Public Power Announcements


EPUD Awards $40,000 GREEN Grant to Mid Lane Cares

Emerald People’s Utility District (Eugene, Ore.) GREEN program customers voted to award a $40,000 GREEN Grant to Mid Lane Cares at the Fern Ridge Service Center.

The grant will pay for the installation of a new solar electric system on the Fern Ridge Service Center and will benefit Mid Lane Cares. The project is expected to be completed in 2017.

“It was impressive to see the Veneta community come together and mobilize their EPUD friends and neighbors to vote for this project,” said Lee Kelley, an Emerald PUD board member who represents the Veneta area. “This solar energy system is expected to save Mid Lane Cares $1400 every year.”

“We are very excited about this grant award,” said Pat Coy, Mid Lane Cares executive director. “This is going to save money that can be used elsewhere.” Mid Lane Care provides food, utility, medical and scholarship assistance to Veneta area residents.

This is the fourth year the grant has been offered through Emerald’s GREEN (Giving Renewable Energy to Emerald Neighborhoods) program. It is awarded annually to a nonprofit organization in the Emerald District to finance renewable energy projects.

The grant is entirely funded by Emerald customer-owners subscribing to the GREEN program who pay a small premium on their bill each month to support renewable energy. “We appreciate our EPUD customers supporting these local projects,” Kelley said.

SMUD and Simple Energy Partner to Deliver Innovative Marketplace

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) (Sacramento, Calif.), the sixth-largest community-owned electric service in the nation, has announced a new partnership with Simple Energy, the nation’s leading provider of utility-branded marketplaces.

At launch, SMUD’s new marketplace will offer customers in the Sacramento region energy-related and smart-home products and services—with instant online rebates in the shopping cart—that can be delivered directly to customers’ homes. Over time, SMUD and Simple Energy will collaborate on the development of a broad range of additional marketplace components including new products, services, tools and more.

“We want to make it easy for our customers to find affordable, energy-saving products for their homes and businesses,” said Nicole Howard, SMUD’s chief customer officer. “By building our own marketplace with Simple Energy, we’ll be able to leverage our expertise to offer products that are proven to provide value.”

This is Simple Energy’s first partnership with a public power utility.

“SMUD’s reputation as an innovator has been well established through 70 years of industry-leading innovations—this is a very exciting partnership for us,” said Simple Energy CEO and Founder Yoav Lurie. “The synthesis of their forward-thinking approach and our platform, which powers utility-of-the-future initiatives, can serve as a model for other innovative utilities across the country and, we hope, align the industry with a more sustainable future.”

“We believe municipal utilities will play a special role in developing new utility business models because they so well align the interests of all stakeholders—customers, community members and the environment. We’re very excited that our first community-owned utility partner is such an industry leader. We are eager to drive meaningful results for SMUD,” Lurie added.

The SMUD Marketplace is expected to launch in the fall of 2017.

PCWA Board Sets Hearing for Formation of New Service Zone

At a recent Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) (Placer, Calif.) Board of Directors meeting, the Board approved a resolution that sets July 20, 2017, as the public hearing date for the formation of a new service zone. Service zones establish the land boundaries associated with the maintenance and operation of water services to residents within the zone; PCWA currently administers four zones.

As proposed, Zone 6, would overlay PCWA’s current zones and some surrounding areas in western Placer County, and allow for the consolidation of administration and accounting practices under a single set of rules and regulations. A uniform administrative structure also benefits PCWA by helping the Agency establish the baseline needed for a rigorous rate analysis capable of withstanding legal challenge, and eliminating the need to conduct costly and time-consuming annexations on a piecemeal basis as the Agency’s water system expands to cover lands not previously served.

Should the PCWA Board of Directors approve the proposed zone formation, there will be no immediate changes for customers. The Board must adopt new rules and regulations for the new zone before any changes take effect.

More information about the proposed formation of Zone 6, and hearing details, will be available at in the coming weeks.

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