Sacramento, your summer electricity bill is about to jump. Here’s what to do about it

SMUD officials say the new system is revenue neutral, meaning that ratepayers overall should end up paying the same annually as they do under the current system because of lower winter rates.

But, as the chart below shows, many ratepayers will be hit with price shock during summer months, including a price spike in July with an average bill of $163. That’s if they don’t change their ways.

“The decision is theirs,” SMUD pricing supervisor Alcides Hernandez said.

. . . This chart below shows the costs to SMUD to provide electricity. During the day, SMUD can tap plenty of solar power. That power wanes in the evening towards sunset when people are using more energy. SMUD must then go on the energy market to buy electricity from natural gas plant operators. That energy is more expensive, in part because of the cost of ramping those plants up and down in the evening.

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