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January 2016

Letter from the Chair

Accomplishments in 2015, looking forward to 2016 . . .

Picture of iRobot

Credit: California Energy Commission

Energy Commission Reaches $1 Million Settlement Over Robot Vacuums

A $1 million settlement reached with iRobot Corporation over the energy efficiency of robotic vacuum cleaners, including the Roomba . . .


Credit: California Energy Commission

Seeing Green: Reducing Energy Use and Saving Money

Schools are seeing green thanks to the Energy Commission's Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) . . .

Walnuts drying

Credit: California Energy Commission

New Walnut Drying Technology Helps to Make the (Harvest) Season Bright

With help from a $1.1 million Energy Commission grant, UC Davis began demonstrating a new commercial walnut drying system that could save growers as much as 50 percent in energy costs . . .

solar panels

Credit: California Energy Commission

New Legislation Impacts Energy Commission

Three new bills directly impact the work of the Energy Commission . . .


Credit: California Energy Commission

Three Compressed Natural Gas Stations Open

Stations opened in the City of Monterey Park, San Jose and Lompoc in Santa Barbara County . . .

Desert landscape

Credit: California Energy Commission

Local, State Energy Goals Take Center Stage

The Draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) is an innovative, landscape-scale planning effort covering more than 20 million acres . . .


Credit: California Energy Commission

Did you know?

For Energy Commission staff it was déjà vu all over again when the hydrogen fuel cell Mirai was introduced



  • Energy Commission adopted updates to the energy provision of the California Green (CalGreen) Building Standards. The proposed language introduces requirements for a voluntary zero net energy design building designation for single family and low-rise multifamily buildings. It also modifies lighting requirements to align with new mandatory requirements.
  • The Woodland Joint Unified School District dedicated 16 electric vehicle charging at six schools and its district headquarters with a $128,000 grant from the Energy Commission. The Level 2 chargers are connected to photovoltaic panels allowing the district to offer free charging to teachers, staff, high school students and the public. Investing in alternative energy transportation helps California reach its clean air and climate goals and reduce its reliance on petroleum.


  • Energy Commission approved residential and nonresidential 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Compliance tools. The software and manuals assist the building industry and enforcement agencies to meet the standards. The approval comes more than a year before implementation allowing the industry to prepare for changes that will start in January 2017.


  • Energy Commission approved more than $5 million in loans to the Lamont Public Utility District located south of Bakersfield, for a solar photovoltaic (PV) system at a wastewater treatment plant and to the Oroville Union High School District in Butte County for roof and parking structure PV panels. Both projects are part of the Energy Conservation Assistance Act and will reduce electricity consumption and utility expenses, while promoting renewable energy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Energy Commission and the state's three largest investor-owned utilities showcased more than 40 clean energy research projects at the first Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Symposium. Featured projects highlighted energy saving technologies, advances in residential solar power, bioenergy technologies that turn waste to energy and improvements to grid operations. The projects were funded through the EPIC program, which invests about $160 million annually to support innovative technologies and approaches that bring clean energy ideas to market.
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