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 innovative energy solutions. The program helps bring environmental equity and economic vitality to all communities in our service area, with special attention given to historically underserved 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.

COVID-19 Relief: SMUD Nonprofit Microloan Program

SMUD has partnered with California Capital to create a low interest microloan program to help nonprofits in our service area counter the economic fallout of COVID-19. Microloan applications from qualifying nonprofits can be submitted July 17 - December 31, 2020.

Learn how to apply


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

Ward map

Resource Priorities Map

Use our interactive Sustainable Communities Resource Priorities Map to find out which areas in our region need your help the most.

This map helps analyze current data to indicate the local areas most likely to be underserved or in distress by lack of community development, income, housing, employment opportunities, transportation and more.

This information is used to align our region’s investments toward the goal of creating and supporting healthy, vibrant and economically sustainable neighborhoods.


View the map

Partnership spotlight

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.

SMUD’s Sustainable Communities initiative has partnered with several local Chambers of Commerce, Wells Fargo and Visit Sacramento to create a unique venture that celebrates Sacramento’s most important asset: diversity. 

Through our Sustainable Communities initiative, SMUD has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to help build and upgrade homes for 50 families in need.

Hacker Lab is a co-working space, makerspace and hackerspace that aims to seed Sacramento startups with a locally trained workforce. Their partnership with SMUD’s Sustainable Communities allows them to provide scholarships to low-income community members to get the education and skills they need for today’s job market.