Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Utility Giant Keeps the Light on Strategic Business Development
  • Quickly adapt from a regulated industry to a market-based, competitive environment.
  • Ensure strong links between specific product offerings and overall business goals.


  • Instituted consistent procedures by which to evaluate all proposed new business initiatives.
  • Introduced a framework for managing selected ideas through additional checkpoints.
  • Trained employees across the district on the new processes, resulting in strong buy-in.


  • Change Management
  • Project Planning

As one of the nation's most dynamic and innovative electric utilities, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) became the first electric utility in California to offer customers the opportunity to choose competitive energy suppliers. Faced with increasing competition, SMUD called on PDC to help ensure a leadership position.

SMUD worked with PDC on strategy development and program planning to increase proficiency in product and service offerings. PDC also helped the utility define its oversight function, evaluate programs, allocate funding to maximize commercial and competitive potential, and ascertain the risk-to-reward ratio of new opportunities.

By focusing on the areas that would generate the highest return, SMUD implemented an evaluation process across the district, articulated the criteria for concept selection, and developed a framework for managing the progress of selected ideas through additional checkpoints. A jointly developed strategic scorecard ranks the business fit of individual offerings.

To ensure that buy-in to the process remained high, PDC worked with SMUD to roll out the program to district employees. SMUD continues to evaluate proposed new business initiatives based on this systematic approach.