Sacramento Makes the Move Toward 100% Renewable Energy

Sacramento’s vision of a Sustainable City. Art rendering of the Railyards infill development project and trees.

Sacramento Makes the Move Toward 100% Renewable Energy

September 28, 2022 | By The Railyards

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg is calling for Sacramento to be an all-renewable energy city, a move that would help move Sacramento closer to its goal of being the Most Liveable City in America.

Can Sacramento Make the Move to 100% Renewable Energy?

In August 2022, Steinberg announced his support for accelerating the city’s climate plan through initiatives like the SMUD Greenergy program, which allows customers to opt into a 100% carbon-electricity program.

The City of Sacramento owns more than 400 buildings. By obtaining the energy to power the 4.7 million square feet included in those buildings from Greenergy, the City could eliminate approximately 22% of current municipal greenhouse gas emissions. This move could significantly reduce the City’s municipal emissions by more than 80% by 2030.

Steinberg is dedicated to the vision of an all-renewable city. “We can find a million dollars to ensure that we are 100% renewable for city-owned and operated buildings, and that is what we must do,” the Mayor announced.

Municipalities like the City of Sacramento aren’t the only ones that can join SMUD’s Greenergy program: residents can also make the move to renewables to power their homes.

Greenergy Residential Clean Energy Program

By joining SMUD’s Greenergy program, you can get your Sacramento electricity needs met with renewable energy from wind and sun.

Greenergy charges a flat rate beginning at $3/ month added to your electricity bill to make the switch to renewable energy. The Greenergy charges can be found on your regular monthly bill under the Electric Service Charges section. The flat rate will remain consistent month-to-month with no changes or surprises.

  • Greenergy Standard: A portion of your electric usage (200 kWh) will come from renewable resources. A $3 charge will be added to your monthly electric bill.
  • Greenergy California renewable: 100% of your electric usage will be met with California-based renewable resources. A $10 charge will be added to your monthly electric bill.
  • Greenergy local renewable: 100% of your electric usage will be met with renewable resources from the Sacramento region. An $18 charge will be added to your monthly electric bill.

Greenergy Business Clean Energy Program

Sacramento businesses can also commit to 100% renewable energy by enrolling in the Greenergy for businesses program to power their businesses with wind, water, and solar. The Greenergy program adds an extra $10 fee per MWh for businesses. Businesses that use more than 1,000 kWh per month can get a custom quote from SMUD.

Get Shade Trees and Reduce Your Power Usage

The Greenergy program is helping residents, businesses, and the City of Sacramento switch to renewable energy. However, SMUD also provides free shade trees to help you further reduce energy usage — a perfect program for the “City of Trees.”

Shade trees can naturally cool homes and neighborhoods, plus offer added environmental benefits, including storing carbon to clean the air we breathe and producing oxygen.

The Sacramento Tree Foundation has created a guide to help you find the perfect trees for your home based on the amount of water available for the tree, the location where it will be planted, soil type, and desired size. Explore the Shady 80: Trees for a Cooler Sacramento Region

Go to SMUD to learn more about the Free Shade Tree Program to help reduce energy use and create a cooler, more environmentally friendly Sacramento.

Sacramento Releases Public Draft of Climate Action Plan

Steinberg’s August Greenergy announcement came one month after the City released the Preliminary Public Review Draft of the Sacramento Climate Action Plan.

Developed over three years of planning with extensive engagement from the community, the document sets new and ambitious targets for the City and identifies key decarbonization strategies and implementable actions that form the foundation of Sacramento’s goal for achieving carbon neutrality by 2045.

Highlights from the Climate Action Plan include:

Investments to reduce emissions from the mobility sector, such as prioritizing active transportation methods (walking and biking), transit and shared transportation, and zero-emission vehicles.

Investments to reduce emissions from built environments, such as supporting infill growth as seen in projects like the Sacramento Railyards, mandating all-electric construction in new buildings, and transitioning existing buildings to electric.

Investments in community health and resiliency, such as expanding green infrastructure to increase access to green space, increasing the baseline canopy to 25% by 2030 and 35% by 2045, and supporting a regenerative food system that increases access to healthy, affordable food for all communities.

Sacramento is on the move towards a greener, more sustainable future. With the move towards 100% renewable energy and a focus on the strategies outlined in the Climate Action Plan, the City of Trees demonstrates that a sustainable future is possible.

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