SEED Quarterly Fall 2020

We're here to help

We're here to helpWhile the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of SMUD’s business, one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to powering our customers and community through these challenging times.

At SMUD, we’re here to support our community, businesses and neighborhoods with:

Business resources. We've compiled a list of resources for our local business community. Learn more here.

Contracting opportunities. Our Procurement department continues to release solicitations for essential business contracts. Don't miss an opportunity to submit a bid to do business with SMUD. Learn more here.

Safely paying your bill. There are several safe and easy ways to pay your bill. Online options include My Account, our guest pay option and through the SMUD App. Or, you can visit one of our authorized pay stations. Learn more here.

Help with your bill. We know how challenging things are right now and we’re here to help. Extended through January 4, 2021, we will not disconnect your power due to non-payment. And we won't add late fees to your bill. We want all our customers to have power at this time. Customers who are behind on payment will still owe SMUD for service, they will just not lose power at this time.

Don't hesitate to contact our team for assistance at any time at

Commercial Rate Increase

Effective October 1, 2020, SMUD’s rates will increase by 3% for all commercial customers. The increase in rates is mostly driven by external factors, including:

  • Increased cost of wildfire mitigation and insurance.
  • Additional generational capacity to provide electricity during times of peak demand.
  • New and enhanced technology solutions to support cyber security, customer experience, improved reliability and distributed energy resources.
  • Investments in renewable energy and programs to support carbon reduction goals. For more about this and other rate changes approved by SMUD’s Board, please visit

COVID-19 Relief: SMUD Nonprofit Microloan Program

Microloan applications can be submitted July 17 - October 15, 2020.

In early March, our community began to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 virus. The growing pandemic brought the world to a halt and was especially devastating to our underserved, under-resourced neighborhoods and the nonprofit organizations that support them.

To help counter the economic fallout of COVID-19, SMUD’s Sustainable Communities initiative has partnered with California Capital to create a simple, low-interest microloan program to help nonprofits in our service area keep their operations running and growing, so they can continue to help those most in in need.


  • Local nonprofits incorporated and operating in SMUD’s service area are eligible
  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) status
  • 100 employees or less
  • Directly impacted by COVID-19


  • $1,000 - $10,000 (SMUD may allow exceptions up to $25,000)
  • 2% interest
  • $100 application fee to be paid by borrower (addition processing fee if approved)
  • Payment terms vary on a per loan basis, but shall not exceed 5 years


Loans are limited and will be disbursed based on evaluating factors including but not limited to:

  • Proven impact due to COVID-19
  • Focus on areas and communities in most need based in part on SMUD’s Sustainable Communities Resource Priorities map
  • Organizations addressing on of SMUD’s four priority areas:
    • Social well-being services
    • Environmental health
    • Economic prosperity
    • Mobility

Learn more or apply at

If you have questions, email us at

SMUD announces new CEO

CEO Paul LauPaul Lau, a 38-year SMUD veteran, has been named by the SMUD Board to succeed Arlen Orchard as the utility’s chief executive officer and general manager.

Paul Lau currently serves as Chief Grid Strategy and Operations Officer and has been a member of the SMUD executive team for more than 12 years. Following the SMUD Board of Directors’ September meeting and approval, Lau will assume his new position October 3.

Lau says SMUD’s focus on its customers and community, and pursuit of aggressive carbon reduction goals, will continue to power SMUD forward. “Living SMUD’s community values – providing the best possible service and reliability at the lowest possible rates, while pursuing aggressive carbon reduction goals, will continue to make SMUD a key community and industry leader,” said Lau.

While we are extremely sad to say goodbye to Arlen Orchard, who has been an incredible leader for SMUD and has done amazing work throughout the community, the SEED team is excited to welcome Paul Lau as our new CEO.

Virtual Meet the Buyers & Business Resource Expo

On Sept. 22 – 24, the SEED team hosted the first virtual Meet the Buyers & Business Resource Expo. This year, we partnered with SMUD’s Strategic Account Advisors to incorporate the Business Resource Expo, expanding the event to offer attendees more opportunity to learn about SMUD programs and resources for commercial customers. In support of this expansion, as well as the virtual nature of the event, nine breakout sessions were hosted by SMUD staff over a three-day period.

Over 475 attendees, one of our largest groups to date, registered to participate in this unique virtual event, which offered a variety of educational sessions, procurement panels, a virtual exhibit hall, and online networking with individual buyers. Attendees learned about our SEED program and upcoming contracting opportunities with our local business owners.

Last year alone, approximately 34 percent or over $130 million of SMUD’s contracts were awarded to SEED vendors.

If you registered for the event but couldn’t attend, you can still access session recordings and presentation documents by signing into the Whova virtual platform using your email address and event code: MTB2020.

DID YOU KNOW… the SEED program not only generates revenue for businesses in our community, it indirectly and exponentially impacts the local economy by supporting jobs and increasing labor income.

Supplier highlight – Sierra National Construction

Franklin-Lambert Distribution Substation project constructionSierra National Construction is no stranger to SMUD projects; they’ve been contracting with SMUD for almost 10 years, providing civil construction services, building maintenance, substation services and more. Most recently, they were awarded $1.2 million for the Franklin-Lambert Distribution Substation project, pictured below.

The SEED program has played a large role in Sierra National’s success in winning SMUD contracts. Having previously outgrown SEED status, Sierra National was able to requalify under the new, broader DGS Small Business – Public Works (SB-PW) certification. Although the SB-PW certification qualifies Sierra National for the SEED incentives on its own, Sierra National often subcontracts with fellow SEED vendors as well – small business helping small businesses grow!

What makes Sierra National so successful in working with SMUD? Procurement Specialist Doug Moore says, “They show commitment to our work, their work reflects the quality of service we need and they work hard to stick to the budget when responding to a proposal.”  

“SMUD’s SEED program gives local contractors more opportunity for success and growth in today’s competitive market.” – Matt Follett, Project Manager with Sierra National Construction says.

Sierra National exemplifies success for the SEED program, supporting local small business growth in our region while maintaining high standards for SMUD projects.

Upcoming projects

HR Talent Management Solution  $1,000,000+ 
Roofing contract  $1,000,000+ 
Signage contract  $125,000 
Union Valley Bike Trail  $25,000,000 
Flooring contract   $3,000,000 
Campground & boat launch improvements  $10,000,000 


Recently awarded SEED contracts

Ablegov, Inc. 
Mader Supply, LLC. 

Sun Mountain, LLC.

Capitol Barricade, Inc. 
WBE Traffic Control, Inc. 


Connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn!

Find us on Facebook or LinkedIn to learn about upcoming events and solicitations.