Building sustainable communities

Our Sustainable Communities Initiative helps bring equity in the quality of life and economic vitality to all communities in our service area, with special attention given to historically underserved neighborhoods. To achieve this, we’re optimizing our existing programs and leveraging partnerships with key stakeholders in the private, government and nonprofit sectors.

The need for equity

A recent report* found that between 2006 and 2016 the Sacramento region ranked in the bottom-third of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in growth, prosperity and inclusion. It also noted that 34% of our region’s residents live in households that do not earn enough to cover their basic expenses. The report concluded that access to basic services such as health care, transportation, education and economic opportunity is holding back our region’s potential.

2018 Brookings Institute Study, Charting a Course to the Sacramento Region’s Future Economic Prosperity.

Investing in our city and region

Growing sustainable communities aligns with SMUD’s core purpose and vision to “enhance the quality of life for our customers and of our communities through creative energy solutions.”

Together, collaborating with private industry, government agencies and nonprofits, we’re investing in and implementing programs that provide equitable access to proven indicators of community success.

  • Healthy environment
  • Quality education
  • Economic prosperity
  • Social well-being
  • Transportation and mobility innovation

By leveraging innovative and creative partnerships and optimizing our community-focused programs, we can help all types of communities, from rural to urban, downtown to outer edges, connected to disenfranchised, have the best chance at a high quality of life.


Success stories

With a mission to bring hope to those who need it the most, the City of Refuge offers a safe space for low-income women and their families. Thanks to a $100,000 Sustainable Communities Initiative grant and participation in SMUD energy saving and low-income programs, the City of Refuge is able to increase access to social and community services.

Helping more than 500 families daily, the Roberts Family Development Center is an important community resource in Northern Sacramento. But its building needed important repairs. Through a $150,000 Sustainable Communities Initiative grant and rebate programs, the center is well on its way to being able to create a healthier neighborhood for years to come.

Partner with us

We can't do this alone. With your help, we'll bring equity to the Sacramento region.

SMUD believes in the ability to make a greater collective community impact through partnerships.  We are looking for government, for profit, and non-profit partners in the following industry categories:

  • Health, health equity and healthy communities
  • Institutional support and community outreach
  • Economic development, workforce development and innovation
  • Education and STEM
  • Environmental leadership
  • Transportation and mobility

Types of partnerships

Depending on your industry, there are three ways you can partner with us to create a greater Sacramento.

Convening Partners

Assist in community and consensus building, create and shape policy and working with stakeholders to move projects and initiatives forward. This partnership is ideal for:

  • Government agencies
  • Community groups and neighborhood associations
  • Places of worship
  • Business improvement districts and regional leadership organizations

Alignment Partners

Help us accomplish our projects through funding and other support. This partnership is ideal for:

  • Banks, credit unions and insurance companies
  • Universities
  • Health systems
  • Private industry partners
  • Grants and foundations

Implementation Partners

These partners are doing work on the ground right now in communities where additional need and support exist. They are our day to day connection with the community, aiming to improve the area we live in. This partnership is ideal for:

  • Community organizations and non-profits
  • Chambers of commerce

Let's connect

Ready to reach out and see how we can work together? Complete the form below and we'll contact you.