• Energy Research, Development & Deployment

    Energy research, development, and deployment (RD&D) programs are an essential part of the effort to achieve California’s climate and energy policy goals. As California moves toward a clean energy future, the technologies and practices that keep the state’s electricity and natural gas systems safe, reliable and affordable must be modernized.

    Each of the RD&D programs drives investment in new and emerging energy technologies and solutions that provide benefits to Californians. By testing ideas and sharing results publicly, these programs help investors, innovators, and policymakers plan efficiently for California’s clean energy future.


    The CPUC oversees three large RD&D programs and actively coordinates with a range of interagency research working groups in climate change, environment, bioenergy and related areas.

    Electricity System Innovations: Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC)

    The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) supports the development of new, emerging, and non-commercialized clean energy technologies in California and provides assistance to commercially viable projects. These projects must be designed to produce electricity ratepayer benefits.  EPIC consists of three program areas:

    1. Applied research and development: Investments in applied energy science and technology that provides public benefit but for which there is not current business case for deployment of private capital
    2. Technology demonstration and deployment: Investments in technology demonstrations at real-world scales and in real-world conditions to showcase emerging innovations and increase technology commercialization
    3. Market facilitation: Investments in market research, regulatory permitting and streamlining, and workforce development activities to address non-price barriers to clean technology adoption

    The CPUC oversees the implementation of the EPIC program, which is administered by four program administrators:

    • The California Energy Commission (CEC), which administers 80% of the funds
    • The three large electric investor-owned utilities (PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E), which administer 20% of the funds and focus on technology demonstration and deployment

    Each administrator submits an EPIC investment plan for each triennial cycle. The CPUC approved the plan, for the 2012-2014 cycle, in November 2013. The 2015-2017 cycle investment plans were approved in April 2015.  The final plan of the current rulemaking was approved in October 2018 for the 2018-2020 cycle.

    Supercomputing for a Resilient Electric Grid: California Energy Systems for the 21st Century (CES-21)

    California Energy Systems for the 21st century (CES-21) is a first-of-its-kind effort to use the power of supercomputing to improve the cybersecurity of our electric system and integrate emerging renewable technologies into the grid. The CPUC and California's three largest electric investor-owned utilities are collaborating with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to improve and expand energy systems to meet 21st century needs.

    Safer, Modernized Gas Systems: Natural Gas Research and Development Program

    This program funds the development and deployment of improved natural gas technologies and practices. Established by the CPUC in 2004, pursuant to Assembly Bill 1002, the program is administered by the California Energy Commission’s R&D Division. Each March, the California Energy Commission files an annual proposal for the investment of up to $24 million in technologies and strategies to improve California’s natural gas system. The CPUC issues a Resolution approving or modifying these proposals.

    Relevant Proceedings

    To add yourself to a service list, email Process Office@cpuc.ca.gov and include the proceeding number, your name, title, organization, address, phone number, and e-mail.  The Process Office will email you to confirm your addition to the service list.


    2018-2020 Investment Plans

    2015-2017 Investment Plans

    2012-2014 Investment Plans

    EPIC Rulemaking R.11-10-003  

    • D.12-05-037 Phase II Decision establishing the EPIC Program (May 24, 2012)
    • D.11-12-035 Phase I Decision establishing the interim EPIC funding levels (December 15, 2011)

    Senate Bill 96 (SEC. 22. Section 25711.5) Legislative Mandates for the EPIC Program



     Natural Gas Research & Development

    Useful Links

    For more information about the EPIC Program, visit

    For more information about CES-21, visit:


     For more information about the Natural Gas R&D program, visit:


    For questions regarding energy research, development, and deployment programs, please contact lead analyst Jonathan L. Lakey, at (916)327-6786 or jonathan.lakey@cpuc.ca.gov.

    You may also email energy@cpuc.ca.gov or call our hotline at (415)355-5586. To look up any staff member at the CPUC, please see the CPUC Phone list.



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