SMUD invites public input on proposed rate action
The SMUD Board of Directors is holding two public workshops and a public hearing to discuss proposed rate changes.
The Chief Executive Officer & General Manager's Report & Recommendation on Rates and Services, released by SMUD CEO & General Manager Arlen Orchard, outlines a proposed rate increase of 1.5 percent in 2018—including the System Infrastructure Fixed Charge—for all residential customers, and a 1 percent increase in both 2018 and 2019 for all non-residential customers.
The rate increase will be used to help upgrade SMUD's system to provide customers with a modern energy grid that can successfully integrate more distributed and renewable energy sources and meet evolving customer needs. The increase will also be used to improve the technology that SMUD customers use to monitor and manage their energy use.
If the action is approved, SMUD customers will still enjoy some of the lowest electricity rates in California—on average about 30 percent lower than neighboring PG&E. In fact, while most utilities in the state have implemented rate increases every year, SMUD's increases have been among the lowest in terms of percentage and actual cost.
Also included in the Report are the following:
- A proposal to offer a new time-based rate called Residential Time-of-Day (5 – 8 p.m. Peak) Rate. SMUD's Board will consider transitioning some residential customers to this new rate as early as September 2018, with the goal of making this the standard rate for all residential customers effective January 1, 2019. All residential customers will be transitioned to this rate by the end of 2019. Time-of-day pricing better aligns what customers pay with the actual cost of providing service. It also gives customers the opportunity to better manage their electricity costs by shifting the time they use power to lower-cost time periods. The proposal also includes a new Fixed Rate option for customers who prefer not to participate in the time-of-day plan.
- A proposal to adjust the structure of the Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR) to better assist SMUD's low-income customers with the greatest need. SMUD's Board will consider making adjustments to the EAPR discount as early as September 2018. Under the proposal, EAPR customers with a household income between 0% and 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) would receive the largest monthly discounts. The EAPR discount would be lower for those customers in the upper range of the FPL (>100% to 200%).
- A proposal to update the Net Energy Metering (NEM) program for residential customers to require service under the Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m. Peak) Rate for new eligible renewable generating facilities approved for installation beginning January 1, 2018, and to create a “grandfathered” transition period for current NEM customers.
- Additional recommendations including minor language changes related to certain tariff sheets and rules and regulations.
SMUD CEO & General Manager Arlen Orchard also released the Chief Executive Officer & General Manager's Report on Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT). The proposal is to revise SMUD's OATT to ensure SMUD's transmission rates reflect current costs and provide SMUD additional market and operational flexibility for its excess transmission capacity.
SMUD is already working closely with customers and other stakeholders—including community groups, service organizations, business groups, elected officials and more—to communicate and discuss these changes.
In addition, two Board of Directors' workshops and a public hearing will be held for customers to learn more about the process and comment on the proposed changes. All three meetings will be held at SMUD's Customer Service Center, Rubicon Room, 6301 S Street, Sacramento, CA 95817.
Thursday, April 20 at 10 a.m.
Thursday, May 11 at 6 p.m.
Thursday, June 1 at 6 p.m.
Information on the proposed rate action and a complete copy of the Chief Executive Officer & General Manager's Report and Recommendation on Rates and Services and the Chief Executive Officer & General Manager's Report and Recommendation on OATT can be found on smud.org/RateInfo and at all Sacramento County Public Libraries.
If you have specific rates questions, contact SMUD at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855-736-7655.