2020 battery storage annual update

Since July 2018, battery storage customers have saved more than $53,858 on their electricity bills.

SMUD customers have installed over 273 battery systems since July 2018 with more than 154 systems currently in the interconnection process. This accounts for over 3 MWh of batteries enrolled in SMUD's Commitment to Operate program, saving battery storage customers approximately $200 each on their electricity bills. The batteries work alongside SMUD's residential Time-of-Day rates to absorb excess solar generation and utilize off-peak energy to reduce the on-peak energy burden on the electrical system. 

This shift in energy does more than save customers money. By shifting energy from mid-day solar generation and off-peak time periods to the on-peak time period, customers are also making considerable contributions to reducing GHG emissions. 

The estimated annual savings for Residential Commitment to Operate (CTO) and Smart Energy Optimizer (SEO) customers* is:

Annual emissions at default emissions rate (MT CO2e):  299.26
Less annual emissions from battery charging (MT CO2e):    71.32 
Annual emissions avoided using default (MT CO2e):  227.94 


Annual emissions avoidance of 227.94 is the equivalent of taking 50 internal combustion vehicles off the road.** 

*Based on 259 current program customers
**The EPA estimates one car to emit 4.6 MT CO2 per year.

solar panels

SMUD’s Commitment to Operate Program launched in July 2018 and today, 85% of SMUD customers with battery storage are enrolled in the program. The Commitment to Operate Program requires participants to use 51% of their battery capacity to meet electrical needs during peak hours, 5-8 PM. That means customers can reserve 49% of their battery capacity for back-up power in case of an outage.

Ensure you meet program requirements

If you have a Tesla App, follow these steps to make sure 51% of your battery capacity is meeting your electrical needs during peak hours, 5-8 PM in summer months. 

1. Open the Tesla App and select "Powerwall"

2. Select "Customize"

Customize option on Tesla app

3. Select "Advanced"  

Advanced screen shot on Tesla app

4. Under 'Choose your setting' select "Balanced"

5. Update 'Reserve for Power Outages' to 49%

6. Select "Edit Price Schedule"  

Edit price schedule screen shot in Tesla app

7. Select "Week"

8. Change 'Peak Hours' to 5-8 PM in summer months (June-September)

Peak hours screen shot in Tesla app


Get more information about SMUD rates and when to update your app to maximize savings on your SMUD bill.

Get more information about how to use the Tesla App

Did you know we launched a new battery storage program last year? SMUD’s Smart Energy Optimizer Program takes the hassle out of operating your battery. LG Chem batteries paired with a SolarEdge inverter are eligible for this program. 

We'll optimize your battery to our Time-of-Day rates so you maximize savings on your electric bill. Occasionally, SMUD will also use day-ahead price signals to optimize devices to consume more renewable energy or lower cost energy. This type of optimization allows you to take advantage of lower rates without giving up comfort. The best part is, you still have 49% of your battery capacity available for back-up power needs. 

Today, only SolarEdge StorEdge inverters are eligible to participate in the Smart Energy Optimizer (SEO) Program. In the coming year, SEO will undergo an evaluation to refine and improve the program. As part of that process, we are actively collaborating with other battery manufacturers to discuss being added as eligible devices to the program. The hope is to eventually accommodate a “bring your own device” type battery program for the most commonly installed batteries. Tesla's batteries are ineligible to participate at this time.
Do you own a business? SMUD launched a new battery storage pilot called SMUD’s Energy StorageShares. StorageShares is a battery program that allows commercial customers to invest in an energy storage system that does more than just reduce their cost of electricity. StorageShares enables retail savings and optimizes the grid benefits of energy storage. Qualified commercial customers can join the StorageShares program and purchase shares of a virtual battery to receive all the benefits of battery storage, such as demand charge reduction over 10 years without the burden of battery storage ownership. This program provides benefits to both SMUD and its customers. It provides a guaranteed cost savings for commercial customers without having to deal with battery installation and maintenance. It also provides SMUD an opportunity to aggregate all the shares into a single battery installation, which can provide optimal grid support.  

We've already begun the process of engineering, procuring and constructing our first utility-scale Energy StorageShares battery (Hedge Battery). The Hedge Battery will be online in Q3 of 2021 and will provide local grid support and participate in energy markets. This utility-scale energy storage system will also support carbon reduction in accordance with the SMUD Board of Directors adopting a climate emergency declaration that commits to working toward an ambitious goal of delivering carbon neutral electricity by 2030, requiring a minimum of 560 MW of energy storage.

Interested in learning more about SMUD’s new Energy StorageShares program? Email energystorage@smud.org or talk to your Strategic Account Advisor.