Changes could be made to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District\u2019s commercial and residential electricity pricing policies to reduce energy use at times of high demand if the utility enacts recommendations made in a newly released report. The restructured pricing plan would be used to reduce electricity consumption during peak periods in the muni\u2019s territory to more equitably allocate costs across customer classes and align the utility\u2019s small commercial and large commercial rate structures, according to the report The proposed changes \u201cwill not increase system average rates,\u201d it states. \u201cThere\u2019ll be numerous opportunities for our customers to hear about and comment on the recommendations,\u201d board member Rob Kerth remarked April 7. The report was prepared by the pricing division of the muni\u2019s Business Planning & Budget department at the direction of SMUD general manager John DiStasio. A handful of potentially major policy changes are outlined in the report including: -Lowering year-round electricity use charges for residential customers in exchange for increasing SMUD\u2019s fixed monthly system infrastructure maintenance charge for residential customers from $7.20\/month to $10\/month and for small commercial customers from $8.25\/month to $12\/month. -Changing SMUD\u2019s current six-month summer season pricing period of May through October to a four-month period running June through September for residential customers and introducing a higher summer pricing period for commercial customers during late afternoon peak hours on weekdays. The proposed cost for small commercial customers is 23 cents\/kWh for on-peak and 8 cents\/kWh off-peak June through September. The current cost for these customers is 12 cents\/kWh May through December. -Capping the amount of usage by low-income residential customers who qualify for a discount. The muni\u2019s board unanimously agreed to hold public hearings on rates on May 5 and June 16. Just before the vote, board member Rob Kerth emphasized that the proposals are not a done deal. \u201cThese proceedings are just part of a wide-ranging outreach plan to get the word out about the recommendations,\u201d he noted. SMUD rates rose by 2.25 percent on Jan. 1, 2011, and by 5.5 percent on March 1, 2010. The proposed SMUD plan came just two days after California\u2019s other major municipal utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, announced plans to cut $440 million from its budget over a three-year span. However, its measures contrast vastly with Sacramento\u2019s rate reorganization in that LADWP is emphasizing internal measures--like hiring freezes, overtime reductions and cutting operational spending--as opposed to measures that affect customers like fees and rate increases.