View as a Web page

October 2016

Commissioner Weisenmiller

Letter from the Chair

Regional Grid, Navy Partnership Help California Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

California is making significant strides toward a clean energy future, including a possible regional electric grid and advanced energy research technologies with the nation's military . . .


Credit: California Energy Commisson

Public Responds to Aliso Canyon Plan

The action plan will be finalized with additional responses in early October

More than 80 written comments were received from the public since an August workshop where the draft Aliso Canyon winter action plan was presented . . .

Solar panels

Credit: California Energy Commisson

Energy Commission Addresses Barriers to Renewable Energy in Low-Income Communities

Public input requested

Low-income residents in California face a lot of barriers in accessing clean energy or the benefits of renewable energy technology. In some cases, low-income renters and households pay more for utilities per square foot than the average household and they live in less energy-efficient housing . . .

Group photo

Credit: California Energy Commisson

Energy Commission's International Influence

Energy Commission has hosted 20 international delegations this summer

Since the start of summer, the Energy Commission has hosted 20 international delegations. From the United Kingdom to Ukraine, Africa to Australia, more countries are taking note of California's expertise in clean energy . . .


Credit: California Energy Commisson

Funding School Energy Efficiency Projects Now Easier

Energy Commission voted to change the guidelines of the Proposition 39 K-12 program

The Energy Commission has made it easier for school districts to get more funding through the Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39), a voter-approved program that provides money for energy efficiency projects and clean energy generation projects . . .


Credit: California Energy Commisson

Grant Funding to Reduce Existing Building Electricity Consumption in the Los Angeles Basin

Existing buildings consume nearly 70 percent of California's electricity

Existing buildings consume nearly 70 percent of California's electricity, but a new grant funding opportunity could help change that . . .


Credit: California Energy Commisson

Piezoelectric Funding Opportunity Gets Down to Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Technology that might someday pave California's roads with crystals

There's a saying that some roads are paved in gold. The Energy Commission is looking at technology that might someday pave California's roads with crystals . . .

Ship at dock

Credit: California Energy Commisson

State Releases Final Plan to Transform Freight System

California is the nation's largest gateway for international trade and domestic commerce

State agency leaders have released the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, a comprehensive document that serves as a blueprint for transforming the state's multibillion-dollar freight transport system into one that is environmentally cleaner, more efficient, and more economically competitive than it is today . . .


Credit: iPhoto

Did you know?

Cooking up savings



  • Energy Commission approved two loans to the County of Sonoma and Woodlake Unified School District to install rooftop solar photovoltaic systems. The County of Sonoma is projecting a savings of nearly $25,000 annually in utility costs with the $400,000 low-interest loan. Woodlake Unified is projecting a savings of more than $65,000 in annual utility costs with the $1 million no-interest loan. Both projects are part of the Energy Conservation Assistance Act and will reduce electricity consumption and utility expenses, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


  • The City of Santa Monica received a $1.5 million grant to plan and design a microgrid that will incorporate renewable energy, energy storage and electric vehicle charging. The grant stems from the Commission's Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Challenge launched earlier this year. Teams made up of private and governmental entities compete against each other to demonstrate strategies that could become models to help accelerate the development of zero net energy communities. Santa Monica's entry is one of 13 projects selected to compete in the challenge.
  • Last fall, a devastating wildfire in Lake and Sonoma Counties caused more than $100 million in damages to parts of the Geysers geothermal power plant. In November, Governor Brown issued an executive order giving the Energy Commission the authority to expedite requests for emergency construction and remediation activities at the complex. With help from the Commission's Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection Division; Legal Office and its Contract, Grants and Loans Office, the renewable energy power plant has been nearly restored with four fire-resistant cooling towers replacing four that were destroyed in the blaze.


  • The Bureau of Land Management released its record of decision and land use plan amendment for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) on Sept. 14. The DRECP is a joint project with the California Energy Commission, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The landscape-level plan covers 22.5 million acres and seeks to advance state and federal climate change goals by facilitating timely permitting of renewable energy projects and transmission development in seven Southern California counties.
  • The Energy Commission welcomed new hydrogen refueling stations. Stations that opened in recent months include stations in Hayward, Mill Valley, Playa del Rey, San Jose and Truckee. The Commission has provided funding for 49 hydrogen stations. It is working to ensure as many of them as possible are open by the end of 2016 with plans to fund up to 100 for the initial introduction of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles in the California marketplace.


  • The Draft 2016 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update is expected to be published October 7. Published in even-numbered years, the update focuses on issues such as electricity reliability in Southern California, a proposed regional electricity grid, and climate change adaptation.
View more events on our calendar
California Energy Commission Seal Linked to the California Energy Commission main website Find us on facebook logo linked to California Energy Commission's Facebook page Twitter Logo linked to California Energy Commission Twitter Page Address of the California Energy Commission - 1516 9th Street, Sacramento California
If you have questions, comments or suggestions for The Spark, please email
If you'd like to receive future issues of this newsletter, please subscribe at:
If you no loger wish to receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe at: