State public power agencies are facing lower demand and higher costs to modernize their energy infrastructure. Whether they\u2019re large or small, whether their customers are predominantly industrial, residential, or a mix of the two, municipal utilities are required to increase their renewable supplies, decrease carbon emissions and modernize their electric systems. Munis\u2019 support for the installation of \u201csmart\u201d meters is mixed, with some strong advocates and others questioning the claimed benefits of the devices. Below is the second half of Current\u2019s snapshot of the state\u2019s munis--covering rates, renewables, meter installations, and efficiency programs. The first half of this roundup covered Alameda to Los Angeles. Part 1 appeared March 25. It can be found at cacurrent.com. Modesto Irrigation District--Retail sales for the Central Valley muni dropped 4.5 percent from 2009 to 2010 and have not come back up. The initial drop was attributed largely to the economy. MID raised rates 7 percent beginning this year. According to Modesto spokesperson Kate Hora, 5 percent of the rate increase is attributed to alternative energy investments. Those are itemized separately on customers\u2019 bills. The other 2 percent increase is in response to a decline in retail demand and the cost of renewing its partially owned 203 MW New Don Pedro hydropower plant license at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The dam is also owned by the Turlock Irrigation District. Last year, Modesto reached an 18 percent renewables level in its portfolio, with all of it wind energy. It expects to increase its alternative power supplies to 25 percent this year from additional wind farms. \u201cSmart\u201d meters were installed throughout its territory in 2009. Implementation of real-time pricing--which lets customer know the real-time cost of power and adjust power usage if they so chose-- is not yet being considered, according to Hora. Some ratepayers balked on installing wireless meters, insisting the installations caused their utility bills to increase. A few of the tested devices were found to be inaccurate, according to Hora, but they recorded less power used than was actually consumed, not more. Modesto, along with Silicon Valley, SMUD and Burbank, received stimulus fund for smart grid expansions, with Modesto receiving $1.5 million. In 2009, Modesto\u2019s residential air conditioner efficiency program reaped 1,710 MWh of savings and its business efficiency programs a total 12,653 MWh of savings, according to a March 10 report, Energy Efficiency in California\u2019s Public Power Sector. Palo Alto Utilities--Electrical load in this town dropped a little more than 5 percent over a two-year period--from 1,041,000 MWh in 2008 to 987,000 MWh last year. Gas usage in the city followed a similar trajectory. \u201cWe are not sure how much is due to the economic climate vs. response to our efficiency programs vs. the weather,\u201d stated Val Fong, Palo Alto\u2019s general manager. There are no planned annual rate increases for this coming July or next year. Two years ago, the muni raised rates 10 percent. At the same time, customers\u2019 gas rates in 2009 dropped 10 percent. Nearly 20 percent of Palo Alto\u2019s supplies came from alternative power resources last year. The city plans to reach a 33 percent renewable level by 2015--five years ahead of the state\u2019s 33 percent renewables rule, which is also once again the focus of legislation--which this time passed its final hurdle on the Assembly floor March 29 (see story above). Palo Alto curbed power use by a nearly 4.9 million kWh last year through a variety of energy efficiency programs. The majority of the savings for electricity came from business efficiency rebates--predominantly in lighting programs. Gas savings were split evenly between residential and business rebate programs, Fong said. Palo Alto hopes its energy efficiency programs will reduce electricity use by 7.2 percent in 2020 and gas use by 5.5 percent. Smart meter installations are being explored--in particular how to combine the digitized meter infrastructure with the city\u2019s broadband. Riverside Public Utilities--Power demand has dropped a whopping 18 percent since the recession at the state\u2019s eighth largest utility. Load decreased to 2.2 million MWh the last fiscal year from 2.7 million MWh the previous year, according to the city\u2019s 2009-10 financial report. The unemployment rate hit 15 percent last year in Riverside and the real estate market fell 40 percent. More than 16 percent of Riverside supplies came from renewable resources last year. That was up from more than 10 percent in 2009. The muni in the Inland Empire is spending about $8 million to convert its 107,000 electric customers to \u201csmart\u201d meters, with the cost being paid for by bonds and money set aside for regular meter replacement. The meter installation process, which began last year, is expected to be complete by 2012, according to the city. Riverside\u2019s energy efficiency programs reaped 16 GWh in 2008-09, according to the report, Energy Efficiency in California\u2019s Public Power Sector. Roseville Electric--The recession caused its load to drop and forced the muni-- which serves nearly 53,000 predominantly residential customers--to put major construction projects on hold. Energy sales declined more than 3.5 percent since fiscal year 2008 \u201cas a result of residential and commercial vacancies, and reduced per meter energy consumption,\u201d according to the Energy Efficiency in California\u2019s Public Power Sector Report. Its eligible renewable supplies make up 18 percent of its power portfolio, according to Michelle Bertolino, Roseville\u2019s utility director. Eight percent is from wind farms, 5 percent from geothermal supplies, 4 percent biomass-waste, and 1 percent small hydro, solar, and other qualifying resources. The city does not have plans to install so called \u201csmart meters.\u201d It has done three feasibility studies on the wireless meters the last five years, but has \u201cyet to find a positive cost-benefit ratio,\u201d Bertolino said. She noted installation of meters allowing a two-way digital communication would go forward only \u201cwhen there is a solid business case for Roseville to do so.\u201d Roseville\u2019s commercial and residential energy efficiency programs reaped 8.6 million kWh of savings in 2009 and 7.5 million kWh last year. Like Palo Alto, much of the energy savings came from upgraded industrial lighting, as well as heating and ventilation systems. Sacramento Municipal Utility District--Customers in this sprawling district used almost 5 percent less energy than planned in 2010, according to Cary Nethaway, SMUD controller. The decrease was from lower usage due to a slowed economy and fewer industrial consumers, he said. SMUD\u2019s operating revenue in 2010 was more than $56 million lower than expected. Actual revenue for the calendar year was $1.19 billion, down from the 2009 total of $1.29 billion. The muni increased its rates by 5.5 percent in March 2010, and another 2.25 percent at the start of this year. Last year, alternative power represented 21 percent of its portfolio, with biomass amounting to about 61 percent of its renewable energy, wind 27 percent, and hydro 12 percent, SMUD data show. The muni expects to have 23 percent of its energy portfolio supplied by renewable energy by the end of 2011 and to increase the level to 33 percent by 2020. SMUD began installing smart meters in its service territory in November 2009. Spokesperson Christopher Capra said that as of March 2011, 200,000 meters had been installed out of a total of 600,000 planned. The rest are due for installation by the end of this year. There haven\u2019t been any major technical glitches reported, but some people have objected to the installations. More than 350 customers have refused smart meter installations, Capra said. Of those, 70 were eventually convinced to accept the meters. Customers who outright refuse smart meters are put at the end of the installation queue, he said. They will be asked again whether they want a smart meter installation. \u201cWe have not decided what to do with permanent refusals,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s too early in the process.\u201d SMUD\u2019s energy efficiency programs produced 148 GWh of annual savings in 2009 and 143 GWh in savings last year. Silicon Valley Power--This muni weathered the economic downturn quite well. Although its load initially dropped 2-3 percent in 2009, the loss has been made up by the influx and growth in datacenters. The Santa Clara-based muni raised rates 7 percent in January to bring expenses and revenues in line. \u201cWe are projecting flat rates for a couple of years now, with the usual caveats (extreme weather, carbon costs, etc.),\u201d according to Larry Owens, SVP spokesperson. SVP\u2019s power portfolio is made up of 25 percent alternative power, Owens said. That figure fluctuates with how much and when the wind blows, as well as water levels in its small hydro projects, which are very high this season. It plans to reach 33 percent by 2020. A 30 percent level is within reach with the addition of the 50 MW wind farm near Bickleton, Washington. Next summer, two landfill projects producing 14 MW are expected to come on line. Renewable supplies that exceed its annual targets are sold in the market with the revenue used to build new renewable facilities, Owens noted. The muni received federal stimulus funds for smart meter installation but is moving cautiously largely because of the opposition Pacific Gas & Electric and others have faced. No wireless meters have been installed. It\u2019s \u201cworking on integrating IT and wireless communication systems before anything else,\u201d said Owens. SVP reaped 30 Million kWh of energy efficiency savings in 2010, reaching its target. Because of mild summer weather and lack of summer power peaks, demand response is not a major issue for the muni. \u201cDay-ahead and hour-ahead [demand response] markets, without local benefit, just does not pencil out for most of our customers,\u201d said Owns.