Ideas the Size of California

CalNEXT is a statewide initiative to identify, test, and grow electric technologies and delivery methods to support California’s decarbonized future.

CalNEXT is looking for new, big research ideas to help reach California’s energy efficiency and decarbonization goals. CalNEXT’s team of experts will provide resources and support the implementation of 170 projects that have the potential to make a significant impact. Focused on emerging and underutilized technologies, CalNEXT presents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, manufacturers, designers, builders, research laboratories, or energy efficiency program administrators to energize their ideas and projects to demonstrate innovative and scalable solutions.

Project Types

We are looking for research projects on market-ready or near market-ready technologies or products. The technology/product should be aligned with one of our six Technology Priority Areas, and have the potential to generate energy savings or reduce energy consumption or demand, OR are projects that aim to reduce or eliminate barriers to deployment of these technologies. Ideal CalNEXT projects can be executed in around 18 months or less, and cost $300,000 or less.

Technology Development Research (TDR)

Early-stage technologies or products not currently available in the market — developing the commercial capability and improving their ability to generate energy savings or reduce energy consumption or demand.

Technology Support Research (TSR)

Market-ready technologies or products — addressing market barriers or developing the commercial capability to improve their ability to generate energy savings, reduce energy consumption or demand, or support new measures eligible for energy efficiency resource programs. Projects may address barriers like customer behavior, retro-commissioning, and operational efficiencies.

Focused Pilots (FP)

A comprehensive adoption barrier study looking at end-to-end market pain points with a view to building on previous solutions and adding to understanding of program interventions. Approaches may also coordinate with resource acquisition programs, the Market Transformation framework, Codes & Standards, other portfolio structures, or a combination of these programs. These projects will be selected for Focused Pilots based on the 2023 Focused Pilot TPM.

How it Works

We’re looking for big ideas that align with our technology priorities. If you have an idea or project, we want to hear about it. If your idea or project is in alignment with CalNEXT priorities, the CalNEXT team will work with you to proceed. Participants may be able to work with the CalNEXT program by leading a project, or by working with a program partner on a project they lead.

Submit an Idea

If you have an idea that may not be fully developed, use the idea submission form at the link below. Once submitted, the CalNEXT team will determine if the idea is a good fit for the program. If it is, the CalNEXT team will work with you on next steps.

Submit a Project

If you have a research project that’s ready to be implemented, use the project submission form at the link below. Your proposed project will go through our scanning and screening process and you will be notified whether or not it is selected for program support. If your project is selected, the CalNEXT team will work with you on next steps.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who has a research project or research project idea that fits the program criteria is eligible to participate. This includes entrepreneurs, manufacturers, designers, builders, research laboratories, or energy efficiency program administrators. Once a research project is selected, the CalNEXT team will provide program support until the project is complete.

Any site used for the implementation of a project must be serviced by a California electric investor-owned utility customer account. 

Our Team of Experts

The CalNEXT team brings decades of market development and technical expertise to provide support to help you get your idea off the ground.

For over 25 years Energy Solutions has offered proven, performance-based solutions for our utility, government, and institutional customers. Their turnkey products accelerate measurable change and policy support for energy standards at the local, state, and national levels. 

AESC brings over 25 years as a trusted consultant onutility programs, policy, and technology, as well as practical customer and market understanding. 

The Ortiz Group provides innovative solutions to California’s hard-to-reach (HTR) communities through their network of local community-based organizations and contractors specializing in serving HTR customers.

TRC Companies, Inc. is a leading consultant on building decarbonization that delivers code readiness, measure development, and scaled deployment activities to establish technology readiness and meet the state’s GHG goals. 

University of California, Davis is a world-class institution equipped with multiple cutting-edge testing and deployment centers including the Western Cooling Efficiency Center, California Lighting Technology Center, Center for Water Energy Efficiency, Russel Ranch Agricultural Sustainability Institute, and the Green Technology Lab. 

VEIC offers high-impact energy solutions that decarbonize buildings, transportation, and utility grids, today. We help our clients meet their clean energy goals through innovative and equitable solutions that benefit them, their partners, and their communities. We help our clients tackle their most critical and complex clean-energy challenges through proven, multi-faceted solutions. We do this through four core service areas: Energy Efficiency, Building Decarbonization, Transportation Electrification, and demand management for a Clean and Flexible Grid.