Custom Projects  Review Home Page  
Custom Projects Review Guidance Page
Custom Projects Stakeholder Engagement Group


The staff from the four investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and CPUC staff collaboratively developed guidance documents for the Custom Projects Review Process.  These guidance documents provide details on the Commission’s policies and procedures to be utilized in the development of Custom Projects/Measures. 

Projects developed in the custom process will likely follow a path of project development, pre-installation review, installation and commissioning, and post installation review. These steps have key aspects that must be fulfilled in order to qualify as a Custom Project. The guidance documents on this webpage will assist project developers in submitting complete and concise documentation to support the energy efficiency savings estimates submitted to the IOU. 


Project Development

Statewide Custom Project Guidance Document, version 1.4

The purpose of this Custom Project Guidance document is to provide an overview of the policies, guidelines, rules, processes, requirements and definitions used in Custom Project Reviews documentation and quality assurance.  This document provides information on requirements for submitting a omplete application package:

  • Provides key definitions, eligibility, and program influence for Custom Projects
  • Requirements for project packages a various stages
  • Measurement and Verification plan requirements
  • Old versions of the guidance document

Project Feasibility Study Template, version 1.1

This document is a template for implementers to use and fill out in describing a feasibility study to be submitted to the CPUC.

  • Template

Map and Timeline of Program Administrator's (PA) Pre-Installation Process

This is an informational guide for stakeholders on the timeline and steps taken during the PA's pre-installation Custom Project Review process.

  • Timeline with responsibilities by stakeholders

Industry Standard Practice v3.1, An Update of Guidance of ISP Studies and Custom Project Development

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for the concept and processes involved with establishing and implementing an Industry Standard Practice (ISP) study, which is used in calculating the energy efficiency savings from custom energy efficiency projects. In its prologue this document includes a high-level summary of what ISP is and why it is important for energy efficiency in general, and Custom Projects in particular. Chapter 5 of this document provides guideline for Custom Projects’ development.

  • Baseline selection for measure types
  • Communications with the customer
  • Exercising and assessing program influence

Eligibility for Projects with Non-IOUs Fuel Sources

This document describes how to assess energy efficiency savings eligibility at sites with non-Investor Owned Utility (non-IOU) supplied energy sources. It demonstrates several examples of sites with energy supplied by non-IOU fuel sources (i.e. cogeneration and renewables).

  • Determination of Eligibility and Maximum Claimable Energy Savings
  • Various examples on how to estimate savings at sites with Non-IOUs Fuel Sources

Preponderance of Evidence Guidance for Replacements and Retrofits

This document provides guidance on determining program-induced accelerated replacement of the existing equipment with more energy-efficient equipment. It also provides key definitions of Effective Useful Life (EUL) and Remaining Useful Life (RUL), and different types of installations, as well as providing examples of how the recommended guidance may be applied.

  • If submitting an accelerated replacement measure, this document will guide you on how to ask the appropriate questions to show preponderance of evidence.
  • Key definitions of: Effective Useful Life (EUL), Remaining Useful Life (RUL), Second Baseline Period, New Construction, Replace on Burnout, Normal Replacement, Accelerated Replacement, and Add-On Retrofit.

Resolution E-5115 adopts guidance for the documentation required when implementing the preponderance of evidence process adopted in Resolutions E-4818 and E-4939 for custom "accelerated-replacement" energy efficiency (EE) projects.  The following documents were developed to provide operational guidance on CPUC Resolution E-5115.

Pre-Installation Review

Project Selection and Response Timing Proposal

This document details the CPUC staff a day 30-day timeline for reviewing Custom Projects as mandated in SB 1131.  It also covers the communication timing between the CPUC and the utility during the 30-day review.

  • Tracking of response due dates
  • SB 1131 requirements
  • CPUC staff recommendation timeline examples

Recommended Communication Practices for Custom Measure Review of Large Projects

The primary goal of this proposed Communications Practice for Large EE Projects (Expected incentive greater than $100,000) is to facilitate the Custom Measure Review Process and promote understanding of project parameters between Implementers, PA/Reviewers and Commission Staff ("CS")/Consultants to identify key issues early in the review cycle.  This will likely reduce the back and forth between Implementers and Reviewers, thereby reducing total review time.  These communications are intended to be informal and not result in additional time delays in the formal PA or CPUC staff project review processes. The document was created by a working group that included utilities, implementers, and CPUC staff.

  • Project specific communication
  • Overall custom measurement review communication

Custom Project Disposition Database

Once CPUC staff completes the review of Custom Projects, they will issue to the Program Administrator a review findings disposition document summarizing any issues or comments related to the project eligibility, baseline, energy efficiency savings calculations, or program influence documentation. This searchable public database contains Program Administrator redacted versions of the CPUC staff dispositions, as well as ISP studies, guidance documents, and other Custom Projects related documents.

  • Database of dispositions and other documents

Installation and Commissioning

The CPUC does not have any requirements on installation and commissioning.  Please refer to your Program Administrator (PA) for any questions on this stage.

Post Installation Review

Post Installation Summary Report, v1.0

This document is a template for implementers/project developers to use and fill out as the post-installation report that is to be submitted to the Program Administrator (PA). The Installation Summary Report is a complete Custom Project summary report which summarizes all project documentation into a single source for a reviewer to look at and understand how the energy savings were validated and present the savings to the PA in an easily readable format.

  • Template report for Post-Installation projects
  • Guidelines for Custom Project requirements for Post Installation
  • Summarized report for savings validation