How does a not-for-profit municipal utility that has committed to eliminate carbon from buildings ensure that its low and moderate income customers aren’t left behind during the transition? This was exactly what the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) set out to do. Previously the utility company had launched the nation’s most aggressive initiatives under uts ‘All-Electric Smart Homes program’ to encourage all electric homes, offering incentives worth upto $5000 for each all-electric new single-family home.
For the low and moderate income households, SUTD outlined a goal of launching a full-fledged low-income electrification program within a year. Through this program, by the end of November, SMUD contractors had installed 105 air-source heat pumps, 13 heat pump water heaters and 10 induction stoves/ranges for low-income households across Sacramento. Further, a study revealed that considering the low electricity rates in California, customers in existing single-family homes who replace gas-burning furnaces and water heaters with electric air-source heat pumps and heat pump water heaters could save up to $750 annually. For customers in existing low-rise multifamily buildings, the shift could result in utility bill savings of around $300 annually.