eLab Accelerator 2019

Equitable Electrification in Sacramento

Project Objective

Identify and prioritize strategies for transitioning low- and moderate-income customers in Sacramento to electric space heating, water heating, and cooking.

Team Members

  • Scott Blunk, Strategic Planner – Electrification, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

  • Andrew Brooks, Director of West Coast Operations, Association for Energy Affordability

  • Cheri Davis, Supervisor, SMUD

  • Jennifer Gress, Senior Policy Director, City of Sacramento

  • Tiffany Mateo, Mechanical Engineer, California Energy Commission

  • Darin Schrum, Supervisor, SMUD

  • Randy Ximenez, Business Development Manager, Community Resource Project Inc.

Project Description

Building electrification is a key climate strategy for Sacramento, SMUD and California to meet our long term carbon reduction goals, and will likely play a large role in many parts of the country where gas distribution for home space heating, water heating and cooking is prevalent. One key part of the strategy is engaging low- and moderate-income (LMI) residents, who can’t be left behind as approximately 80% of Sacramento’s residential buildings transition to all-electric. LMI customers typically lack the capital to make use of incentive programs and often have rate discount incentives that reduce bill savings from fuel switching. In addition, split incentives between the owners and the occupants of buildings have slowed participation in programs. This project will focus on creating a set of strategies and a roadmap for ensuring LMI customers are appropriately prioritized in the market transformation toward building electrification.

Progress Made to Date (pre-Accelerator)

The City of Sacramento and SMUD have set goals to be carbon neutral by 2045 and 2040, respectively. SMUD already offers incentives for building electrification and is exploring ways to increase program participation, especially for LMI customers.