The challenge of "peak" demand
With Sacramento expected to grow significantly by the year 2050, SMUD is particularly concerned with the impact that growth will have on peak demand.
Peak demand occurs during the summer when temperatures soar to 100 degrees or more and customers crank up their air conditioners.
Today, SMUD customers push the peak demand for energy to approximately 3,000 megawatts. SMUD has to account for an additional 400 megawatts of electricity for approximately 40 hours a year. By 2050, that peak demand is expected to be about 5,000 megawatts, which would create a need for another 600 megawatts during those 40 hours.
Energy efficiency is the best way to address this challenge - every kilowatt of electricity saved is one less kilowatt that needs to be generated by a power plant.