For Immediate Release: August 11, 2010
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


CA Energy Commission Awards $3.5 Million for Research Projects

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission today awarded $3,507,119 to help support research on a variety of projects. Funds for the research grants come from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.

"The PIER funds are an investment in California's clean energy future," said Energy Commissioner Jeffrey Byron. "The PIER program has a successful track record of developing innovative tools and technologies that benefit all Californians."

Here is a summary of the three projects that funding was approved for:

  • Bruce Wilcox of Berkeley will receive $1,882,125 to study energy use in existing homes in or near Stockton. The research involves using building simulation modeling to determine building energy use with and without energy efficiency features, developing packages of cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades for the test homes, and developing improvements to the Home Energy Rating System. Project partners Cardinal Glass Industries and Polyfoam Products, Inc. will provide match funding of $880,000.
  • Davis Energy Group, Inc. of Davis will receive $1,224,994 to create and demonstrate a large scale residential retrofit program. The project has the potential of reducing household energy use by 50 percent. The program will include retrofit designs based upon building science, retrofit contractor training, quality control, and financing. The goal is to install energy efficient residential retrofits in 500 homes in Dublin, Pleasanton and Stockton. Match funding of $510,000 will come from Davis Energy Group and the other project partners Polaris, Inc., Bevilacqua-Knight, Inc., Pacific Gas & Electric, and Green Home Solutions By Grupe.
  • Cascade Clean Energy, Inc. of Santa Clara will receive $400,000 to demonstrate the use of different strains of bacteria to enhance methane production. A pilot-scale anaerobic digester will be installed at the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) wastewater treatment plant in Dublin. The project could increase methane production by 30 percent and maximize the recovery of renewable energy from wastewater and sludge. Cascade Clean Energy and DSRSD will provide $379,273 in match funds.

The Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program supports public interest research and development that helps improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, reliable, and affordable energy services and products to the marketplace. For more information, visit

Created by the California Legislature in 1974, the California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The Energy Commission has five major responsibilities: forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; and planning for and directing state response to energy emergency.

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