SMUD Helps Sacramento Switch to Renewable Energy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of General Services (DGS) announced Jan. 6 that it has agreed to work alongside the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to power all state buildings in downtown Sacramento through the use of renewable energy.

The agreement intends to make California one of the largest purchasers of energy derived from renewable resources, according to a statement from SMUD. It also intends to increase the size and strength of SMUD’s Greenergy program, a program launched in 1997 designed to help residential and commercial consumers power their homes and businesses with renewable resources like wind, water, sun and biomass.

By giving consumers more access to renewable resources like solar power, hydroelectric power and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), SMUD’s Greenergy program connects consumers with energy-efficient companies while highlighting the importance of climate change and presenting them with different green building strategies. One reason why SMUD’s Greenergy program is so effective is because it lets consumers select renewable energy for either 100 percent or 50 percent of their electricity for an increased fee each month.

“State office buildings across the region are cutting their carbon footprint and switching to renewable energy,” said Daniel C. Kim, director of DGS in a statement.

The agreement between DGS and SMUD will last for three years and will allow DGS to purchase 108-gigawatt-hours a year of renewable energy or an equivalent amount of credits resulting from electricity generated by the sun, wind, water, biomass and geothermal sources, according to a statement from SMUD.

“Supporting the state’s drive to embrace renewable energy aligns perfectly with our board’s goal to help reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and protect the environment,” said SMUD’s Chief Customer Officer Nicole Howard in a statement.

State officials said its Greenergy commitment supports California’s goal to have California utilities achieve 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. In addition, DGS said the Greenergy contract would increase the state’s SMUD bill by about 6 percent. The increase will be covered by increased monthly rents that DGS already charges state agencies.