16:00 Wednesday, 2017-May-24
Steve Uhler's comments on SMUD GM's 2017 Rate Report

It appears SMUD staff are having some difficulty with my requests for information, effecting my right to a full and fair opportunity to present rate alternatives.


Customer-owners are what SMUD's about, the idea of a utility owned by and responsive to its customers will not change in the decades to come.

The leadership of SMUD is responsive to the public. Our business is conducted in public, at meetings open to the public, and at which the public is free to speak to SMUD's elected leadership.

It is through the two workshops and hearing that are required by SMUD rules, the Customer-owners are given the right to speak freely about SMUD's General Manager's Report and Recommendation on Rates and Services March 16, 2017 Volume 1 and General Manager's Report and Recommendation on Rates and Services March 16, 2017 Volume 2.

"Compact with the Customer"

In 2008 former SMUD General Manager, Jan Schori said, To balance the region's growing energy needs while protecting the environment and reducing global warming, the SMUD Board of Directors is developing a "Compact with the Customer." Curbing energy use during the hottest hours of summer is the major impetus. SMUD currently needs an extra 400 megawatts of power to satisfy peak energy use during the 40 hottest hours of the summer. If trends continue, SMUD would need an extra 650 megawatts of power to meet the summer peak in 2050.

By tackling peak energy use and carbon emissions head on, SMUD's Compact with the Customer will help ensure a more sustainable world for future generations.

The Compact with the Customer takes a variety of approaches. SMUD will boost its supplies of renewable energy and become one of the most energy-efficient regions in the state through new programs and rate signals. SMUD is taking a broad look at rates and how it can use two-way meters to give price signals to customers and encourage them to reduce their energy use.

May 2007 SMUD's Board of Directors voted to approve energy efficiency goals that exceed state requirements by 50 percent. SMUD will help customers reduce energy consumption by 15 percent over the next 10 years. The higher level of efficiency would reduce peak generation requirements by 570 megawatts by 2017.

For 2008, the Board has approved a new financial target based on cash flow. The new rates for 2008 - a 7-percent increase on Jan. 1 - were set by the Board to meet this new target and cover the new efficiency and solar programs.

Sounds good but...

In 2014, shortly after Arlen Orchard was given the position of SMUD General Manager, he did away with SMUD's "Compact With The Customer", saying it was something former SMUD General Manager John DiStaio had adopted. Watch the full SMUD video here.

Arlen Orchard also said he always hated the term "Customer-owner" and was working on convincing the SMUD Board to do away with the term.

Baked into the rates...

A SMUD executive has said, the cost of solar is baked into the rates and selling SolarShares Commercial for nine cents a kWh when the cost of a kWh is seven cents, is a increase in revenue and the customer gets what they want. What customer this he talking about? Watch the full SMUD video here.

What does it mean to "bake into the rates"?

Are all customers paying for renewable electricity that others are claiming as their own?

Please consider the above in reviewing SMUD General Manager Arlen Orchard's rate proposal as he appears to be ill informed as to the history of SMUD (Compact with the customer) and appears to be unfair to many SMUD Customer-owners (baked in to the rates).

Steve Uhler's Rate alternatives and analysis

In 2016, at a California Energy Commission (CEC) workshop, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker said we may have a boon of cheap electricity. This "cheap electricity" will most like occur between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Watch the full CEC video here. (Playback Help)

Arlen Orchard's rate proposal appears to not take advantage of the expected low cost electricity.

My additional proposed rates I am calling "Solar Time" and "Super Power" do take advantage of the expected low cost electricity in a effort to not allow these renewable resources to go to waste.

"PG&E 2017 E-TOU-B-10%" rate I propose here will benefit SMUD customers with lower bills.

Below are links to Steve Uhler's Rate alternatives and analysis.

Please note that in all GM rate cases, some SMUD Customer-owners will have a higher bill (higher cost per kWh) than PG&E customers with for the same usage.

Single Family Home, Electric Space Heat, aka SMUD Gold Medallion Homes

Single Family Home, Gas Space Heat

Multi-Family Home, Electric Space Heat

Multi-Family Home, Gas Space Heat

Other handy notes and links:

For the SMUD Board's "Compact With The Customer":

Search for "compact" in the linked PDF files below.

SMUD Initiates "Compact with Customer" to Meet Region's Energy Challenges By Howard Posner, SMUD Ward 3 Director

June 1, 2017 SMUD Rate Hearing slide presentation

Click on your browser back button after viewing each slide.

A look at the CAISO Duck Chart

Using power when solar output is high helps in meeting the California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
If the "net load" drops too far (<12Gw for CAISO), solar power will be curtained to protect the power grid.

Slide: http://wwmpd.com/

SMUD has more than doubled its carbon footprint in Sacramento County since 2005

Using the low cost solar from the CAISO could greatly reduce SMUD's carbon footprint in Sacramento County by reducing the need to run SMUD's Cosumnes Power Plant to about 30% of its capacity.

Slide: http://ugemrp.com/1066/0001/questions/20170215/co2_i_2005_2015.htm

SMUD Gold Medallion Homes in a SMUD TOD rate world.

Note that there is a wide range kWh rate charges for all SMUD customers,
where PG&E customers pay very close to the same rate at all usages.

Slide: http://carbonconscience.us/smud/rates/2017/100.htm

A summer week, why does SMUD want to charge more even when the average peak is low?

Would it be better to tier the use in a given hour, such as
the first 2 kWh costs $0.12,
then the next 2 kWh costs $0.18,
then the next 2 kWh costs $0.36,
then the next 2 kWh costs $0.54,
then the next 2 kWh costs $0.87,
then each additional kWh costs $1.33

Low use customer example:

Slide: http://carbonconscience.us/smud/rates/2017/100_013_000_002_001_000_30.svg

High use customer example:

Slide: http://carbonconscience.us/smud/rates/2017/100_013_003_002_001_000_30.svg

Lets look at yesterday on the CAISO and projected through the year 2030.

We'll be looking at how much renewable energy has to be exported to another place or time to meet the California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and protect the power grid.

Slide: http://ugemrp.com/caiso/dashboard/forecast/forecast_yesterday.svg

Lets look at a whole year on the CAISO and projected through the year 2030.

We'll be looking at how much renewable energy has to be exported to another place or time to meet the California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and protect the power grid.

Slide: http://ugemrp.com/caiso/dashboard/mrp/index_mrp_export.svg

Explore the CAISO Renewable Watch data, through the eyes of a Manufacturing Engineering Technologist.

Slide: http://ugemrp.com/caiso/dashboard/lsd/index_lsd.svg

Customer Rate Advisory Committee

SMUD Board please consider adding my alternate rate schedules and exploring the many other rate products that can be developed through the close collaboration between SMUD staff and the public, with the staff providing the required data and the public suppling the computational analysis to form rates that will meet California's energy goals and give SMUD Customer-Owners more choices.

Use this link if your browser does not play the C-SPAN video clip.


Lets make sure that the SMUD ratepayers are told the truth about the green products SMUD wants to provide.

thank you,

Steve Uhler