Sacramento Food Bank

Savings by Design

Energy efficient buildings don't happen by accident. They happen by design.

Savings By Design is a statewide program encouraging high-performance design and construction for the commercial and industrial sector. Sponsored by SMUD and other California utilities, the program offers building owners and design teams a wide range of services:

  • Design assistance to integrate innovative design technologies in new construction projects.
  • Energy design resources provide free information on efficient technologies, analysis tools, and case histories.
  • Owner incentives help offset the costs of energy efficient buildings.
  • Design team incentives reward designers who meet ambitious energy efficiency targets.

The benefits of participating include:

  • Lower long-term operating costs.
  • Greater comfort, health and productivity for occupants.
  • Conservation of natural resources and cleaner air due to avoided power generation.

Two approaches

Whole building approach: This is the preferred method of achieving energy savings because it considers integrated, optimized energy solutions. Whole Building analysis uses computer simulation and provides reliable comparisons of various efficiency alternatives. It also quantifies the effect of improving the building's systems.

Incentives up to $150,000 are available for projects estimated to exceed a Title 24 or standard practice baseline by at least 10 percent on a whole building performance basis. Design teams may be eligible for additional incentives up to $50,000.

Systems approach: This approach encourages owners to look at the systems of a building rather than individual equipment or fixtures. Each building system can be designed to achieve greater efficiency as a whole rather than as a collection of components.

Your Savings By Design representative can help you identify system options, quickly estimate the associated potential savings, and identify which systems qualify for incentives up to $150,000 including:

  • daylighting
  • interior lighting
  • heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC
  • service hot water
  • other systems and processes

incentives chart

Success stories

Watch a video about how HOT ITALIAN uses 25-30% less electricity than other restaurants the same size.

Get in touch!

Contact SMUD early in the design process to learn about program options and determine funding availability. Call us at 1-877-622-7683 or email

Sacramento Food Bank

Sacramento Food Bank

Taking advantage of two SMUD programs to save $15,000 annually.

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Maydestone Building

Historic energy savings

Through SMUD's Savings by Design, the 1910-built Maydestone building was upgraded with energy efficiency measures.

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