Large Commercial Newsletter Spring 2017
Raley's Distribution Center
Raley's is saving over $85,000 annually through a combination of energy upgrades and My Business Tools.
Trust forged over generations reaps rewards
SMUD and Raley's, 2 Sacramento mainstays with deep roots in the community, have a long history as neighbors and friends. And, like neighbors who have been through it all together, they have come to know and trust one another.
So when Raley's decided to look into lighting improvements at their sprawling North Sacramento warehouse, they called once again on SMUD. Raley's VP of Supply Chain Roger Bresnahan said, "We've partnered with SMUD on many, many projects – and in particular, recently, to improve energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint.
The Raley's warehouse operates 24/7/365 with trucks rolling in and out all hours of the day and night.
The nearly half-million square foot building features one of the largest rooftop solar plants in the area. It produces about 35 percent of the electricity consumed on site for lighting, refrigeration and charging the more than 200 electric vehicles used to load, unload and distribute product.
Knowledge is power
To manage it all, Raley's uses a suite of online energy management tools called 'My Business Tools' that SMUD provides free to all its business customers.
"We are able to track the kilowatt hours being used hourly throughout the day and see monthly and yearly comparisons, year over year," said Raley's Chief Engineer Brian Gerring. Having that real-time comparison tool got Raley's to consider how much they could save if they switched over all their lights to energy-efficient LEDs – both inside and outside the warehouse.
In stepped Benjamin Dillen, Raley's personal Strategic Account Advisor from SMUD. "I'm able to call Ben at a moment's notice and get answers from him as far as dissecting the bill. It helps me understand where we are," said Gerring. "With Ben's help and SMUD financial incentives, we went to LED lighting. It's a brighter, whiter light at about two-thirds the cost of what it was before, about an $85,000 annualized savings in energy usage," Bresnahan added. "With a payback of less than three years, there are very few investments that are going to give me a payback of that short a time frame."
"We live here, and this is our community" said Bresnahan. "Partnering with SMUD has been a big part of that." Dillen agrees, "It's a win-win for everyone - Raley's, their customers, the community and SMUD."
Ben Dillen, Strategic Account Advisor
Say "hello" to Ben Dillen, a Strategic Account Advisor at SMUD. He's been in his role at SMUD for 1 year and loves the challenges and opportunities he experiences in this role that force him to step out of his comfort zone and ultimately grow, while having fun with his customers and SMUD colleagues.
What do you do at SMUD?
I've been working at SMUD for 1 year as a Strategic Account Advisor with the Industrial Account Solutions team – specializing in retail, hospitality and property management customer accounts. My core group of customers currently consists of grocers, property managers, and “Big Box” retailers. In addition, I was also recently given the opportunity to try something new and assist with accounts belonging to the State of California.
What's top of mind for your customers?
The notion of sustainability and consistently making conscious efforts to do everything possible in contributing to the creation of a better environment is top of mind for many of my customers. As a side effect, however, I believe that there’s also an inherent priority around learning what tools and resources are available for them in helping to do so. As a Strategic Account Advisor, it's my job to partner with my customers in helping to create a strategic roadmap that incorporates and addresses these needs, and assists with driving initiatives forward.
What trends are you seeing?
Emerging trends amongst my customers will continue to revolve around the application of more advanced technologies, and a greater need for self-service in certain regards. I think that more procedures and processes will continue to become digitized, and there will be an increasing interest in the potential for interconnectedness.
What do you like most about your job?
My favorite aspect of my job is simple: it's the fact that I have the capability to help people in so many different ways. I feel that I've always had a deep desire to put others before myself, and customer service is really just that. I also consider myself to be a very engaged and pensive listener, taking what I've learned and trying to create something that is better and more beneficial than it was before - when the need arises.
How about working at SMUD?
Definitely the people. My teammates are incredibly supportive, personable and love to smile – but I'd expect nothing less in customer service! SMUD really is an incredible place to work.
Outside of work?
My fiancé and I will soon be getting married, so a great deal of time in the past year has been spent wedding planning! It's been a fun experience, but has kept us very busy as well. When we do get some free time, we love to explore all the things that Sac has to offer. Food, entertainment, music and sports – we'll take it all.
Free workshops and trainings for our commercial customers
SMUD hosts free workshops and trainings to help your business thrive. Classes cover a range of energy-related topics like lighting, solar energy and energy efficiency for your business. Upcoming classes include topics such as HVAC 1.0 introduction to residential HVAC systems, changes in the Title 24 Energy Code and EnergyPro introduction and advanced trainings.
SMUD's Energy Education & Technology Center's workshops are held at 6301 S Street, Sacramento. Workshops are free unless otherwise noted and open to anyone wishing to enroll. Register at smud.org/Workshops.
SMUD seeks customer comments on proposed rate changes in 2018 and 2019
SMUD customers will get a chance in May and June to comment at public meetings on proposed 1% rate increases in both 2018 and 2019 for non-residential customers (e.g., commercial, industrial, agricultural, etc.).
The proposed rate changes are spelled out in the SMUD Chief Executive Officer & General Manager's Report and Recommendation on Rates and Services.
The document is available online at smud.org/RateInfo, and at all Sacramento County Public libraries. The report also includes a proposed 1.5% increase in residential rates in 2018, and a glimpse into our shared energy future: a Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m. Peak) Rate that will become the standard rate for most residential customers in 2019 (commercial customers are already on that type of rate).
A SMUD Board of Directors' workshop and a public hearing will be held for customers to learn more about the process and comment on the proposed changes. All meetings will be held at SMUD's Customer Service Center, Rubicon Room, 6301 S Street, Sacramento.
- SMUD Public Workshop | Thursday, May 11 at 6 PM.
- SMUD Public Hearing | Thursday, June 1 at 6 PM
Rate changes in 2018 and 2019
There are 2 main reasons for the rate increases 2018 and 2019.
- Today and into the future, SMUD's power grid will include more types of energy sources distributed across our system -- such as solar and wind -- and an increased variety of customer use -- such as electric vehicles -- used at nontraditional times. SMUD needs to upgrade its system to be able to manage the introduction of all these types of energy sources and keep the supply and demand in balance.
- SMUD is also investing in technology capabilities and enhancements to expand customer choice and continue to improve the customer experience. Among the actions SMUD plans to take:
- Enhance billing and payment technology to give customers choices and improved experience across channels.
- Develop a mobile app with bill payment and energy management services.
- Diversify product and service offerings and provide more tailored programs, services and experiences to customers.
- Enhance and integrate digital platforms to enable self-service options to make it easier to do business with SMUD.
Even if the rate action is approved, SMUD customers will still benefit from some of the lowest electricity rates in California -- on average about 30% 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.
Customers who have specific rates questions or comments should contact SMUD by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 1-855-736-7655. Written comments can also be mailed to SMUD, P.O Box 15830, MS A451, Sacramento, CA 95852-0830.
You can also get more information about the rate changes at smud.org/RateInfo.