​1) Direct Climate Change Impact Programs

​AB 32 Cap and Trade Program:
As per the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), this California Air Resources Board (CARB) program seeks to reduce California’s greenhouse gas pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. This is done by putting a “cap”, or limit, on greenhouse gas emissions, and allowing credits to be bought and sold (“trade”) amongst various market participants. The cap will be lowered each year, thereby decreasing the total amount of pollution allowed to be made.
See this link for more details:

​Recent actions: Program is currently in place. Link to recent proceedings and decisions:

2) Clean Energy

Energy from alternative sources, such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and tidal.

California Solar Initiative: incentives for customers to install solar systems on existing homes. The goal is to reach install 1,940 MW of new solar by 2017.

​Recent actions:

The CSI has two programs targeted at low income customers:

·  Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program

​ ·  Multi-family Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program See this link for details:


​CSI-Thermal/Solar Water Heating: Related to the California Solar Initiative, this program encourages customers to switch to solar thermal water-heating systems.
See the following link for more information:

Renewables Portfolio Standard: this program oversees utilities and sets the goal of 33% renewable energy procurement by 2020. The CPUC decides procurement targets; reviews and approves each renewable energy procurement plan; and reviews and oversees the contracts for utilities’ eligible renewable energy.
For more information, see:

3) Distributed Generation

From the utility’s perspective, distributed generation is when energy is produced and gathered from multiple, separate smaller sources (such as a many homes with solar panel installations) connected and potentially delivered to the grid,  as an alternative electricity produced all in one place (such as all the power in an area coming from a conventional fossil fuel power plant).

CPUC facilitates distributed generation through customer-side programs such as the California Solar Initiative; the Self-Generation Incentive Program; and utility-side programs such as the Renewables Portfolio Standard program (> 20 MW; Renewable Auction Mechanism (3-20 MW) and the Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT--up to 3 MW). 

​For more information, see: (
To get involved in the Rulemaking, Proceedings, and/or be added to a Service list, see (

​Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)
: incentives for distributed energy resources, other than solar.  Specifically, SGIP includes: wind turbines, waste heat to power technologies, pressure reduction turbines, internal combustion engines, microturbines, gas turbines, fuel cells, and advanced energy storage systems.


ReMat: “renewable market adjusting tariff,” the ‘mechanism’ used to determine payment rate for Feed-in-Tariff contracts. Renewable generators up to 3 megawatts (MW) enter into a contract with the program, and supply power on behalf of a cooperating IOU (“investor-owned utility”) on a 2-month basis. The REMat is based on market interest and adjusts the payment to renewable generators based on fluctuations in demand. The AB 1969 Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program was closed July 24, 2013, replaced by SB 32 FIT program.

Net Energy Metering, whereby customers can earn money (or a reduction in their electricity bill) from generating their own power from technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels, and fuel cells up to 1 MW. Recent activity: 

​​California’s Shared Renewable Energy Program, as required by Senate Bill 43, authorized the CPUC to require the state’s energy IOUs to create programs enabling their customers to purchase up to 100% of their electricity from renewable energy, and receive a bill credit from their share of renewable projects. This allows those who previously couldn’t have renewable energy generated from their own property to purchase renewable energy: such as businesses, renters, schools, churches, public agencies, and the military.​

​Also, complementary to the CPUC CSI program, the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) New Solar Homes Program offers incentives for solar from newly-constructed residential buildings. ​See:

​Other energy programs -- Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Program, otherwise known as cogeneration. In this process, electricity is generated along with heat from a single heat-producing process. Because this produces electricity from a process that would already happen, combined heat and power can reduce overall emissions. The goal for CHP is to reach 4,000 megawatts of new CHP capacity. See (
http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/CHP/) ​ ​​

Related to energy storage and other  distributed energy resources, CPUC’s Rule 21 Interconnection Proceeding intends to promote timely, non-discriminatory, cost-effective, transparent interconnection of new facilities to the grid. 
http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/rule21.htm   ​

The CPUC requires California energy IOUs to file Distribution Resource Plan Proposals on July 1, 2015, were centered on integrating distributed energy resources onto the electricity grid.  Distributed resources will include distributed renewable generation resources, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric vehicles, and demand response technologies.

California Energy Commission

1)   Energy Efficiency Programs

Appliance Efficiency—this program makes sure that appliance manufacturers meet state law standards for energy efficiency for their products. Includes an Appliance Efficiency Database.  

Building Energy Efficiency— For new and existing buildings, residential and non-residential. As set forth in Title 24, Part 6 of the California Code of Regulations, this program’s standards make sure that buildings are constructed and designed to save energy.  
​ Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings (AB 758) (non-Title 24)— Covers both state and local programs; workforce training; education and outreach; and funding. Also completed research on how best to implement and work with the market. Planning to move into Phases 2 and 3, with new policies, cooperation across stake-holders, and market developments.

Commercial Building Energy Use Disclosure (AB 1103)— this program specifically looks at nonresidential buildings and encourages energy efficiency by making available energy consumption data to prospective buyers, lessees, etc., as well as the California Energy Commission itself.   
​ ​

​ Home Energy Rating System (HERS)—has a rating system for houses to show relative energy efficiency (compared to a standard model). Homeowners and prospective home buyers can access this information and also make plans to increase energy efficiency. There is also a HERS Building Performance Contractor training program approved by the Energy Commission, to train contractors to evaluate and implement energy efficient aspects in houses.

​Bright Schools Program— Energy-saving and cost-cutting services for K-12 Public School Districts, Charter Schools, State Special Schools, County Offices of Education,  and Community Colleges. Specific services include energy audits; feasibility studies; equipment performance specifications. Participation in the program is free.

The California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39)—  Changes to the corporate income tax code to provide funding for energy efficiency and clean energy generation in schools.  Types of projects include: repairs to HVAC (heating, ventilation, air condition); energy-efficient lighting; energy-efficient windows and insulation; energy-saving furnaces; and on-site generation (e.g. solar panels).   
​ ​Acceptance Test Technician Certification— Acceptance Test Technicians make sure that nonresidential buildings are up to code and meet standards of energy efficiency. Based on 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Section 10-103-A and Section 10-103-B of the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards PDF).

 ​2)   Clean Energy ​  ​ 

Bioenergy Action Plan— Bioenergy refers to energy that is produced from biomass (discarded plant matter, agricultural waste, etc.). A 2012 Plan looked at using bioenergy as a “low-carbon” fuel alternative; increasing its Research & Development; simplifying regulations and permits; and perform economic analyses.       ​

​California Solar Initiative (CSI) –Cooperative program with the CPUC.

  The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP)— Renewable energy projects on desert lands, while preserving ecosystems. Allows for efficient permitting and cost certainty while protecting lands. The plan contains about 22.5 million acres of California desert land.

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS)  

Existing Renewables Facilities Program— Collects funds from investor-owned utilities to enable in-state renewable generating facilities.    

Geothermal Energy (Research) and Geothermal Grant and Loan Program (GRDA)— Geothermal R&D; partnerships; and funding. 

Notice of Proposed Awards for the Geothermal Grant and Loan Program grant solicitation published August 21, 2014.  

Large Solar Energy Projects—To meet the goal of 33% renewable energy by 2020, the Energy Commission oversees large solar projects (essentially 50 MegaWatts or larger) and tries to get them approved in a timely fashion. ​  

​* New Solar Homes Partnership—Related to the California Solar Initiative. This program provides funding and support for home builders, to make homes energy efficient and solar-powered.

 Ocean Energy—energy can be gathered from the ocean in numerous ways. Ocean waves can power generators; ocean water can be backed up at high tide and released at low tide (similar to conventional hydroelectric dams); and even differences in salinity or water temperature can be taken advantage of to produce energy.  ​   

Power Source Disclosure (Under Senate Bill 1305)—Information about the types of energy (i.e. renewable, non-renewable) that make up consumers’ energy bills. A label (much akin to a nutrition label) shows the mix of sources for all electricity produced by the utility in the year. A more detailed power source report is sent to the Energy Commission (also available to the public).

Rebates for Solar Hot Water –also part of the California Solar Initiative (overseen by the CPUC).

Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)—Cooperation with CPUC. The Energy Commission specifically certifies renewable facilities; tracking and verifying renewable energy output; enforcing rules on publicly owned utilities; and working with the California Air Resources Board.

Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI)— Program to study transmission needs, in light of developing renewable energy. Assessment of sources of renewable energy and best ways to connect to consumers. Work with various stakeholders including utilities, developers, and California Independent System Operator.   

WREGIS - Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System— renewable energy registry and tracking system for the Western states. Helps to validate renewable electricity, and uses renewable energy certificates (REC).

3)    Transportation Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology (ARFVT) Program—

Using a yearly $100 million public investment fund, this program promotes low carbon fuels and vehicles. Fuels included are hydrogen, natural gas, biofuels, and electricity. Fueling infrastructure is also needed.   

http://www.energy.ca.gov/transportation/   ​

4)    Research and Development  PIER (‘Public Interest Energy Research program ‘).

Renewable Energy research & development; Market adoption; and better connection to the grid and transmission. Strategizes best areas to invest and development to provide the highest benefit to the state. 

Focuses on 3 scales:

​Utility (Utility scale renewable energy (USRE)); Community (Energy Commission's Renewable Energy Secure Communities (RESCO) program); Buildings (Renewable Energy Secure Buildings (RESB) project).  No  new funding for PIER since EPIC has replaced it, but projects funded through 2015.   ​ ​

​ Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC)—Cooperative program with the California Public Utilities Commission. Also works with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, and Southern California Edison Company.

​The Energy Commission ensures that through this program funding will be provided for R&D; application of new technologies; and policy.

urban mobility

distributed smart grid 

energy storage

A sample of sustaenable climate change mitigation strategies

clean energy


energy efficiency

California Public Utilities Commission


Primary California State Policies which Mitigate Climate Change


Climate change mitigation strategies

​Collaborative Goals to Sustain Our Future

Business Consulting


* Why "Sustaenable" and not "Sustainable"? Frankly, we feel the word "Sustainable" has been over-used and mis-used.  The letters "ae" have a rich history, dating back to Old English and Middle English usage,  as well as signifying the word "one; a single" in Scottish. For example, "there is but one earth" could be expressed as "ae earth".  We believe that this one earth is already in the depths of the climate change crisis...let's work together to avert even further damage.

California Public Utilities Commission

​4) Demand Side Management Programs

Energy Efficiency:
incentives, information, and other tools to help save energy, thereby negating the need to build more power plants, and reducing customer electricity bills. (

Rulemaking R.13-11-005 - Establishes a proceeding in which to fund the current energy efficiency portfolios through 2015, implement energy efficiency "rolling portfolios", and address various related policy.

​Demand Response (DR)
: defined as modifying one’s consumption of energy (Demand), including using it at a different time, in response to a signal. This connects the demand to how much energy is able to be produced at a given time. Using electricity at certain times to match the actual production means that extra, auxiliary power plants (known as “peaker plants”) will not have to be built and run. Utilized on a large scale by industry, but also available to smaller commercial or residential customers (e.g.

For CPUC DR details, see: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/Demand+Response/
Recent activity: The CPUC has a current proceeding (2012-2014 DR program cycle) which is considering substantial changes to DR programs.  Here are the utility proposals filed:

​This link shows the recent workshops associated with that proceeding:

Energy Storage: To cost-effectively enable reliable renewable energy integration onto the grid, the CPUC directed PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E to implement 1,325 megawatts of energy storage by 2020. For the CPUC storage webpage, see: (http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/electric/storage.htm) 

5) Zero Net Energy Buildings

Essentially, buildings that produce
as much energy as they consume (so zero net effect). Plans for Zero Net Energy Buildings included in The Strategic Plan and 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report.

For more information about the CPUC's progressive Zero Net Energy policies, see:

​ ​6) Smart Grid

Smart Grid includes upgrading the electricity grid to account for renewable energy, distributed generation, and other new technological capabilities, while maintaining and improving reliability and management. Includes smart meters and distribution automation.

For details of CPUC Smart Grid policies, see:

​CPUC & CAISO Joint Reliability Plan: a joint inter-organizational effort to improve resource adequacy and grid reliability. For example, see:
http://www.caiso.com/Documents/DecisionJointReliabilityPlan-Memo-Dec2013.pdf ​

Transmission Planning and Policy: CAISO is updating transmission, and coordinating for better utilization of renewable energy. For example, see:

​7) Transportation ​

Alternative-Fueled Vehicles:  As part of overall emission reductions plans, this program works to support technology and policy to enable the adoption of low-carbon fuels and vehicles (electric vehicles, hybrids, etc.). The CPUC is seeking to encourage further development of the EV charging infrastructure throughout the state. For more information about AFV, see:
Transportation Network Companies
​Transportation Network Companies have in recent years evolved to facilitate pre-arranged transportation services. Drivers using their personal vehicles connect to potential passengers, usually using a mobile app or other software.  See

​8) Research ​

For R&D efforts related to CPUC programs, see: (

Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC): R&D into new, clean energy technologies, and help with commercially-viable projects. Total budget of $162 million/year.

Recent activity: Current 2015-2017 Investment Plans (4 Docket Cards available). The CEC is managing the EPIC program.  See
​ “California Energy Systems for the 21st century (CES-21)”—research and investment into the power grid to enable more renewable energy and to provide heightened cybersecurity. Recent activity: CES-21

​California Independent System Operator

The California Independent System Operator is a non-profit public benefit corporation that manages California’s electricity grid. Created in 1998, CAISO tracks supply and demand,  while maintaining reliability and accessibility of the wholesale transmission grid.       

​Joint Reliability Plan (with the CPUC):

  CAISO and CPUC are crafting a plan to gather and manage reliable sources of energy  to create a new market-based system for procuring energy. This would take the place of the current Capacity Procurement Mechanism, which expires in 2016. The plan would encompass the next 3 years, and eventual planning would be in place for the next 10 years. The Joint Reliability Plan is critical for the transition from primarily fossil-fuel power to renewable power over the upcoming years. 

​  Status: The ISO is actively participating in the CPUC’s proceeding.        

FRAC (Flexible Resource Adequacy Capacity) and MOO (Must-Offer Obligation): 

Flexible Resource Adequacy Capacity refers to energy sources available for quick use as needed, based on variable demand.   A must-offer obligation, or MOO, refers to energy suppliers or other entities committing to be available for dispatch during times set by CAISO.   This initiative changes tariffs so as to integrate flexible capacity changes in the CPUC resource adequacy program. This is in anticipation of the goal of 33% renewable energy by 2020, while simultaneously conventional fossil fuel plants go offline.   

For current status, see:

​ Real-Time Scheduling of Intermittent Resources  In compliance with FERC  Order 764, CAISO has enabled the wholesale grid to schedule and reliably integrate intermittent resources.  Further refinements are being developed by CAISO. 

RDRR (Reliability Demand Response Resource)— A model used for managing emergency Demand-Response (i.e. reliability programs) in the ISO market. Addresses matters such as quantity and use of retail emergency-triggered demand response programs. Used in the day-ahead market and the real-time market. FERC approval: Pending         

Other Programs:     

Load participation and demand response    Overall balancing of supply and demand. This is managed through the ISO markets.


Metered subsystems:

 These are geographically adjoining systems functioning as electric utilities within the ISO balancing authority, balancing loads and resources within the region. 



 ISO oversees transmission owners, including guidance on cost-effective alternatives which minimize transmission investments. 


Energy Storage:  

Energy storage is another key part of the current and future energy grid.  This includes pump storage and non-generator resources. ISO is working with the CPUC and the CEC to develop policies and technologies to enable the smart grid.  See the latest news pertaining to their joint “Energy Storage Roadmap” here:


Clean, green grid:    

ISO is extending the voluntary energy imbalance market to neighboring states. It is also preparing for distributed energy resources, including such things as electric vehicles, energy storage, and demand-response.  Both technological and policy innovation will be needed to coordinate the transition to the smart grid.   

​In October, 2014, the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) initiated with CAISO and PacifiCorp collaborating in integrating renewable energy sources and balancing their grids over six states.