For Immediate Release: August 16, 2020

SMUD faces peak alert days, but expects to avoid power shortfalls

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is asking customers to limit their use of electricity during this week’s high temperatures, which are expected to continue into next weekend. With the heavy use of air conditioners, customers are using electricity at record levels, requiring the use of all SMUD power sources. With help from customers, SMUD expects to be able to avoid any power shortfalls.

SMUD is asking residential customers to raise thermostat settings on air conditioners to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. In addition, residential customers can help by limiting the use of household appliances during the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Limiting the use of both hot water and cold water will lower the demand for electricity needed for pumping, processing and delivery.

Commercial and industrial customers are asked to reduce the use of lighting not essential for safety purposes in garages, hallways, lobbies, warehouses and displays. The minimized use of office equipment, supply and exhaust fans, circulating pumps, and maintenance and repair equipment will also allow the utility to lower demand for electricity.

SMUD is a member of the Balancing Authority of Northern California (BANC), an independent balancing authority within the western electricity power grid. As a member of BANC, SMUD is not required to participate in rotating outages ordered by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO). SMUD continues to support the statewide electricity grid in the event of a true electrical emergency.

During the heatwave, SMUD is all hands on deck with extra personnel available to restore power outages as safely and quickly as possible.

SMUD encourages customers to use energy wisely during the high heat both to reduce stress on the electrical system and to help lower bills.

Some energy use reduction tips:

The first step is keeping your home from heating up, which can reduce immediate cooling costs and help save on long-term costs from wear and tear on cooling equipment. SMUD has energy-saving solutions available on its website and offers the following tips to save money:

  • In the summer, use fans and close blinds on windows that get direct sun.
  • Swap out light bulbs for LEDs.
  • Use a programmable/smart thermostat to help control HVAC and to help pre-cool your living space.
  • Customers can also get customized tips, manage their bills and set up alerts on the website.
  • Turning the temperature up just 2 degrees, can save 5-10% on cooling costs.

In the event of an outage, customers can report and track restoration times at