California Energy Commission Fact Sheets

These fact sheets cover the seven core responsibilities of the California Energy Commission and California's leading energy policies.

The California Energy Commission's Core Responsibilities

  1. Advancing State Energy Policy — As the state's primary energy policy and planning agency, the California Energy Commission prepares the Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) and collaborates with state and federal agencies, utilities, and other stakeholders to develop and implement state energy policies.
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  2. Achieving Energy Efficiency — Since 1975, the California Energy Commission has been responsible for reducing the state's electricity and natural gas demand primarily by adopting new Building and Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards that have contributed to keeping California's per capita electricity consumption relatively low.
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  3. Investing in Energy Innovation — Since 1975, the California Energy Commission has advanced innovation through its energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programs by investing millions of dollars in technologies to improve California's energy systems and resources.
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  4. Developing Renewable Energy — The California Energy Commission is involved in many efforts to promote and support renewable energy development.
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  5. Transforming Transportation — Transportation accounts for a major portion of California's energy budget and has a significant impact on air quality. It is also the single largest source of the State's greenhouse gas emissions.
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  6. Overseeing Energy Infrastructure — The California Energy Commission is responsible for the certification and compliance of thermal power plants 50 megawatts (MW) and larger, including all project-related facilities in California.
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  7. Preparing for Energy Emergencies — In 1988, the California Energy Commission developed California's first comprehensive Energy Shortage Contingency Plan that was nationally recognized. Today, the Energy Commission continues to lead the State's energy emergency planning efforts.
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Energy Programs, Policies, and Facts

  • California's Drought: Impact on Hydroelectricity — The most widely recognized aspect of the water-energy relationship is hydroelectric generation. A vast system of reservoirs and dams, pumped storage, and run-of-river facilities helps provide reliable electric service to consumers throughout California. These hydroelectric generation facilities are operated by the state's electric investor-owned utilities (IOUs), publicly-owned utilities (POUs), state and federal agencies, irrigation districts, and other entities.

  • California's Energy Governing Institutions — California is the most populous state in the nation and the world's eighth largest economy. The state depends upon energy to meet the everyday needs of consumers and power economic growth. To ensure that the state's energy is safe, affordable, reliable, and clean, California has established three governing institutions: the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Independent System Operator.

  • Proposition 39: The California Clean Energy Jobs Act — The California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) changed the corporate income tax code and allocates projected revenue to the General Fund and the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund for five fiscal years, beginning with fiscal year 2013–14. Under the initiative, roughly up to $550 million annually is available for appropriation by the Legislature for eligible energy projects such as energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy generation at schools.

  • Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards — The California Energy Commission develops, implements, and enforces California's Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards and labeling requirements. The Energy Commission developed its first standards for appliances in 1977 that apply to appliances sold or offered for sale in California. These standards include minimum levels of operating efficiency, and other cost-effective measures, to promote the use of energy- and water-efficient appliances.

  • Building Energy Efficiency Standards — For more than 35 years, the California Energy Commission has adopted Building Energy Efficiency Standards that help reduce a building's energy consumption. These standards serve as a foundational part of California's long-term strategy for meeting energy demand, resource conservation, and environmental stewardship.

  • Western Energy Planning — California is part of a larger integrated electricity system in the western United States called the Western Interconnection, connecting electric utilities from 14 western states, parts of Canada, and Northern Mexico to operate at a synchronized frequency.

  • Zero-Emission Vehicles in California — To significantly reduce both GHG emissions and air pollution from the transportation sector, California's state agencies, including the California Energy Commission, have developed a series of policies and actions to encourage the use of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs).