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January 2017

Average Monthly Arctic Sea Ice Extent Graph - October 1979 - 2016

Letter from the Chair

With Arctic sea ice at record lows and areas of the arctic 30 degrees above average, there's no time to waste in cutting greenhouse gas emissions

Hello 2017 and greetings to you! While we look forward to the new year, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments in the closing months of 2016 . . .

Picture of computer

Credit: California Energy Commisson

Energy Commission Issues Energy Standards for Computers and Monitors

Mandatory standards could save consumers an estimated $373 million annually

After a multiyear process, the Energy Commission adopted energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors with support from industry, environmentalists, consumer groups and utilities. The first mandatory standards in the nation, which were approved in December, could save consumers an estimated $373 million annually . . .

Man with lightbulb

Credit: California Energy Commisson

Energy Commission Adopts Study to Increase Renewable Energy Use in Low-Income Neighborhoods

Study aimed at helping people and businesses in low-income areas in California

The Energy Commission adopted a study aimed at helping people and businesses in low-income areas in California invest in, adopt or take advantage of clean energy technologies and innovations . . .

Chair Weisenmiller

Credit: California Energy Commisson

Navy and Energy Commission Formalize Energy Partnership

MOU signed to provide mutual support as Navy and Marine Corps installations in the state transition to alternative energy technologies

The Energy Commission and the Department of the Navy (DON) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to provide mutual support as Navy and Marine Corps installations in the state transition to alternative energy technologies . . .

Transmission lines

Credit: California Energy Commisson

Meeting State Energy Mandates May Need Transmission Expansion, Report Says

Report seeks to identify areas where utility-scale renewable energy can be accessed and where opportunities exist to develop electricity transmission

Meeting California's renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission goals may call for expansion of the state's electricity transmission infrastructure and increasing access to new renewable power sources, both within and outside the state . . .

EPIC Symposium

Credit: California Energy Commisson

Research Projects Highlighted at Second EPIC Symposium

Projects benefit the ratepayers of California's three largest electric investor-owned utilities

The Energy Commission held its second Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Symposium in December . . .

Picture of fastcharger

Credit: California Energy Commisson

Energy Commission Funds Electric Vehicle Chargers Along Major State Routes

Goal of 1.5 million ZEVs on the road by 2025

The Energy Commission approved $11.4 million in grants to install direct current fast chargers and Level 2 chargers along major state freeways and highways to make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to travel within California and to the Arizona, Nevada and Oregon borders . . .


Credit: Bureau of Offshore Energy Management

Momentum Builds for Offshore Wind in California

Interest from private industry in setting up wind farms off the coast

The Energy Commission joined more than 100 stakeholders in the first offshore wind task force in California organized by the Bureau of Offshore Wind Energy Management (BOEM) . . .

Image of Electrical Power Strip

Did you know?

Do you turn off all the power when you leave the house? Chances are you don't, even if you think you do.



  • Commissioner David Hochschild was part of a seven-member delegation that attended the United Nations 22nd Conference of Parties in Marrakech, Morocco. The delegation, which included Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) assured global partners of California's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a clean energy future.
  • The Commission approved a $700,000 zero-interest loan to the Waterford Unified School District in Stanislaus County for lighting retrofits. The project is funded by the Energy Conservation Assistance Act and will reduce electricity consumption, saving the district an estimated $45,000 in electric utility costs annually while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Commission approved San Francisco adoption of building energy standards that are greater than what the state requires. This local ordinance is among the first to require solar photovoltaic systems on specified buildings. San Francisco is the third local ordinance approved by the Energy Commission that goes beyond the state standard. The new 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards went into effect January 1, 2017. New homes will use about 28 percent less energy for lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and water heating than those built to the 2013 standards.


  • Over the summer, the Commission's Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) K-12 Program adopted guidelines making it easier for districts to apply for energy efficiency funding. Staff conducted workshops and targeted outreach to charter schools to inform school officials of the change and provide application guidance. Staff organized charter school workshops in Hayward and Los Angeles, with additional outreach in San Diego.
  • The Commission welcomed new hydrogen refueling stations, with 25 as of early December. Retail stations that recently opened include Anaheim, Del Mar in San Diego, Hollywood and Woodland Hills. The Commission has provided funding for 48 hydrogen stations. It is working to ensure as many of them as possible are opened in 2017 with plans to fund at least 100 for the initial introduction of hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles in the California marketplace.
  • The Commission had a total of 44 visits from International Delegations in 2016. Our most frequent visitor was China (10 visits). The second-most frequent visitor was Japan (six visits). The last delegation of the year was Brazil, which occurred December 13.
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