The term of art for climate goals in the utility business is “net-zero.” It’s an accounting term. It means on balance, an electric utility is removing as much carbon from the atmosphere as it’s adding.

But how do you get to actual zero emissions? To eliminate them from the grid entirely?

That is what the Sacramento Municipal Utility District – known as SMUD – is trying to do by 2030. But it can’t hit that target without the help of customers.

So what would the customer-empowered energy transition look like? 

In this episode, produced in collaboration with Oracle Energy and Water, we’re exploring how technology advancements and the urgency of climate change are putting customers at the center of decarbonization.

Stephen Lacey sat down with SMUD CEO Paul Lau and Oracle’s Matt O’Keefe to talk about the trend.

To learn more about Oracle’s vision, visit