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Row of residential townhomes.

Preparing for the future

As your community-owned, not-for-profit electric service for more than 70 years, SMUD exists to serve you and our community. In all that we do, we put the best interests of our community first, including rising to the challenges of our energy future and protecting our environment.

In 2015, SMUD's Board approved changes to our electricity rates that are effective in 2016 and 2017. These include:

  • An increase in electricity rates for all residential and commercial customers.
  • A new time-of-use (TOU) rate available to a limited number of residential customers in 2016, and optional for all residential customers in 2017.

Rate adjustment for residential and commercial customers (2016, 2017)

For both residential and commercial SMUD customers, there is an average 2.5% increase in electricity rates in both 2016 and 2017. This increase is needed to meet state mandates for renewable energy, which is more expensive, and to cover increased costs to purchase and provide electricity, as well as increases in operating and maintenance costs.

Even with this rate increase, SMUD's rates will remain below other utilities in California.

Monthly Average Residential Electric Bill @ 750 kWh per month
Effective as of January 1, 2017
Utility Monthly Bill
SMUD $109.88
PG&E $164.29
Modesto Irrigation District $134.30
Roseville Electric $112.78
L.A. Dept. of Water & Power $127.40
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
10-year average
2.53% 4.25% 4.39%
5-year average
1.45% 2.36% 2.11%
Average annual bill rate of change SMUD Local utilities* Local utilities* without PG&E
10-year average
2.05% 4.09% 4.39%
5-year average
1.80% 2.93% 2.31%

* Local utilities: Roseville, Modesto, Turlock, PG&E. Values are simple average rate of change.

Controlling costs

Before we consider a rate increase, we do a number of things first to control our costs. Here are just some of the things we've done:

  • Streamlined our programs and operations.
  • Increased our use of technology.
  • Invested in projects to extend the life of equipment and reduce operating costs.
  • Continued to diversify our energy resources.
  • Paid off high-interest debt early.
  • Strategically reduced staffing levels while maintaining a high level of service.

How this will impact customer bills

How this rate increase will affect your bills depends on the amount of electricity you use. Here are some examples of how this change may affect residential customers in 2017:

  • A 500 kWh residential bill will go from $74.02 to $81.28.
  • The average residential customer bill (750 kWh) will go from $102.03 to $111.91 per month.
  • A residential customer using 1,300 kWh will see their bill go from $184.51 to $179.32 per month.

This change will also affect our Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR) and Medical Equipment Discount (MED) Rate customers. The EAPR and MED Rate discounts will still apply.

Residential time-of-use rate (2016, 2017)

A new time-of-use (TOU) rate was implemented in January, 2016 for residential customers.

This rate will be an option for all residential customers, including those with solar installed on their home, as well as those with plug-in electric vehicles.

In 2017, SMUD's Board intends to consider making TOU rates the new standard rate for residential customers, effective 2018. TOU rates better reflect SMUD’s true cost of providing power, which fluctuates based on the time of day customers use electricity. Also, TOU rates give customers more control over their bill since they’ll have the option to use electricity during times when it costs less. All of SMUD's commercial customers have been on TOU rates for several years.

What is a "time-of-use" rate?

With a time-of-use (TOU) rate, when you use electricity is just as important as the amount of electricity you use. You would pay different rates based on the time of day you use it. This better aligns pricing with the actual cost of providing service.

For example, rates are highest during weekdays in the summer from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., but lower the other 21 hours of the day.

This gives you more control over your bill since you have the ability to shift your electricity use to times when it costs less. And you can still save by reducing your overall electricity use.

How the new TOU rate will work

With the new TOU rate, the cost to use electricity will be lowest, at 8.67¢ per kWh, during off-peak hours, from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday, as well as all day on weekends and holidays. This appears in green in the chart below.

The rate is higher during hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday all year. Called Peak, this price is 14.85¢ per kWh, and appears in blue in the chart.

During the summer months of June through September only, the rate will be highest at 31.61¢ during the hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. This is called the Summer Super Peak and appears in yellow in the chart.

For plug-in electric vehicle owners who choose to be on this rate, there is an additional 1.5¢ kWh EV credit for charging between midnight and 6 a.m. every day, all year long.

2017 Residential Time-of-Use chart

Learn more about the time-of-use rate.

Contact us

For more information about SMUD's rates, please email us at

General Manager's Report

Read the 2015 Chief Executive Officer and General Manager's Report and Recommendation on Rates and Services.

Volume 1 (3.4mb pdf)
Volume 2 (1.0mb pdf)
Volume 3 (953k pdf)


Ordinance No. 15-1 (113k pdf)
Final Rate Resolution with attachments (9.4mb pdf)