Considering Solar in Sacramento? Learn What SMUD Can Do for You

SMUD Answers to You

Sacramento solar sports arena

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or “SMUD,” as it’s affectionately known, is one of the largest publicly owned utilities in the United States. Unlike investor-owned utilities, SMUD answers to its rate-payers, making business decisions based less on what will turn a profit, and more on what’s best for the common good.

In the late 1980s, SMUD customers voted to decommission the utility’s Rancho Seco Nuclear generation plant. The decommissioned towers remain, but solar panels and a nearby gas-fired plant now generate the power formerly produced by the nuclear facility.

In addition to solar, natural gas, and wind power, SMUD is also invested in several hydroelectric facilities along the American River, including the Loon Lake Dam and Reservoir, the Union Valley Dam and Reservoir, and the Slab Creek dam and reservoir.

SMUD is a forward-thinking utility, so it should come as no surprise that they’re eager to assist customers who are interested in going solar. Read more

10 Facts About Solar Pool Heating in California

Getting the Most out of Your Swimming Pool, All Year Long

solar pool heating

When the sun is beating down, there are few luxuries more pleasant than having your very own backyard swimming pool. But, as pool owners of all stripes will attest, it’s a costly privilege, and then some. Even in a relatively sunny place like California, the cost of keeping a pool within a comfortable temperature range throughout the year can be quite steep.

But for some, it’s a creature comfort well worth the expense. Still, why pay more than you have to? Read on to learn more about heating your swimming pool with the power of the sun, and saving tons of money while doing it. Read more

Sacramento Solar: The Benefits to Going Solar in CA’s Capital

Go Solar in Sacramento and Save Big

solar in sacramento

There’s a lot to love about life in Sacramento, California. Residents of the state’s capital enjoy easy access to stunning natural landscapes, a robust farm-to-fork movement, and a treasure trove of cultural riches.

And as it turns out, Sacramento is also a great place to go solar. Let’s check out the benefits of going solar in the City of Trees, California’s capital city. Read more

How Does Your Solar Energy Contribution Benefit the Power Grid?

Why Some Utilities Are Against Solar

solar benefits power grid

Judging by the rhetoric coming from some traditional utilities, solar energy is going to cause big problems… not just for the utilities themselves, but for their loyal customers, as well. Utilities say those who continue to purchase their power in the traditional fashion will be forced to shoulder more than their share of the cost of grid infrastructure upkeep because of solar energy’s continued widespread adoption.

But when the facts are laid bare, it becomes clear that while utilities are couching this argument in ostensible concern for their customers, they’re actually doing their best to hold on to the monopoly they’ve enjoyed for so long.

For a long time, the arrangement benefited utilities and their shareholders: customers basically had no choice when it came to how they could purchase energy. But now, solar energy is upending that paradigm. Read more

Why Solar Customers Should Keep an Eye on Utility Companies

Why Aren’t Utilities 100% on Board With Solar Progress?

solar and utilities

On one hand, it seems like utilities should be excited about solar energy’s rapid progress. After all, residential solar benefits them in more ways than one.

When consumers produce their own power, they often generate more than they need, and utilities are able to purchase that power from them. In doing so, they avoid the environmental costs associated with generating power from fossil fuels. Plus, they’re able to cut distribution and right-of-way costs, and forestall costly power plant upgrades.

However, many utilities seem to suffer from a loss of perspective. Despite the proven benefits, they seem dead set on stifling solar growth. They raise the point that solar customers use their infrastructure, but sidestep the costs associated with maintaining it, and claim that solar adopters will force them to raise rates for the rest of their customers. Read more