The Energy Commission’s Energy Research and Development Division helps California meet its energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals by investing in cutting-edge research that:

  • Improves the energy efficiency of buildings.
  • Advances the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure.
  • Improves water and energy management.
  • Supports new clean energy innovations.
  • Reduces environmental pollutants. 
  • Makes the state’s electrical and natural gas infrastructure safer, more reliable, and more efficient.
  • Improves the resiliency of the energy system to the impacts of climate change.

The division manages two research funding programs:

The Electric Program Investment Charge program awards about $130 million annually for clean energy innovations and strategies that benefit the ratepayers of California’s three largest electric investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric.

The Natural Gas Research Program supports projects and technologies that advance clean, diverse, and environmentally sound energy systems or prioritize the integrity and safety of the state’s natural gas infrastructure.

The division also manages initiatives like the Food Production Investment Program, and collaborative efforts like the Microgrid Roadmap and the Energy Storage Roadmap.

Broader Participation Equals Greater Innovation

California’s continuing transition to a low-carbon energy future includes a strong focus on equality to ensure benefits are realized by all Californians, especially those in the most vulnerable communities.

Through EPIC and other programs, the Energy Commission is addressing barriers preventing all communities from accessing clean energy services and funding opportunities. Efforts include:

  • Funding clean energy technologies and solutions that benefit low-income customers.
  • Requiring targeted technology demonstrations in disadvantaged communities.
  • Encouraging disadvantaged and underrepresented enterprises – including disabled veteran-, women-, LGBT-, and minority-owned and small businesses – to apply for EPIC grants as a primary or subcontractor.

As California continues to pursue aggressive energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets, new ideas and additional research will be needed to meet those goals.

Learn more about how the Energy Commission is investing in innovation through its energy research and development programs.