The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) doesn't want its name to be mud. One of the largest locally owned electric utilities in the US, SMUD serves about 600,000 residential and commercial customer meters (a service area population of 1.4 million) in California's Sacramento and Placer counties. The utility generates about 70% of its electricity (its 1,300-MW capacity is derived primarily from hydroelectric and cogeneration power plants) and buys the rest. SMUD also sells power to wholesale customers, and has one of the largest solar energy distribution systems in the US.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) operates more than 10,250 miles of transmission and distribution lines across its 900-sq.-mi. service area.
SMUD generates, transmits, and distributes electricity to a territory that includes Sacramento, Sacramento County, and a small portion of Placer County.
Boosted by its third rate increase in three years and a growth in its customer base, in 2011 SMUD reported a 7% growth in revenues. The higher revenues and flat operating expenses (especially the lower costs of purchased power thanks to a wet winter and an abundant supply of hydro generation) helped to boost the company's operating income for the year by 18%.
In response to market deregulation and the industrywide push for carbon emission reduction, SMUD has increased its generation capacity, placing a priority on renewable energy sources. As part of this green energy push, the company has a 15-year deal with Shell Energy (which expires in 2024) to buy landfill gas from sites in Texas. SMUD completed the installation of more the 600,000 smart meters in 2011 to help customers to better control their power use.
In 2012 SMUD announced that it is the leading utility in the US in terms of new homes which had solar panels installed during construction. The utility commenced the SMUD Solar Smart Homes program in 2006 and had constructed more than 1,000 homes with solar panels by 2012.
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