in the community when compared to other utilities. Unlike most electric service providers, SMUD is a not-for-profit organization owned by the community it serves.

While SMUD has a 70-year track record of giving back to the region, 2016 provides a number of illuminating examples of that commitment. Last year alone, SMUD and its employees provided:

  • $480,739 in employee donations and 14,508 volunteer hours given to local nonprofits.
  • $72,000 in scholarships for local students.
  • 132 free workshops, classes and educational events.
  • $41 million in contracts to local small businesses.
  • 588 sponsorships of local nonprofit and community group events and fundraisers.
  • More than $2 million in cash and in-kind contributions to community-based organizations.

SMUD will commemorate its 70th anniversary by launching a new community benefit program designed to help neighborhoods with their revitalization efforts. Keep an eye out for more information on this effort in the coming weeks.

“We’d like to thank everyone in Sacramento for their continued trust and support. SMUD has become a shining example of how a community-owned utility can succeed by working closely with the individuals and organizations it serves. With that continued partnership, SMUD will continue to brighten Sacramento for another 70 years,” added Orchard.

To learn more about SMUD’s 70 years of service to Sacramento, visit