Innovation Ecosystem

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Toward a Clean Energy Future

our Mission

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. Combating climate change is fundamental to maintaining California’s future and the CEC plays a key role in implementing and crafting policies and programs to create a low-carbon economy. Entrepreneurs have many opportunities for market research, funding, and other information through the following areas:

  • Energy Assessments

    The mission of the Energy Assessments Division is to assess California’s energy systems and trends, providing information for decision-makers and the public resulting in policies that balance the need for adequate resources with economic, public health, safety, and environmental goals.

  • Energy Efficiency

    For more than 40 years, the Energy Commission has been pivotal in advancing energy efficiency strategies. The Energy Commission has saved consumers more than $110 billion in utility bills by adopting and implementing cost-effective appliance and building energy efficiency standards.

  • Renewables

    The Energy Commission administers the state’s landmark Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), ensuring that utilities disclose their electricity supply portfolio to consumers, certify power plants, and verifies utilities are meeting the RPS targets.

  • Research

    The Energy R&D Division manages investments that advance energy science and technology in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable and advanced clean generation, energy transmission and distribution, energy-related environmental protection, and transportation.

  • Transportation

    The Energy Commission invests about $100 million annually to develop and deploy low-carbon fuels and vehicle technologies. In addition, the Energy Commission is the state’s lead agency on electric vehicle fueling infrastructure, responsible for leading the state’s investment in plug-in electric vehicle stations and establishing the first network of retail hydrogen refueling stations in the nation.

Empower Innovation is directly supported by two divisions of the California Energy Commission: Fuels & Transportation and Energy Research & Development. Read more about these divisions' goals and programs below.

Fuels & Transportation

The California Energy Commission’s Fuels and Transportation Division ensures that adequate and reliable transportation energy is provided to the state’s transportation sector while balancing economic, public health, safety, and environmental consequences. The division administers the Clean Transportation Program (also known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program).

Clean Transportation Program

The Clean Transportation Program invests up to $100 million annually in a broad portfolio of transportation and fuel transportation projects throughout the state. Leveraging public and private investments, these investments support innovation and accelerate the development and deployment of alternative and renewable fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. The program also invests in manufacturing and workforce training to translate clean technology investments into sustained employment opportunities. 

Find the Fuel and Transportation Division's latest funding opportunities here on Empower Innovation.

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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.

Electric Program Investment Charge Program

The Research and Development Division also manages the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program. EPIC was created by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in December 2011 to support investments in clean energy technologies that provide benefits to the electricity ratepayers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison Company (SCE). The EPIC program funds clean energy research, demonstration and deployment projects that support California's energy policy goals and promote greater electricity reliability, lower costs, and increased safety. The Energy Commission's electricity innovation investments follow an energy innovation pipeline program design, funding applied research and development, technology demonstration and deployment, and market facilitation to create new energy solutions, foster regional innovation, and bring clean energy ideas to the marketplace.