Building sustainable communities



This community-focused initiative aligns with SMUD’s core purpose and vision to enhance the quality of life for all our customers through creative energy solutions. The program helps bring environmental equity and economic vitality to all communities in our service area, with special attention given to historically under-served neighborhoods.


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 and prosperity. The report concluded that the increased disparity in quality of life between high-performing and low-performing neighborhoods, including access to basic services such as health care, transportation, education and economic opportunity, is holding back our entire region's potential.

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

Partnerships to build thriving neighborhoods

SMUD believes in the ability to make a greater collective community impact through partnerships. We’re looking for private industry, government agencies and nonprofits to invest in and implement programs that provide equitable access to proven indicators of sustainable community success. 

Sustainable Communities social wellbeing icon   Sustainable Communities healthy environment icon Sustainable Communities prosperous economy icon   Sustainable Communities mobility icon

Social Well-being

Healthy Environment

Prosperous Economy


  • Community education
  • Community safety
  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Community events & sponsorships
  • Collective impact partnerships
  • Under-served community development
  • Air quality improvements
  • Carbon emission reduction
  • Climate readiness
  • Environmental justice
  • Health equity
  • Tree canopy
  • Digital accessibility
  • Economic development
  • Small business development
  • Low-income programs
  • Workforce development
  • Technology skills training
  • Electric vehicle
  • Autonomous transportation
  • Public transit access
  • Charging station
  • Walkability
  • Shared mobility access

Partnership spotlight

After seeing a greater need to help single mothers and their children in the Sacramento area, Single Mom Strong partnered with SMUD’s Sustainable Communities initiative to build their first Empowerment Center. The Center has a tech lounge, childcare center and more, and also promotes our low-income discount programs to mothers.

SMUD partnered with the Reach for the Stars Academy in Oak Park to help prepare 7th grade students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Our Sustainable Communities initiative funded the program, developed STEM specific curriculum support and provided mentors, speakers and a tour of an active construction site.

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.

Partnership spotlight archive

Read how the Roberts Family Development Center helps more than 500 families daily and has become an important community resource in Northern Sacramento.

Nonprofits are encouraged to submit neighborhood improvement and revitalization projects for SMUD Shine Awards. Awards range from $5,000 to $100,000 and the selection process is highly competitive. 

SMUD and several partners are promising $750,000 over the next 3 years to revitalize Sacramento's low-income Promise Zone area.

We will focus on improving economic, social, and environmental condition through multiple energy savings and electric vehicle installation projects in the Promise Zone.

Partner with us

With your help, we'll bring equity to the Sacramento region.

We're seeking partners in these 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

Convening Partners

Assist in community and consensus building, create and shape policy and work 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

Support projects with resources, funding, intellectual and research capacity 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 in communities where additional need and support exist. They're 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.
By creating innovative partnerships, we can help all our communities, from rural to suburban to urban, have the best chance at a high quality of life.