by Katy Grimes, Senior Media Fellow and California Globe Editor
As appearing in the California Globe
On June 1st, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District began charging Sacramento electricity users and ratepayers a new rate system that charges residential users higher rates between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m… much higher rates, just in time to get home from work, feed the family, do a couple loads of laundry, bathe the kiddies, maybe vacuum a room or two, and watch a little Netflix.
These new summer “peak” rates appear to be about 40% – 200% higher, looking at the bill.
SMUD says the goal is to “reduce energy usage,” but they don’t say why. Instead they make suggestions like “start or program your dishwasher, washing machine or clothes dryer to run and finish before 5 p.m. or to start after 8 p.m., or schedule these chores for any time on the weekend when all hours are at the lowest off-peak price.”
Here is why SMUD needs to lower usage at a higher rate: “We’re committed to providing customers with 60% renewable energy by 2030. And by continuing to add renewables like solar, wind, biomass and geothermal, we plan to be net-zero GHG by 2040.”