2017 Rate Change Archive
Our Board of Directors approved rate changes in 2017, which will take place in 2018/19. See details and read customer feedback below.
Rate Proposal Public Comments
Comments on the 2017 rate proposal may be submitted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by mailing written comments to:
P.O. Box 15830, MS A451
Sacramento, CA 95852-0830.
Comments received are posted on a weekly basis. All personally identifiable information, including last names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses are removed prior to posting.
If you do not wish for your comments to be publicly available on this page, please indicate that at the time of submission.
March 18, 2017 - Judy M.
Mr. Michael J Picker, President
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco CA 94102-3298
Dear Mr. Picker,
It is noted on your web site that the PUC is a nonpartisan body charged with regulating the state's utility companies. Although your department is called the PUBLIC Utilities Commission, the site further states that the commission cannot help resolve issues with publicly owned or municipal utilities, such as the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), only privately owned companies. Confusing to say the least. If you cannot help a consumer with questions about SMUD, then to whom are we to direct our concerns, and who protects consumers? Does SMUD not have anyone regulating their services and fees?
My concern is the System Infrastructure Fixed Charge. I sort of understand the purpose for its use, although it is not fully clear, and wonder where I see these millions of dollars spent. The following is how I see the charges and the amount collected by SMUD per year.
System Infrastructure Fixed Charge
I do not know what happened in 2012 and before. The following shows the charge, and how it has increased every year. It also shows what customers pay per year, and how many millions of dollars SMUD collects per year, based on total accounts of 624,770.
FEE PER CUSTOMER: COLLECTED BY SMUD:
2013 $12.00/month = $144.00/year $89,966,880
2014 $14.00/month = $168.00/year $104,961,360
2015 $16.00/month = $192.00/year $119,955,840
2016 $18.00/month = $216.00/year $134,950,320
2017 $20.00/month = $240.00/year $149,944,800
I note that you served on the SMUD Board of Directors before your appointment to the CPUC. What do you know about this fee and how long it will go on? Is the fee going to go up every year? In the Sacramento Bee, March 17, 2017, it says "a proposed rate increase of 1.5% in 2018 --- including the System Infrastructure Fixed Charge --- for all residential customers." In reference to that statement, it seems this fee will go up $3.00/month next year, as will our normal SMUD charges. When does it stop?
I would appreciate your input as to whom I can address as per this issue, and who might be concerned about what SMUD is doing.
(personal information redacted)
April 20, 2017 - Steve U.
Subject: General Manager's Report and Recommendation on Rates and Services Comments, Alternate Rate Product Proposals and Information request
My alternate rate products proposal: http://carbonconscience.us/smud/rates/2017/ to be place on smud.org per 15.1 https://www.smud.org/assets/documents/pdf/Ordinance-15-1.pdf
Please place my example of a energy use decision tool link for SMUD Customer-owners when SMUD joins CAISO EIM in April 2019, http://wwmpd.com/index.svg as part of my alternative rate proposal for "Solar Time" and "Super Power" rates per SMUD 15-1.
Place this embed code for "Critical Peak Pricing" type rate product to place with my comments on smud.org per 15.1: https://www.youtube.com/embed/AxrddFThuos
Information source to inform "Critical Peak Pricing" so I can develop a rate product for this type of rate.
Distribution system upgrade costs:
Cost for transformer replacement, targeting PCB containing transformers, kit and labor cost for the last 10 transformer change outs.
Quantity of PCB containing transformers with travel time and cost to replace.
List of other expected distribution system items and costs you are addressing with this rate proposal.
Sample sizes for each housing type/usage for this SMUD data set (link)
So I can directly compare cost please as closely as possible match PG&E's ELECTRIC SCHEDULE E-TOU UNBUNDLING OF OPTION B TOTAL RATES https://www.pge.com/tariffs/tm2/pdf/ELEC_SCHEDS_E-TOU.pdf
These unbundled items are products the Customer-owner pay for, I wish to benchmark each. Wish to target efficiency of each, SMUD Board President Bill Slaton says SMUD needs to be more efficient.
Transmission cost for EIM power for the "cheap electricity" view this (link) for more detail.
Value of the eligible RPS credits for customers who want to go full green and no null power and cost of transferring eligible RPS credits to a single Customer-owner account.
Tab separated files are preferred, most modern ERP tools can output as such, if not I can make due with spreadsheet files .XLSX is preferred.
I will also request time to present at the rate hearing per 15.1 (link)
The amount of time will be based on how many hits my rate product proposal gets from the link you place on smud.org, the more rated hits the lower the time amount, I will monitor and rate hit counts and let you know. There could be no need to present at the rate hearing if a large amount of rated hits are gotten.
I offer these options because, Andrew Heath (JD Power) at the April 19, 2017 SMUD Board meeting said choices help raise scores (link)
April 21, 2017 - Franklin T.
Subject: Proposed Rate Hike in 2018
Good morning. In your Connections April newsletter, you asked for my feedback on the proposed rate increase. I have been on a fixed income for five years, and every penny is accounted for because it goes out as fast as it comes in.
Do I want a I 1/2% rate hike? No.
Do I want failing infrastructure and obsolete and unsafe electrical service? No.
Some people would feel that this conundrum is handled best by leaving rates unchanged and as is. Unfortunately for me, I further feel that SMUD is doing a superior job as a utility, and the Board would only ask for this small increase because there is no other option. The wonderful job that the Board of Directors is doing is overshadowed by the amazing staff that SMUD has from the office staff to the field staff to the people who put on the local training on every possible energy topic make me feel that SMUD is True Value for the money spent and worth supporting.
I have never seen any utility do so much with so little, and my career put me in a position to do my part to teach and train electricians, and SMUD has done a lot to show me that some folks actually do care about their community. I also know that based on the history of SMUD that this rate increase would benefit the entire community, and is Justified and Appropriate.
April 28, 2017 - Patti
To: Director Brandon Rose
Subject: new SMUD rates - all electric
Brandon, our electric bills have increased over the past several years with the new tier rates and looks like they will go up even more with the proposed TOD rates. Our monthly budget billing has increased from $86 in 2015, to $98 in 2016, and was just increased to $123 per month. We don't have gas available to our home when built due to the favorable electric rates at the time. As part of the public review process, could you investigate in more detail the impact on all-electric homes on our behalf?
May 8, 2017 - Steve U.
Spoke of in Rates Volume 1 and not in Volume 2, your terms remain unclear.
The term "non-digital communicating meters" appears to define a rate class in Volume 1 that does not appear in Volume 2.
Glossary in Rate Volume 1 defines "Analog and digital non-communicating meters" and Volume 2 make reference to "Analog and digital non-communicating meters" and not to "non-digital communicating meters".
Why no definition for "non-digital communicating meters"?
May 8, 2017 - Steve U.
Subject: You appear to be unaware of the vast capabilities of "Social media"
Not all of your customers have infrastructure for SMUD TOD, so why do all customers have to have infrastructure for "Critical Peak Pricing"?
Are you allowing technology to dictate Board policy?
Shouldn't Board policies drive the technology, not the other way around?
There are many ways for SMUD to send "Critical Peak Pricing" signals to the customers who wish to pay closer to the true cost of providing electric service, re SD-2, than Arlen Orchard's current residential TOD rate can provide in its fixed TOD rate.
May 8, 2017 - John W.
I received by SMUD bill today along with the "Connections" letter which informed me of SMUD's proposed 2018 rate hike and the proposed 2019 Time-Of-Day Peak Rate rate structure change.
In your Connections letter you sort of buried the lead. In the opening paragraph you address the proposed 1.5% rate high for 2018, but then you don't address the proposed 2019 Time-Of-Day Peak Rate rates structure until the 4th paragraph. Why does this matter you ask? Well, because most reasonable people would probably read the 1st paragraph and see a 1.5% rate hike and think that's not so bad, but maybe they wouldn't notice that the real increase will be the 2019 Time-Of-Day Peak Rate rate structure which could, depending on a customer's particular electricity use, result in an overall rate hike well over the general 1.5% rate hike. Even it you treat the 2019 rate restructuring as another annual inflation type rate increase, it could still result in an increase well above what is reasonable. Be up front. If you put in a 1.5% figure in the Connections letter you should also include an example of the effect the Time-Of-Day Peak Rate would have on a typical homeowner and apartment tenant's electricity bill if they did not make any changes to their electricity use.
I can hardly wait to see how I'll be gouged by my utility provider so that I can be comfortable in my own home because I need to use the electricity when I need to use it. I suppose I'll have to get used to being uncomfortable. Maybe I'll learn that I can live without SMUD. I grew up in Sacramento in a house without any air conditioning so I suppose I can learn to live without it again.
This reminds me of the water agencies raising water rates during the drought because people used less water and the water agencies weren't bringing in enough revenue as a result. I can just imagine something similar happening with the electricity. All of a sudden people cut way back because they have no choice because of the Time-Of-Day Peak Rate, and then SMUD has to raise rates again to get their revenues back up.
Don't blow your good reputation by being like every other monopolistic enterprise. I half expect to see sometime soon a news article about the upper management at SMUD taking a junket somewhere like Tahiti or remodeling their offices to "set the right tone" for the company.
I would come to the public hearing, but like most people, I know it is a done deal by the powers-that-be and that nothing I say will change the outcome one iota.
May 10, 2017 - Steve U.
Hello SMUD Board, rates staff and Commenter Judy M.
Here is my comment for posting on (link) per 15-1.
PG&E is limited by statute to fixed charges that do not exceed ten dollars ($10) per residential customer account per month for customers not enrolled in the CARE program and five dollars ($5) per residential customer account per month for customers enrolled in the CARE program. Beginning January 1, 2016, the maximum allowable fixed charge may be adjusted by no more than the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for the prior calendar year. This subdivision applies to any default rate schedule, at least one optional tiered rate schedule, and at least one optional time variant rate schedule.
See PUC section 739.9(f) (link)
PG&E offers their customers the (link) rate that carries no fixed charge. The rate does have a Delivery Minimum Bill Amount ($ per meter per day) of $0.32854, about ten dollars ($10) per residential customer account per month for those who use less than $10 dollars of volume of electricity consumed.
The Board establishes a rate target of at least 10 percent below PG&E's published rates for each customer class, see SD-2 (link).
SMUD's System Infrastructure Fixed Charge is a rate per Rule 1 (link).
SMUD's System Infrastructure Fixed Charge as spoke of in Arlen Orchard's Rate proposal does not comply with Board policy SD-2 and is the primary reason some SMUD Customer-Owners bills are higher than what PG&E would charge for the same service, making SMUD rates not competitive with PG&E's published rates.
Arlen Orchard has been known to make statements not supported by statue and the Board follows without proof his statements is true, harming SMUD's customer-owners, see this SMUD video clip, (link).
Arlen Orchard has published false statements, commonly know as "Greenwashing", as in saying SMUD Hedge Training Facility has been LEED certified. It has not received LEED certification, see (link) and attached 2015-sustainability-report.pdf.
(link to images attached to email)
The board shall supervise and regulate every utility owned and operated by the district, see (link).
Shall is defined mandatory in statute, if you are going to set rates, than you must enforce the rules.
The SMUD Board should consider that Arlen Orchard has not always been truthful, as shown above, when they consider his proposed rate changes and anything else he may do.
SMUD Customer-Owners deserve more than what SMUD staff are providing.
SMUD rate structures can be more progressive and fair to all SMUD Customer-Owners.
Please review and ask question about my rate proposals (link).
May 11, 2017 - Steve U.
Subject: Please unbundle per kWh rate and SIFC rate charges so I can compare with PG&E rate schedules and SD-2
Table 20 does not unbundle SMUD's SIFC rate, please unbundle SIFC rate so I can benchmark with PG&E E-TOU
As the rate report says, "rate levels are constrained by SMUD's decision on the monthly system infrastructure fixed charge and absence of a per-kW facilities charge that would recover the marginal cost of local distribution facilities".
See PDF page 118 of https://www.smud.org/assets/documents/pdf/2017-GM-Rate-Report-Vol-1.pdf
Note the zero value ($0.0000) in table 20 below.
Your reply to my question on unbundling charges for kWh rate and SIFC rate.
I guess we are now brothers, as the transcriber has given you my last name.
Please unbundle per kWh rate and SIFC rate charges so I can compare with PG&E rate schedules and SD-2.
Don't foget to post my comments on https://www.smud.org/en/residential/customer-service/rate-information/rates-2018-2019/rates-2018-2019-comments.htm
Please see that the 15-1 required transcript for the first workshop is corrected.
May 17, 2017 - Anonymous
I really hope you don't lower the income amount limit for the EAPR. This would be a bigger problem for me than a 1.5% increase to the rates in 2018.
My partner's income is much higher than mine and we barely squeeze in to be eligible for the EAPR. If the amount was lowered, it would be disproportionately much harder on me, since we split expenses.
Every year, we get major rent increases and major price increases for food and everything else.
Yet I have worked for the same company for years and never gotten a penny raise in all that time. They recently told me they aren't planning any raises, either.
How am I supposed to survive financially????
May 22, 2017 - Steve U.
You are avoiding answering why "non-digital communicating meters" appears to define a rate class in Volume 1 that does not appear in Volume 2.
The glossary should contain all terms not found in common dictionaries and it should be sorted alphabetically. Your glossary fails on both accounts.
post all of my comments, 15-1 requires it.
May 22, 2017 - Steve U.
Subject: I will need at least 20 minutes, in light that you haven't posted all of my written documents on the smud.org site, re 15-1 Section 2(i). Re: Request for time to speak at June 1 hearing on rate increase
I will address the Board with alternatives to the rate changes proposed in the Report, re 15-1 Section 2(g)i.
I will need at least 20 minutes, in light that you haven't posted all of my written documents on the smud.org site, re 15-1 Section 2(i).
Finish posting all of my written documents, including the attached PDF and the presentation time may be reduced because the Board and the public will have a chance to review the presentation supporting documents before hand.
Have you forgotten I have submitted alternate rate proposals related to the Report? Any written document I supply, supporting my alternate rate proposals are related to the Report. Including written documents you never thought of.
Most of my full and fair opportunity to present alternatives for the Board's consideration requires the use of a browser connected to the internet at the rate hearing, re 15-1 Section 2(g).
May 22, 2017 - Steve U.
Subject: It can be seen with certainty that SMUD's Green Pricing Options will have a significant negative effect on the environment.
The only change to Section 20.0 of the Environmental Assessment on page 82 in Volume 1 of the report should be the removal of "not" from the original version of the section.
SMUD customers selecting any Green Pricing Options from SMUD will have a significant negative effect on the environment.
A SMUD customer who selects Greenhouse Gas offsets or credits from any other offset provider and not from SMUD, will increase the amount of renewable energy sources.
See this EPA Video clip, (link).
Now that California statue allows SMUD to exclude from total retail kWh sales, the kWh supplied by SMUD Green Pricing Options, SMUD is not required to match RPS eligible RECs with the Green Pricing Options part of SMUD's retail sales.
See PUC 399.30 ( c )( 4 ) (link)
Because SMUD "Bakes into the rates" the cost of renewables such as solar, no increase in renewables will be had for the increase in SMUD revenue from the Green Pricing Options.
Please review this SMUD video clip for more detail, re SolarShares commercial and "baked into the rates" (link)
I agree with SMUD staff who think it is a risk and it is terrible, to have the costs covered by the rates, and tell a few customers they can say they are solar powered by paying a little more and much less than residential customers pay for energy.
Please correct Section 20.0 of the Environmental Assessment on page 82 from the original version by only removing the word "not".
SMUD Board, ask your Customer-Owners what they think of SMUD's policy to "bake into the rates" the cost of renewables and then telling their customers they are getting something more by buying renewables from SMUD.
Please do away with these Green Pricing Programs, they don't benefit the Customer-Owners who actually pay more so a few can claim they are green.
May 24, 2017 - Steve U.
Subject: If SMUD Board President Slaton wishes to abridge my speech, we will then know what he considers to be full and fair, re 15-1 Section 2(g).
Please define "slide presentation", I find no reference to "slide presentation" in 15-1 Section 2(g), where I am promised a full and fair opportunity to present alternatives for the Board's consideration.
I have submitted written materials that I intend to present at the rate hearing. You have posted these some but not all of these written materials on (link).
I wish to present from (link) at the rate hearing. This presentation method is one of the alternatives to how Arlen Orchard presents his Report, therefore is directly related in all ways to the "Report" Arlen Orchard has submitted with all of the errors and omissions, some of which are still not corrected.
I your posting of my written materials, you have changed some key facts, I wish you to correct the false and not verbatim changes you have made. For example, you still have not posted the attached 2015-sustainability-report.pdf and placed (link) in my comment, changing my comment.
Jim Tracy promised to put into the record what he provided to me on "baked into the rates", where can I find this record? Please view this SMUD video clip to hear Jim Tracy's promise (link) and view this SMUD video clip where Frankie McDermott describes how "baked into the rates" will allow SMUD to set a rate that will increase revenue, (link).
Jim Tracy claims to not know how to explain this "bake into the rate" process, even though he had read the email "Have Jim Tracy answer the 'baked into the rates' rules question at the next rate workshop" which also contained a request to correct the 15-1 Section 2(f) required transcript. Please view this SMUD video clip (link) to hear Jim Tracy on correcting the transcript. Please see that the "Have Jim Tracy answer the 'baked into the rates' rules question at the next rate workshop" email is posted on (link).
This ability to increase revenue is a main feature I wish to use in my rate designs.
A rate design that ensures all residential customers pay the same amount for a delivered kWh.
A rate design that funds the removal of all PCBs from SMUD power system is one goal.
A rate design that encourages energy storage at the home is another goal.
In order to make all of these rate designs provide the revenue needed, I have asked for and not received sales data. This delays the additional written materials I hope to send to email@example.com.
If SMUD Board President Slaton is enforcing 15-1, and knows I have not been given the requested information and SMUD has not posted all of my comments, he may want of become familiar with Civil Code 3531 (link) and refresh himself on the California Constitution (link).
By not seeing that I get the required data in a timely manner and not posting all of my comments and requiring a "slide presentation" and no access to the internet, he makes it difficult if not impossible for me to have full and fair opportunity to present alternatives for the Board's consideration.
If SMUD Board President Slaton wishes to abridge my speech, we will then know what he considers to be full and fair, re 15-1 Section 2(g).
May 24, 2017 - Steve U.
Subject: Just a few items I believe the SMUD Board should pay attention to when considering Arlen Orchard's rate schedules.
Change your business model, or somebody else will.
See (link) and note the date of the article and who it is about.
How SMUD residential customers can get electricity from PG&E's energy system without using SMUD's distribution system.
Very efficient, nearly twice as efficient as anything SMUD can provide.
Car powers home, great use for midday solar needed to meet 50% RPS.
Just a few items I believe the SMUD Board should pay attention to when considering Arlen Orchard's rate schedules.
So many ideas, so little time allowed to present, SMUD ratepayers will be short changed if the SMUD Board limits the public viewpoints you seek, re GP-3, Specifically, the Board shall: Seek to understand the strategic viewpoints and values of our customers, owners, the community and other interested stakeholders.
GP-3 does not mention enforcement of rules, (link)
Please enforce the rules and post this and all of my comments on (link) and that I am given a full and fair opportunity to present alternatives for the Board's consideration.
Looking forward to the GP-3 Board meetings where the SMUD Board will seek to understand the strategic viewpoints and values of our customers, owners, the community and other interested stakeholders.
May 25, 2017 - Mark G.
Subject: Regarding the proposed rate increase, for the Board and staff
I thank the Board for allowing me a total of ten minutes to speak to you today about my comments, recommendations and alternatives to the rate changes proposed in the General Manager's Report.
SMUD Board policy strategic direction SD-6 Safety, last amended on August 21, 2014, says, "Creating a safe environment for employees and the public is a core value of SMUD. Through continuous improvement, SMUD will be recognized as a leader in employee safety while also assuring the safety of the public related to SMUD operations and facilities. This includes a comprehensive approach to monitoring organizational and public safety performance.
Therefore, SMUD will continue to improve safety results to:
Track and report injuries to the public related to SMUD operations or facilities.
Implement measures to protect the public from injuries related to SMUDoperations or facilities."
The proposed rate increase and change to time of day prices, called the new residential time of day rate and fixed rate on pages 23-44 of the General Manager's report, relies on the operation of SMUD's smart electric meters.
Unfortunately SMUD has compromised its stated commitment to safety to pursue its smart meter agenda. There have been many omissions and harmful acts using smart meters that have affected customer health and safety. Over two dozen SMUD customers have delivered to SMUD their sworn declarations describing the health impacts they have suffered as a direct result of the wireless microwave radiation from the SMUD smart meter. Some of those customers, those lucky enough to be allowed by SMUD to opt out and able to afford the smart meter opt out charges, have described in their sworn declarations how their health impacts have reduced or disappeared once the smart meter was removed from their home. Their experience is consistent with the results of hundreds of peer reviewed scientific studies from many countries all over the world.
Today I will describe several recommendations which constitute my comments on the proposed rate increase and my alternative to it. Please bear with me. I welcome your comments and questions at the end and will be glad to respond to them.
I propose that in order to comply with Board Policy Strategic Direction SD-6 Safety, in addition to the GM's proposed rate increase, SMUD should do an additional rate increase to pay for:
#1 Regarding the smart meter opt out program
#a Continue the smart meter opt out program.
#b Allow any customer who has opted out to keep his analog electric meter or non-communicating digital meter for as long as he wants to.
#c SMUD should notify all customers in writing that customers who have opted out and gotten a non-smart meter, whether an analog electric meter or a non-communicating digital meter, or those who do so in the future, will be able to keep that meter even though SMUD is changing to time of day rates in 2018.
#2 A new review of the scientific literature on the health impacts of wireless radiation, including specific items such as the EMF Scientist International Appeal, the California Medical Association resolution on wireless radiation from December 7, 2014, the BioInitiative 2012, Martin Blank's book Overpowered, the National Toxicology Program's May, 2016 study on cell phone radiation and cancer, the California Department of Public Health document titled "Cell Phones and Health” dated April, 2014 and all the studies that were included or mentioned in those documents. The review of the scientific literature should be done by a person with a Ph.D. and experience in editing and / or peer reviewing such scientific studies. The person doing the review should be asked to answer the following questions:
#a What are the health impacts of long term exposure to wireless radiation such as the SMUD smart electric meters transmit?
#b Are the customer sworn declarations that SMUD has received consistent with what is described in the scientific literature?
#c Is the damage to human bodies cumulative?
#d Can a person exposed to wireless radiation such as the SMUD smart electric meters transmit develop electrosensitivity, that is, become electrosensitive? Electrosensitive means able to feel and notice in one's body the radiation.
#e Are the impacts on children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems greater than the impacts on healthy adults? How so?
#f Is it safe for a pregnant woman to sleep in a bedroom with a smart electric meter on the outside wall?
#g How far away from the pregnant woman is a safe distance for a smart electric meter?
#h Is it safe for a child to sleep in a bedroom with a smart electric meter on the outside wall?
#i How far away from the child is a safe distance for a smart electric meter?
#j Is there an association between long term exposure of the mother or infant and autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
#k Based on the precautionary principle what does the person reviewing the literature advise SMUD customers and SMUD to do to protect against the health impacts of long term exposure to such wireless radiation?
The documents described in this question can be found at:
#3 SMUD should notify all SMUD customers very thoroughly, as thoroughly and through the same means and channels that SMUD notifies customers about this proposed rate increase, that SMUD has a smart meter opt out program, the details of that program including who is eligible, the costs of opting out, available meter types, and the pros and cons of each type of meter, which shall include the pros and cons of long term exposure to wireless radiation.
#4 SMUD should purchase a new scanner. Ever since at least late 2013 SMUD has used a poor quality scanner to scan the documents presented to the Board of Directors in connection with Board meetings. These documents are legally part of the public record of each meeting and are included in the minutes of the meeting. Unfortunately they are harder to read than they should be because of SMUD's use of a poor quality scanner. For a billion dollar agency this should not be the case. It is easy to fix.
#5 SMUD should conduct a questionnaire or survey of SMUD residents asking them if they have experienced any health impacts since SMUD installed a smart meter on their home, whether or not the customer can prove that the smart meter caused such health impacts. The questionnaire or survey shall include boxes to check which shall include at least these options for health impacts: insomnia, tinnitus, heart palpitations, dizziness, difficulty focusing or concentrating, nosebleeds, and stress, and shall also leave room for the customer to write in other health impacts. The questionnaire or survey shall ask the customer what room of the house the smart meter is on (obviously the meter is on the outside of the house but the question is what room) and approximately how close the meter is to the customer's bedroom. The questionnaire or survey will also ask customers about their use of wireless equipment at home; namely, do they use wifi and / or cell phones at home and do they leave those electronics turned on at night. The questionnaire or survey will allow customers to remain anonymous on request and will state SMUD's intention, namely, that SMUD will not share the data provided by customers to any entity for marketing purposes or with any business partner, will only disclose it in response to a court order, and will not disclose the customer's personal identifying information if possible. It will also say that SMUD's intention is to find out how many of SMUD's customers are experiencing health impacts that may be caused by long term exposure to the wireless radiation from its smart electric meters and / or from other sources of wireless radiation.
#6 Regarding the actual benefits to customers of the smart meter program and time of day rates.
#a SMUD should produce a semi annual statement to all customers to quantify the benefits to customers of the smart meter program in the previous six month period, 12 month period, and cumulative since the smart meter program began. The benefits will be quantified in terms of money saved, time saved, and electricity saved, and shall state the assumptions and methods of calculations for each number.
#b The statement shall also quantify the costs of the smart meter program, initial and ongoing, and the sources and applications of funds.
#c SMUD shall include this statement in the General Manager's Report on any proposed rate increase in the future and also shall make it available indefinitely (and not take it down) on the SMUD website and shall describe the statement in an article in Connections newsletter each time there is a new statement.
#7 Regarding the operation of the smart electric meters
#a SMUD should reduce the number of transmissions per day, especially the mesh network messages, from the smart meters, currently 13,381 times per day on average and up to 240,000 times per day according to SMUD. The way you can do this is by scheduling the times of day of transmission. Let's say 4 times per day. Just because the data are collected every second does not mean they have to be transmitted every second.
Once you schedule the transmissions it becomes no longer necessary to have the 10,000 or so (look up the data on the EE's page, and also make that one of the slides) mesh network messages. The meter and the network do not need to constantly or very frequently be "shaking hands".
#b Publicize which meters are the collector meters and inform the residents on those homes.
#c SMUD should reduce the peak pulse power of the transmissions. EE sets them at maximum power but this is unnecessary. SM transmissions can reach a mile and a half (Landis and Gyr meters) but because the SM is on the outside of the house or apartment and only has to reach to the nearest neighbor's meter, unless it is a collector meter, peak pulse power is unnecessary. It is a waste of electricity. Instead of being set a max power to reach 1 ½ miles EE can set them at much lower power to reach let's say 50'. You could do that without having to calculate the distance from each meter to the nearest meter, although with your database a program could do that very quickly.
#8 Regarding the Verizon applications. SMUD has received a dozen or so applications from SAIC wireless, a partner of Verizon wireless, for permission to install so called "small cells” or distributed antenna systems on SMUD utility poles in Sacramento. This will place hazardous wireless radiation sources very close to customer homes and offices.
#a SMUD should give free electricity for life to every home or business within 100 yards of one of these small cells to compensate them for being exposed to radiation the entire time people are in the home or office.
#b SMUD can allocate some of the money it will get from the GM's proposed rate increase to pay for shielding of the radiation for the occupants of those homes and businesses.
Sent from my hard wired, non-EMF emitting computer
May 30, 2017 - Steve U.
Subject: Please see that your SMUD staff correct any inequities that limits your ability to hear the views of the public.
Hello SMUD Board,
Your SMUD Rates staff claim when I present my alternate rate proposals at the June 1, 2017 rate hearing, I will not be able to access the internet.
There appears to be no technical reason for the lack of internet access, in fact I have seen SMUD staff access the internet at your public meetings.
At the last rate workshop at SMUD, I had no difficulty accessing the internet and my presentation on the computer by accessing the Rate Proposal Public Comments page at smud.org. See (link)
SMUD staff appear to make the rules up as they go in a effort to place stumbling blocks in the public's way.
15-1 Section 3 says, 15-1 supersedes all other rules.
15-1 Section 2(g) says I will get a full and fair opportunity to present alternatives for the Board's consideration.
I believe you will find my presentation to be efficient and informative when viewed without unnecessary restrictions your SMUD staff are placing on the public.
While not as good as me presenting, please view (link) for a preview of the main subjects of my alternate rate proposal.
Please see that your SMUD staff correct any inequities that limits your ability to hear the views of the public.
May 31, 2017 - Carolyn B.
Subject: Proposed Time of Day Rate - Public Hearing
I write to oppose the elimination of the Electric Heat Rate in SMUD's new Time of Day rate proposal. I am sorry I cannot attend the public hearing to address the Board personally. Below are the comments I would make.
I live in the Pocket Area, where in the 1980s SMUD insisted that homes in new subdivisions be equipped with electric heat pumps for heating and cooling. Apparently at the time this was the "technology of the future." Sadly, Pocket residents continue to be saddled with these grossly inefficient HVAC systems not appropriate for the Sacramento climate.
One saving grace has been the Electric Heat Rate, which takes into account the electricity-guzzling features of these systems. If you have never had a heat pump, they run constantly when the ambient air temperature is below about 40 degrees and above about 90, never able to keep the house cool (or warm) enough. It is worst for me between 5-8 pm from May through September with my home's western exposure.
Adding insult to injury - the new proposed TOD rate. I have trees; I have new double pane windows and extra attic insulation; I know when to open and close my doors, windows, blinds and curtains; I turn off lights and unplug computers, TVs and other electronic devices not in use. Having worked in the energy industry for 20 years, including during the 2000-01 energy crisis, I am extraordinarily conservation-minded. My heat pump still runs continuously at peak hours.
I understand and support TOU rates to encourage conservation and load spreading, and better manage consumption. I also understand the difficulty of managing numerous carve-outs for specific needs and special interests. But I believe those of us with no option to our electric heat pumps are in a unique situation, a situation that was CAUSED BY SMUD IN THE FIRST PLACE.
As I understand the new rate proposals, our only option (other than the TOD rate) is an exorbitantly expensive flat rate. As a champion of fairness and equity, I ask that you restore a rate tier similar to the Electric Heat Rate as a reasonable response to SMUD's original folly.
Thank you for your consideration.
May 31, 2017 - Mark G.
Subject: Regarding the proposed rate increase, for the Board and staff
Hello SMUD Rates,
I have taken the email I sent you last week and turned it into a power point presentation (attachment) that I would like to use on the screen. It includes some but not all of the text of my email.
Will you let me know that you received this and I can use it in my presentation?
June 1, 2017 - Joseph C.
Subject: PROPOSED 2018 TIME OF DAY RATE IS UNFAIR
The proposed 2018 Time of Day rate is unfair, because the severe burden on customers is not justified by the 1% increase in peak load savings.
The new rate moves the 4:00 p.m. peak hour to 7:00 p.m. This means that customers must defer cooling their home, cooking, and using appliances until 8:00 p.m. to avoid a 76% surcharge. This is highly inconvenient to working people, and unfair because the shift only increases the peak savings by one percent!
Worse, the justification for this move, from your documentation, is because solar power has decreased the 4:00 p.m. load!! Is this not your goal? Yet your customers are being penalized for doing the right thing. I suppose that we can expect as solar increases that you will move the peak hour to eight o'clock!
The 1% figure comes from the SMUD Pricing department:
"What is the difference in residential load demand between the 4-5 pm and 7-8 pm summer periods?
Using 2015 residential load data, the residential summer peak demand coincident with the system peak was 1,633 MW between 4-5 pm which was about 4% lower compared to the residential peak demand between 7-8"
Averaging the 4% difference in one hour over the four hours means that this highly inconvenient change only yields a 1% improvement in peak load!
Please, reconsider this ill-advised move.
(personal information redacted)
June 2, 2017 - Steve U.
Subject: Please accept this as Steve U.'s comment on the SMUD Board's draft rate resolution
Dear SMUD Board,
Please accept this as Steve U.'s comment on the SMUD Board's draft rate resolution.
Please take time to consider the evidence.
I sent my alternate rate proposal presentation to SMUD on April 20, 2017.
It is posted on the SMUD website on (link) as my first comment under the first link in the comment (link).
More than a month later in emails from Rates.
On May 23, 2017 5:29 PM, Rates wrote:
Your request for 20 minutes has been considered and President Slaton will still grant up to 10 minutes with no additional time. You will be able to make a slide presentation relevant to the rate proposal during the rate hearing but will not be able to access the internet. Anything that you want to show needs to be in the slides. Ordinance 15-1 requires you to submit written materials at least five business days prior to the public hearing. If you wish to present slides or other written materials these are due by this Thursday, May 25.
Presentations are not allowed in the SMUD Board meeting procedures, 15-1 governs the public right to a full and fair opportunity to present alternatives for the Board's consideration.
The due date stated left only 4 business days till the hearing on June 1, 2017 because of a holiday on May 29, 2017.
15-1 requires 5 business days, making the due date May 24, 2017, so I acted right away to have my questions answered.
I replied on May 24, 2017 12:51:51 AM PDT:
"Please define "slide presentation", I find no reference to "slide presentation" in 15-1 Section 2(g), where I am promised a full and fair opportunity to present alternatives for the Board's consideration."
Being that I had already given SMUD my alternate rate proposal presentation to SMUD on April 20, 2017 and I had tested running it from smud.org on the computer in the room where the rate hearing was to take place, while talking with Jim Tracy on May 11, 2017, I felt everything was ready to go.
I got no reply before the due date stated.
On May 30, 2017, at 6:28 PM, Rates wrote:
You will be able to make a presentation relevant to the rate proposal during the rate hearing but will not be able to access the internet. Anything you wish to present (e.g., PowerPoint, word document, etc.) must be submitted to us in reply to this email by 3 p.m. on June 1 before the public hearing. If there are url links to the internet on these documents they will not work during the rate hearing. Also, SMUD will not accept your presentation on a USB drive because of cyber security concerns.
I was told, "Anything you wish to present (e.g., PowerPoint, word document, etc.) must be submitted to us in reply to this email by 3 p.m. on June 1 before the public hearing."
I then made a standalone version of my presentation and tried to sent it to SMUD as a ZIP file.
This did not go well, with SMUD email system rejecting my files because of size, and SMUD staff adding restrictions with each upload they got. I gave up on using anything other than the "baked into the rates.pdf" and then the SMUD staff added more restrictions, saying no active web links or videos in the PDF.
This is unfair!
Since my presentation was on the SMUD website and I know it works from the computer in the hearing room and I could deal with no access to the internet as I was told in the May 23, 2017 5:29 PM, Rates email, I would leave it up to SMUD Board President Slaton to rule on "full and fair" in 15-1. Hoping to get the same full access, but willing to use the "baked into the rate.pdf" as a last resort.
All of the file type and web link and video restrictions where added after May 30, 2017, at 6:28 PM.
Please view the SMUD video clip from the rate hearing on June 1, 2017, (link) to review what Ms. Laura Lewis said.
I believe the SMUD Board was mislead by Ms. Laura Lewis' statements, harming the public.
Please schedule another rate hearing to hear and consider my full alternate rate proposal presentation and resolve to accept my proposal.
June 3, 2017 - Tom M.
Subject: comment on rates, SMUD fixed charge
SMUDs unfair, anti climate, dinosaur rate structure
Sacramento seems to be interested in becoming a greener city, but SMUD has a dinosaur rate structure with one of the highest fixed connection charges in the country which discourages solar, discourages conservation and discriminates against low energy users. We all agree that SMUD needs to recover fixed costs like transmission and distribution, but HOW they recover fixed costs should be fair and send the right incentives.
We residential users pay SMUD $20 a month to connect to the utility. Its the same charge for a one bedroom apartment or a huge home. This results in a high effective electric rate for low energy users; for example I pay SMUD an effective rate of over $.30/kwh, for a 100 kwh month. If I consumed more electricity my effective rate would go down. PGE would cost $.18/kwh, PGE has no fixed charge.
PGE, SCE, San Diego gas and elec charge $0 fixed and PUC has turned down their requests to add fixed charges.
PGE, SCE , San Diego spread fixed cost over the electric rate - so fixed cost recovery is proportional to electric use. For example if I cut my energy use 50% at PGE, I would save 50% on my bill. If I cut 50% with SMUD I save only 16% on my bill ...so why bother to conserve?
Fixed charges are opposed by Sierra club, NRDC, CalSEIA, CalPUC and many consumer groups but SMUD seems to feel it is untouchable , unaccountable and can crush anyone who thinks SMUD should implement a a modern rate structure.
SMUDs rate structure is not green and in my contacts with the directors and managers , they seem to be only interested protecting the fixed charge and status quo and will not even discuss a modern rate structure that sends the right price incentives. I think management has brainwashed the directors into erroneously believing the high fixed rate is OK. As Paul (last name redacted) says "SMUD directors are a bunch of clueless airheads".
My goal is to encourage SMUD to conduct an INDEPENDENT (not in house) study of alternatives to the high fixed charge. It seems to me that Sacramento, Capitol of California, and so called leader in energy and climate, should have a say in what our community owned utility does to customers and the environment. I think we can improve SMUDs price structure and help Sacramento achieve a more efficient, modern, fair utility. I wish that SMUD was regulated by the PUC as SMUD has strayed so far from is intended purpose.
I will be engaging Gov Browns office, and hopefully we can wake up SMUD to the modern world of energy economics.
Sincerely, Tom M. (phone number redacted)
summary, entire report , video
the synapse video is a good way to become familiar with the issue, the first 30 min are a good summary:
Caught in a Fix Webinar on Fixed Charges
June 8, 2017 - Mark G.
Subject: RE: Public comments on rate increase
Please accept the following as my comments on the two draft resolutions about the proposed rate increase.
First of all the fixed rate is going to be about 4% higher, for most customers, than the time of day rates. This is arbitrary and unfair. You are penalizing those customers who do not want a smart electric meter on their home. You should not do this. The fixed rate should cost no more than the time of day rate for most customers.
SMUD is once again having honesty problems. Honesty is a big problem with SMUD. It was a big problem when you raised rates in 2015. It is a big problem again. Obviously not enough is being done, and maybe nothing is being done, to cause SMUD to behave more honestly in its communication with the public about the rate increase. I am speaking specifically about the questions I delivered to SMUD about the rate increase and SMUD's answers, which were incomplete and poor and evasive, lacking in details. Most of my questions SMUD refused to answer. My entire 2nd and 3rd sets of questions you refused to answer. You only gave answers to some of my questions in my first set. The way you answered most of those questions was by saying, “The information is in the CEO and General Manager's Report” or, “The information is in the SPO study.” The SPO study is a Smart Pricing Options study that SMUD prepared 2 ½ years ago. It's not very smart. What you were supposed to do is FIND the information that answers my questions, whether that information is in one of the reports or not, and present it to me in your answer. What is the answer to the question? I did not ask you where I could find the answer; I asked you questions. You are supposed to answer them. Telling me where the information is, especially vaguely, is not an answer to the question. At the very least you were supposed to identify the page number on which the information is that supposedly answers my question. You did that once for the SPO study and zero times for the CEO and General Manager's Report.
It's a game. It's a game you are playing with the public. You are hiding and concealing information. Why? Most likely because you do not want the public to know what you are doing, your operations, your plans, and the expected results or outcomes of those plans. You know that if the public really knew about your plans and the expected results or outcomes of those plans they would say NO, do NOT do this rate increase. Those are terrible plans. You are just trying to get your plan approved and you are doing this by deceiving the public and hiding information, refusing to answer questions. You make a mockery of the entire public participation process. You had 2 rate workshops and supposedly had all sorts of meetings with community groups to present what YOU wanted to present. But when a member of the public asks questions, you deceive. You hide. SMUD has a major problem with honesty.
Now, as to the content of my comments, recommendations, etc. on the rate proposal.
About notice I have said this before and I will highlight it again. SMUD should thoroughly notify all of its customers, as thoroughly as it notified them about these draft resolutions and the proposed rate increase, of what I asked you about in my questions and what I wrote to you about on June 1, 2017.
You did not answer question #3. Here is my question and your incomplete and poor answer.
#3 Questions about notice to customers about their option to stay opted out
#a Does SMUD plan to notify customers that if they have opted out of the smart meter program, meaning they have had SMUD remove the smart electric meter from their home and install in its place either an analog electric meter or a non-communicating digital meter, SMUD will allow them to keep that alternate meter?
A: Yes, if a customer has elected to opt out of the smart meter program, this rate process does not change that election.
Look at the first six words of that question. Obviously you did not answer it. Please do so now. (SMUD has still not answered this question as of June 8, 2017, but it is not too late.)
The answer here provided by SMUD completely avoids the question, which began with, "Does SMUD plan to notify customers". Your answer did not address any notice to customers. It is obvious that SMUD intends to keep the smart meter opt out program its Big Secret, as SMUD has been doing since the beginning of the program in March, 2012. Obviously it is not enough for you to have the information about the program on a page on your website. If that were sufficient notice of a SMUD policy then you would not have gone to the great lengths to notify your customers about the draft resolutions and proposed rate increase. Nobody looks at your website or particular pages on it. Very few people look. A person would have to know of the program or the proposed rate increase in order to go and look for it on your website. This is common sense.
The draft OATT resolution says:
WHEREAS, SMUD directly engaged with approximately 58 community and business organization through public outreach meetings and two opinion leader roundtable meetings to receive and respond to customer comments and questions, contacted over 215 community leaders and stakeholders via email or phone call with rate action information and invitations to the rate action round table meetings and offers for an in-person presentation, and notified more than 70 churches, 60 service organizations and 46 elected officials with rate action information and offers for an inperson presentation; and
That is the kind of notice SMUD should provide on my question #3a.
June 8, 2017 - Mr. & Mrs. T.L.
My husband & I are totally opposed to any rate increases (proposed 1.5%)!
We can barely keep up with the current charges. Use the monies wisely & for what the fees are intended for!
Mr. & Mrs. T.L.
Sometimes, paying your energy bill can create a financial hardship. Life circumstances can change for all of us, and we want to help ensure that you continue to have access to safe, reliable energy.
The Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR) makes electricity more affordable for qualified low-income customers by providing discounts on monthly bills. Beginning in 2019, we will be phasing in a restructuring of this program so it better serves customers with the greatest need.
For customers at the lowest ranges of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), energy bills tend to take up a larger portion of household income. The result can contribute to long-term economic hardship. Addressing energy affordability can have a positive impact on household finances.
The changes align the monthly discount with household income. Customers with the lowest household income, based on the federal poverty level, will receive the largest discount. EAPR customers with a household income between 0% and 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) would receive the largest monthly discounts. EAPR customers with a household income between 100% and 200% of the FPL would receive smaller discounts than those with incomes between 0% and 100% of the FPL.
To help with this transition, the changes will be phased in over several years. SMUD will assist customers with education and energy efficiency programs to help save energy in their homes to further reduce their energy bills. We’ll also invest in energy efficiency upgrades for customers most in need. These improvements will make a significant lasting impact by raising the overall energy efficiency of local housing.
Monthly maximum EAPR discount
Amounts are based on how your income compares to the Federal Poverty Level and can include a discount on energy use as well as a $10 System Infrastructure Fixed Charge discount.
|Federal Poverty Level||2019||2020||2021|
|0% - 50%||$50||$60||
|100% - 150%||$30||$25||$20|
|150% - 200%||$30||$20||$10|
What is SMUD proposing?
The Chief Executive Officer & General Manager's Report & Recommendation on Rates and Services (Report), released by SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard, outlines a proposed rate increase of 1.5 percent in 2018 for all residential customers - including the System Infrastructure Fixed Charge - and a 1 percent increase in both 2018 and 2019 for all non-residential customers. The proposal also includes making the Time-of-Day (5 to 8 p.m. Peak) Rate the standard rate for all residential customers, as well as changes to the Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR) structure and other minor rate changes.
Why the difference between the increases in residential and non-residential rates?
Part of the proposal includes recommending the Board make the new Time-of-Day Rate the standard rate for residential customers effective Jan. 1, 2019. Since this is a new rate concept for residential customers, we didn't want to include a rate increase in the same year as the transition to the Time-of-Day Rate.
Why does SMUD need to raise rates?
The rate increase will be used to help upgrade SMUD's system to provide customers with a modern energy grid that can successfully integrate more distributed and renewable energy sources and meet evolving customer needs. The increase will also be used to improve the technologies and tools that SMUD customers use to monitor and manage their energy use.
Is the rate increase funding SMUD's Headquarters building rehabilitation?
No. The Headquarters building is nearly 60 years old and the costs to maintain it are in line with the costs for rehabilitation. More than half of the rehabilitation costs are funded through SMUD's capital portfolio with internal cash flow. The project has been included in SMUD's budget planning for several years.
How would the rate increase impact residential customer bills?
The average residential customer using 750 kWh per month would see a monthly bill impact of $1.62 with the 1.5% rate increase in 2018.
Is SMUD doing anything to help customers minimize the impact of the proposed rate increase?
Yes. We offer appliance rebates, free shade trees, energy-efficiency loans, free home weatherization for low-income customers, online tools including text and email bill alerts, and many other programs and services to help customers save energy and save on their bill.
How do SMUD's rates compare to those of other California electric utilities?
Our rates are among the lowest in the state and will remain so even with the proposed increase. On average, our electric rates are on average 30 percent lower than those of neighboring PG&E. Other utilities that have higher rates than SMUD include Roseville Electric, Modesto Irrigation District, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric.
Monthly Average Residential Electric Bill @ 750 kWh per month
Effective as of March 1, 2017
Utility Monthly Bill
L.A. Dept. of Water & Power $127.40
Roseville Electric $112.78
Modesto Irrigation District $134.30
San Diego Gas & Electric $194.43
Southern California Edison $149.05
Average annual system rate of change SMUD Local utilities* Local utilities* without PG&E
(2006-2015) 2.53% 4.25% 4.39%
(2011-2015) 1.45% 2.36% 2.11%
Average annual bill rate of change SMUD Local utilities* Local utilities* without PG&E
(2006-2015) 2.05% 4.09% 4.39%
(2011-2015) 1.80% 2.93% 2.31%
* Local utilities: Roseville, Modesto, Turlock, PG&E. Values are simple average rate of change.
What changes are proposed for SMUD's Open Access Transmission Tariff?
Included in the Chief Executive Officer & General Manager's Report on Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) is a proposal to revise SMUD's OATT to ensure transmission rates reflect current costs and provide SMUD additional market and operational flexibility for its excess transmission capacity. SMUD's OATT establishes the rates, terms and conditions under which we provide transmission service on our high voltage transmission facilities.
How will the proposed rate increase affect low-income customers on the Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR) and customers on the Medical Equipment Discount (MED) Rate?
The rate increase will also apply to low-income customers receiving SMUD's Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR) discount as well as customers on the Medical Equipment Discount (MED) Rate.
(Households are eligible for our Energy Assistance Program Rate if their household income doesn't exceed 200% of the federal poverty level. Visit smud.org/FinancialAssistance for more information about the EAPR discount and MED Rate.)
How will the restructure of EAPR impact customers?
The proposed changes align the monthly discount with household income. Customers with the lowest household income, based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), will receive the largest discount. Under the proposal, EAPR customers with a household income between 0% and 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) would receive the largest monthly discounts. The EAPR discount would be lower for those customers in the upper range of the FPL (>100% to 200%).
What is SMUD doing to help EAPR customers with the proposed changes to the program?
To help with this transition, the changes will be phased in over several years. SMUD will also assist customers by offering education and energy efficiency programs to help save energy further reduce their bills. SMUD will also invest in energy efficiency upgrades for customers most in need. Those improvements will make a significant, lasting impact by raising the overall energy efficiency of local housing.
What is a time-of-day rate?
With a time-of-day rate, when a customer uses electricity is just as important as the amount used. The price charged per kilowatt-hour depends on the time of Day, which better aligns with the true cost of providing electricity.
Energy costs are driven by supply and demand. They vary not just by time of day but by weekday versus weekend, and by season. Power is typically most expensive between 5 and 8 p.m. on weekdays, especially in the summer, when heavy air-conditioning use causes spikes in electricity consumption. The cost of providing energy is highest during those hours and lower at other times.
How can the proposed Time-of-Day Rate benefit customers?
The Time-of-Day (5 - 8 p.m. Peak) Rate gives customers more control over their electric bill and offer opportunities to save money by shifting energy use away from the peak hours when power is most costly. (Customers can change the time of day they do laundry or run their dishwasher, for example.) As always, customers also can save money if they reduce their overall energy use. Additionally, the Time-of-Day Rate offers a discount for customers with plug-in electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for charging between midnight and 6 a.m. This discount applies to all of their household electricity use during these hours.
How can a customer look at detailed energy use data?
SMUD customers can go online through My Account at smud.org and use My Energy Tools to see a wealth of detailed information about their energy use including viewing their usage by bill, by day, or by year. There is also information about how weather impacts energy use and how a customer's energy use compares to their neighbors.
Why is SMUD interested in structuring rates based on when you use electricity?
Rates based on when you use power better reflect the true cost of providing electricity, which increases during periods of highest demand.
With the proposed Time-of-Day Rate, customers have financial incentives to shift energy use to lower-cost, off-peak hours. Reducing peak energy use will benefit not just individual customers but our whole community because it will lessen our need to build new power plants and purchase power at peak market prices. That will be good both for the environment and our pocketbooks.
SMUD's Board will consider transitioning some residential customers to the Time-of-Day (5 - 8 p.m. Peak) Rates early as September 2018, with the goal of making the standard rate for all residential customers effective Jan. 1, 2019. All residential customers will be transitioned to this new rate by the end of 2019.
All of our business customers transitioned to time-based rates several years ago.
How would the residential Time-of-Day (5 - 8 p.m. Peak) Rate work under SMUD's proposal?
It would have three different kilowatt-hour prices that reflect variations in actual power costs and would vary by season.
From October 1 through May 30, the non-summer months, there are two time periods: Off-Peak and Peak.
Off-Peak hours are all day, every day – including weekends and holidays except during the Peak hours of 5 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.
During Off-Peak hours, energy would cost a low $0.0969 per kilowatt-hour. Between the Peak hours of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the price would be $0.1338 per kWh.
Customers with plug-in electric vehicles will pay $0.0819 per kWh for all electricity usage between midnight and 6 a.m.
Between June 1 and Sept. 30, the summer months, there are three time periods: Off-Peak, Mid-Peak and Peak.
Off-Peak hours are midnight to noon, Monday through Friday and all day on weekends and holidays. During these hours, the rate for electricity is $0.1166 per kilowatt hour.
Mid-Peak is noon to midnight, Monday through Friday only. During these hours, the rate for electricity is $0.1611 per kilowatt hour.
Peak is still 5 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday and the rate is $0.2835 per kilowatt hour.
Customers with plug-in electric vehicles will pay $0.1016 per kWh for all electricity usage between midnight and 6 a.m.
Will the Time-of-Day (5 - 8 p.m. Peak) Rate lead to higher bills for customers after they transition from the current standard rates?
Most customers will see a decrease in electricity bills during the eight non-summer months from October to May and a bill increase during the four summer months of June to September. Without making any changes to how they are using energy, about 6% of customers would save about $8 per month on average and another 38% would save about $1.65 per month on the Time-of-Day Rate. Another 49% of customers would pay about $2 more per month on average while about 8% of customers would pay about $6.80 more per month on average with the Time-of-Day Rate.
How will the Time-of-Day Rate affect customers that are all electric or have a well?
Approximately 74% of well customers save money on the Time-of-Day Rate with an average savings of $3.22 per month. Approximately 67% of all electric customers save money on the Time-of-Day Rate with an average savings of $1.42 per month.
What is SMUD doing to help customers who may have higher bills with the new Time-of-Day Rate?
SMUD continues to provide energy-conservation tips and education opportunities for customers to learn about the variety of programs available to help lower energy use. The Time-of-Day Rate also offers customers the opportunity to save energy by shifting their energy use to lower cost off-peak periods. We're also updating our programs and services to address this change, including adding new ones.
How will the Time-of-Day rate affect customer groups like EAPR and MED Rate?
The new rate will affect EAPR and MED Rate customers about the same as other customers. We're working on programs and services that can help our EAPR and MED Rate customers manage their electric bills and stay comfortable in their homes with the new rate. Customers will also have a choice of a proposed fixed rate if it makes more sense for their specific situation.
Will the new Time-of-Day (5 - 8 p.m. Peak) Rate be mandatory?
The proposal recommends that the Board make the Time-of-Day Rate the standard for residential customers. However, customers will have the option of a proposed Fixed Rate. On average, the proposed Fixed Rate is approximately 4% higher than the proposed Time-of-Day (5 – 8 p.m. Peak) Rate.
Will customers be able to go back to their old rate after the transition to the Time-of-Day Rate?
The proposed Time-of-Day Rate will become the standard rate for residential customers if the rate proposal is approved by SMUD's Board of Directors. The previous standard rates will no longer be available. Eligible customers will have the option of the proposed Fixed Rate. On average, the proposed Fixed Rate is approximately 4% higher than the proposed Time-of-Day (5 – 8 p.m. Peak) Rate.
How does a customer with a plug-in electric vehicle receive the EV credit?
If a customer is not already identified in our billing system as an EV owner, we'll need to add the plug-in electric vehicle to their account so they can receive the reduced rate. This reduced price will apply to all of your household electricity use from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m., including weekends and holidays.
NOTE: This rate is for plug-in electric vehicles only, including plug-in hybrid vehicles. Hybrids that don't plug in are not eligible. Also, customers need to charge on their own meter, not a shared meter in a multi-family building.
Why is the SB-1 solar surcharge on my bill?
This temporary solar surcharge was established in 2008 by the State of California to apply to all energy rates. SMUD has estimated the full funding requirements for SB-1 will be collected in 2018 and the surcharge will no longer be needed. As a result, SMUD is recommending removing the SB-1 solar surcharge starting Jan. 1, 2019.