Solar and Storage Rate
The Solar and Storage Rate (SSR) is for all residential, commercial and agricultural solar and/or solar and battery storage customers approved to install solar or battery storage on or after March 1, 2022.
SMUD’s standard rate for residential customers remains the Time-of-Day (5-8 p.m.) Rate, and that does not change with the addition of the SSR. This is also true for commercial and agricultural customers; however, commercial customer rates are based on demand and service voltage, while agricultural customers may elect to be on a non-Time-of-Day Rate, or an optional Time-of-Day Rate based on their demand.
SSR is just an additional component to SMUD’s rate that allows compensation and incentives that are specific to customers with solar, solar and storage or storage only installed at their home or business.
As a community-owned, not-for-profit electric service, SMUD is not governed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Our Board sets policy and rates for SMUD customers and the changes currently proposed by the CPUC would not impact SMUD’s rates.
Solar customers on the existing Net Energy Metering (NEM) rate (approved to install solar or storage installation before March 1, 2022) can remain on that rate through Dec. 31, 2030 and are not impacted by this change unless they add battery storage with SMUD incentives, modify or replace their existing system or move.
Excess electricity rate
Effective March 1, 2022, excess electricity generated by customers on the Solar and Storage Rate for power they do not use or store in their battery can be sold back to SMUD at a rate of 7.4¢/kWh, no matter the time of day or season.
Along with SSR, there is a new one-time fee to connect new solar systems to SMUD’s grid to recover the cost of providing interconnection service. The interconnection fee will be applied to all new systems starting March 1, 2022.
Frequently asked questions
If we want to build a zero-carbon economy, improve health outcomes, decrease asthma rates and decrease pollution in our region, then we must find a comprehensive and balanced rate approach that benefits everyone.
Our Solar and Storage Rate does that by promoting the adoption of clean power that eventually will allow us to close gas-fired power plants, expand solar to lower-income customers, provide a new market for battery storage as well as new clean energy jobs and more.
Solar customers on the existing Net Energy Metering (NEM) rate may remain on that rate through 2030. This includes all SMUD customers adding solar that are approved to install solar or battery storage before March 1, 2022.
However, a customer that already has solar will have the option to take advantage of incentives to add battery storage, at which time they will transition to the Solar and Storage Rate.
Also, if a customer moves out of their home with solar and into another home with solar, they will be moved from NEM to the new Solar and Storage Rate.
Residential customers will remain on the TOD 5-8 p.m. rate under the Solar and Storage Rate option but will be compensated for energy sent back to the grid at 7.4 cents per kWh regardless of the time of day or season.
Changes in customer’s bills may vary depending on when and how they use electricity. A customer may be able to lower their bill if they shift energy use away from the peak hours when power costs more.
If there is a credit for energy sent back to SMUD, it will be used to offset electricity usage changes and any remaining credit will carry over to subsequent bills.
For over 30 years, SMUD has played a critical leadership role in providing early support and incentives to grow the rooftop solar industry into the thriving and growing industry it is today. In fact, we’ve invested about $250 million to support customer adoption of rooftop solar over the past 20 years.
In 2019, we introduced a new rate recommendation for customers with onsite generation, such as solar — a grid access charge.
We made the decision to change course and removed the grid access charge recommendation from the final 2019 CEO & General Manager's Report and Recommendation on Rates and Service and committed to embark on a collaborative journey with our customers, stakeholders and the solar and storage industry to develop a new recommended solar and storage rate.
In October 2019, we kicked off a technical working group with key stakeholders from the solar, storage, environmental and under-resourced community organizations to reach agreement on the inputs for the Value of Solar Study.
In September 2020, we published a Value of Solar and Solar + Storage study, which was a detailed independent study based on the technical working group’s agreed upon inputs to value the costs and benefits of rooftop solar energy in Sacramento.
In October 2020, we invited a wide-range of organizations to collaborate with us and help design a revised solar and storage rate that benefits all customers to include in this year’s rate action. The outcomes of the Value of Solar Study were incorporated in the proposed rate recommendation.
Over the last 6 months, input from representatives of the solar and storage industry was instrumental in co-designing the proposed solar and storage rate.