Approved Projects

Projects that have been reviewed by the CalNEXT Program team using our review criteria and accepted by the Program Administrator are listed here. Statuses will be updated at least monthly and Final Reports will be linked when available. Listed Completion Dates are estimates and will be updated if needed.

Projects are filterable by Technology Area (based on the TPMs) and Project Type. They are also sortable by any column and searchable by any keyword.

To view all past and current California statewide emerging technology projects and reports, please visit the Emerging Technologies Program Portal or the Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council websites.

Project NameProject NumberTechnology AreaProject TypeStatusCompletion Date
All-Electric Commercial Kitchen Electrical Requirements Study EvaluationThis study identifies the impacts of converting a gas and electric commercial foodservice facility to an all-electric kitchen. Three categories, which represent 82% of foodservice sites in California, were analyzed to estimate the costs to update site electrical infrastructure and the added load to the site and grid.

The analysis found the average connected amp load of the three categories increased between 50% and 79% with an average peak demand increase of 35kW per site at a cost of approximately $1,600 to $7,400 annually for sites that incur demand charges. These increases caused the loads to exceed the existing service capacity in 75% of sites analyzed.

Significant upgrades to the existing electrical systems would be required to meet the added load of electric cooking equipment. The average cost per site was estimated as $40,000 for institutional sites, $123,000 for quick-service and $160,000 for full-service restaurants.
ET22SWE0010Process LoadsTSRComplete
Final Report
Commercial and MF CO2-based Heat Pump Water Heater Market Study and Field DemonstrationAESC conducted a California-focused market study and field demonstration of an all-electric CO2 refrigerant heat pump water heater (HPWH) designed for central systems in commercial and multi-family (MF) buildings. The study added to existing research and non-residential HPWH initiatives with a focus on the California market, policies, rate structures, efficiency programs, demand flexibility programs, and market barriers. The field study evaluated product performance and impacts on energy, cost, and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of the technology relative to baseline natural gas as well as load flexibility capabilities in the context of CA rates and the new Total System Benefit (TSB) metric for EE programs. The product was installed, monitored, and analyzed at two participant MF sites. Recommendations for possible technology improvements to optimize benefits and future design iterations were explored, focusing on items such as cost, installation challenges, energy and capacity performance, customer satisfaction, and load-shifting abilities.
ET22SWE0017Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTSRComplete
Final Report
Market Potential for Heat Pump Assisted Hot Water Systems in Food Service FacilitiesElectrifying the building sector is a critical step toward meeting California’s decarbonization goals. Water heating for food service applications represents 340M therms of gas consumption and thus presents a significant electrification opportunity through the application of heat pump (HP) assistance. For this study the program team conducted a market assessment of the potential for the adoption of heat pump-assisted hot water systems (HPaHWS) in food service facilities. This market assessment evaluated the total reachable market and the market penetration potential for HPaHWS. The program team also addressed the market barriers and opportunities for the adoption of HPaHWS as they currently exist. This study occurred in three phases: Literature search, Interviews, Numerical data collection, and analysis.
ET22SWE0019Water HeatingTDRComplete
Final Report
Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Refrigerant Management Market AssessmentIf the grid achieved 100% zero carbon today and all homes adopted heat pumps, California could potentially emit at least 60 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent over the next 10 to 20 years solely from refrigerant leaks in residential and commercial HVAC equipment. Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant emissions have 400 to 4,000 times the climate forcing power of CO2 itself. Two new policies enable California’s drive to reduce HFC emissions and create a demand for more “refrigerant efficient” HVAC and ultra-low GHG refrigerants:
• Utilities must now use the new Total System Benefit metric to evaluate energy efficiency incentives including consideration of refrigerant emissions,
• Recent Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation of HFCs.
This report examines the market for commercial HVAC focused on Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) and competitive technologies in light of these changes, finding that utilities should re-evaluate incentives for VRF or suspend them until 2027 when the most powerful and common HVAC refrigerant, R-410A, is replaced.
Final Report
Residential Multi-Function Heat Pumps: Product SearchResidential Multi-Function Heat Pumps (MFHP) use one efficient outdoor compressor and heat exchanger coil to provide space cooling, space heating, and domestic hot water heating. Air-to-air versions of MFHP use refrigerant to provide heating and cooling services and have the potential to eliminate the need for electric resistance backup heaters. Eliminating electric resistance keeps the maximum power consumption lower and can avoid the need for electrical service breaker panel upgrades in many residential buildings, reducing cost and speeding up installation times compared to the typical separate space conditioning heat pump and standalone heat pump water heater products. The Villara AquaThermAire will be commercially available in California in Q1 2023, Panasonic offers the Aquarea EcoFleX in Europe, and other manufacturers have interest in offering MFHP products in the future.
ET22SWE0021Whole BuildingsTDRComplete
Final Report
Residential Housing Characteristics StudyThis California Low-Income Residential Housing Characteristics Study project proposes to address the lack of complete data on housing structures in disadvantaged communities (DAC) and Hard-to-Reach (HTR) single-family residential housing. While high-level data such as the number of homes in DACs and other key demographic and market information (housing age, access to broadband, etc.) can be pulled from census and other research, data on the baseline physical conditions of DAC and HTR homes is lacking (i.e., structural integrity, electrical panel, and wire capacity, and code adherence). This data is foundational to being able to both size the total available market for emerging technologies and develop effective, properly budgeted program pathways to serve and transform these communities. The results will help facilitate the deployment of emerging technologies including heat pump water heaters, heat pump HVAC, smart plug loads, efficient appliances including induction stove-tops, home networking equipment, and other decarbonization measures.

The project will leverage past studies and piggyback on existing IOU programs and contractor networks serving CA IOU DAC and HTR communities to perform targeted incremental housing condition data collection. For example, the San Joaquin Valley Disadvantaged Communities Pilot has provided initial data on home readiness for electrification and identified some initial costs needed to ready homes for electrification. The study will also use contractors to conduct in-home survey assessments and identify a home that is ready for electrification and will estimate costs for those homes that require upgrades and or retrofits to allow electrification. We estimate the number of Single Family Homes in California where occupants are low-income to be 3.5 M. We plan to create a survey for in-depth contractor assessments.

This information, analyzed in combination with other data, will be used to inform the scope and nature of barriers to serving DAC and HTR communities with Emerging Technologies efforts and to develop programmatic strategies for helping California achieve its decarbonisation and equity goals.
ET22SWE0022HVAC, Plug Loads & Appliances, Water HeatingTSRComplete
Final Report
Occupancy-based Thermostats for Commercial OfficesA field demonstration of occupancy-based control (OBC) for thermostats with remote occupancy sensors was conducted at two offices in San Diego County to evaluate the savings potential of the technology. In this field test, programmable thermostats were replaced with thermostats with OBC, an emerging technology consisting of a smart thermostat and wirelessly connected PIR occupancy sensors. The technology can decide whether to turn on/off a single-zone HVAC unit by gathering occupancy information from occupancy sensors placed in each individual space in its zone. The offices were separated into a control group with existing programmable thermostats and a treatment group with emerging technology. The energy consumptions of single-zone HVAC units in each group were monitored from September 2022 to November 2022.The study found that the occupancy-based thermostat the treatment group consumed less energy and expected to save 15% to 34% annually.
Final Report
Next Generation Refrigeration Analysis Tool Proof of ConceptThe project developed an energy modeling framework based on OpenStudio, EnergyPlus, and ancillary tools and was the first step toward creating a grocery refrigeration analysis tool. VEIC performed sensitivity analysis and validation on the OpenStudio modeling framework to ensure it appropriately represented the target project population to serve CA and low-GWP refrigeration systems in support of utility programs. This project supported the recommendations identified in the “SCE Report – June 2021 – ET18SCE7080 Next-Generation, Low-GWP Refrigeration Systems: Tool Assessment and Market Impacts.” An analysis tool was created which included automation capabilities that could form the backbone of a refrigeration tool for CA. With further development, it may result in an easy-to-use tool for grocery stores of all sizes, including independent grocers that tend to serve disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities.
ET22SWE0025Process LoadsTSRComplete
Final Report
Advanced Multifamily EV Load Management SystemThis project evaluates a new electric vehicle (EV) charging solution designed to provide charging access in existing multifamily buildings that have limited electrical capacity. This technology is worth studying because it claims to offer features with significant potential for helping address barriers to implementing cost-effective multifamily EV charging access. Multifamily buildings rarely have available capacity to add traditional charging solutions for more than a few drivers, are often subject to significant demand charges (and grid impacts) from high-power charging solutions, require complex or expensive billing administration, and involve significant capital outlay to install EV chargers. This technology claims to offer power-sharing capabilities, built-in load shifting, scalability, and a turnkey subscription model which can help provide more charging access per site.
The study seeks to verify circuit- and panel-sharing capabilities to provide charging within capacity-constrained environments and to identify barriers to broader commercialization for this type of technology.
ET22SWE0026Plug Loads & AppliancesTDRComplete
Final Report
Greenhouse Lighting ControlsThis project continued a study begun for PG&E to evaluate the potential of adaptive lighting controls in greenhouses. The tasks were to gather more user experience from the grower, estimate energy savings potential, record the grower’s observations on crop yield and quality, and conduct outreach to other growers and industry stakeholders. The Project Team could not collect field data as hoped, so it created a model to estimate savings potential based on typical photoperiod, daily light integral (DLI), and glazing transmittance parameters. Working with industry experts, the Project Team estimated 9% and 11% potential annual energy savings for cannabis and tomatoes, respectively. As a next step, the Project Team recommended that CalNEXT facilitate pilot projects by industry actors to study how effectively the technology could be incentivized through Normalized Metered Energy Consumption (NMEC) projects.
Final Report
Packaged Central CO2 Heat Pump Water Heater Multifamily DemonstrationAESC and ASK Energy will conduct a field demonstration of a packaged, modular CO2 centralized heat pump water heater at a new multifamily building. The technology supports electrification, load shifting, and energy efficiency in a simplified package system representing an important market evolution. Monitoring and analysis will evaluate product efficiency and load shifting performance with extrapolation to the broader market. Impacts on cost, GHG emissions, and total system benefit will be assessed and optimized. Although the technology will be studied in situ at new construction building, many of the findings will be relevant to existing building retrofit applications. Recommendations will focus on how packaged solutions can address market barriers and challenges associated with current available CHPWH solutions, recommended product development, and market wide potential.
ET22SWE0028Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTSRActive2025/01
Solar Assisted HVAC Market StudyA market evaluation study of solar-assisted heat pumps (SA-HP) was performed to understand configurations, commercially available products, and market size for applications in the heating mode, since previous research has shown inconclusive heating mode energy savings. Primary and secondary research was performed in this study. The three categories of direct expansion (DX) SA-HP, indirect expansion (IX) SA-HP, and hybrid SA-HP, were identified and explored for use in space heating applications. The more basic DX SA-HP systems cost less than the more complex IX DA-HP systems but have lower solar heat gains and resulting system benefit. California climate zone weather data was analyzed, and it was determined climate zone 16 would have the highest potential benefit for SA-HP. This study found there is limited commercial availability, which was noted a barrier for mass adoption, in addition to contractor training related to SA-HP systems and applications, and existing roof conditions.
Final Report
Wastewater Treatment SB1383 Compliance CharacterizationThis study is a market characterization of the various California Senate Bill No. 1383 (SB1383) Landfill Diversion compliance solutions under consideration or are in planning by wastewater treatment facilities. The State’s vast network of operating facilities within the investor-owned utilities (IOU) territories offer significant untapped potential for process-based energy savings and load optimization related to both existing operations, planned expansions, and capital investments as a result of these legislative changes. This characterization effort has worked with industry partners and solutions providers to classify compliance strategies by plant size, treatment type, and other key drivers/limitations, and characterize each in terms of relative energy consumption, demand response (DR), and load management potential and fit, biogas generation/cogeneration impacts, carbon impacts, trucking/transportation impacts, creation of beneficial byproducts and other co-benefits. Using several collaborative sources, the project team was able to inventory and classify the various biosolids management compliance strategies, including infrastructure improvements to enable enhanced treatment and process control, existing drying and caking strategies, regional solutions, and emerging technologies and strategies. This report can be used as a starting point for further in-depth analysis of proposed solutions, cost-benefit analysis, capital infrastructure needs, and project life cycle. While SB1383 presents a challenge to the existing infrastructure, it also presents a unique opportunity for the wastewater sector to act as a resource in meeting California’s ambitious goals.
ET22SWE0031Process LoadsTSRComplete
Final Report
Low-Income Multifamily Housing Characteristics StudyWith nearly a third of California’s low-income households living in large (5+ unit) multifamily housing, electrifying and deploying advanced electric technologies to this portion of the housing stock is critical to reaching the state’s goals for equitable climate action. Formulating policies and programs tailored to this segment’s specific housing characteristics is critical to achieving speed and scale in building electrification, yet there is a gap in statewide data on the characteristics of low-income multifamily housing. This Low-Income Multifamily Housing Characteristics Study analyzed the physical characteristics of this housing stock and occupant demographics utilizing Census data (American Community Survey, American Housing Survey) and other public data sources (Low-Income Energy Affordability Tool, Residential Energy Consumption Survey). It also conducted a field study of affordable multifamily buildings in the Bay Area to fill gaps in building-level characteristics not available in public data sources and assess prevalence of factors known to be key barriers to electrification in multifamily housing, such as the need for electrical system upgrades (wiring, circuit panels, service lines) and space constraints. Finally, it gathered input from existing programs serving this market segment with energy efficiency and electrification measures and other stakeholders. Findings from the market characterization, field study, and stakeholder engagement were used to inform recommendations for technology development and program strategies and needs for electrifying this market segment.
ET22SWE0033HVAC, Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTSRComplete
Final Report
Hybrid Heat Pump and Indirect Evaporative Cooling Packaged Unit (Hybrid RTU)Indirect evaporative cooling can provide cooling at much higher efficiency in California climates compared to the vapor compression cooling systems currently used in most buildings. In the past, these indirect evaporative cooling systems have been add-ons to roof top packaged units, have required mechanical system designers to be familiar with the systems to correctly design and size the equipment, have required additional controls design, and were more cost-effective only for larger systems. This Hybrid Heat Pump and Indirect Evaporative Cooling Packaged Unit is a single piece of equipment packaged retrofit for typical roof top packaged units in the most common size ranges for small commercial buildings with simple installation and no custom design work required for sizing or controls. This Hybrid RTU equipment is designed to have similar weight and size as typical high efficiency RTU equipment reducing barriers to adoption. This project will laboratory test the production-ready prototype version and produce performance curves that can be used to model and estimate energy savings across many different climates and building types. This technology is not yet commercially available, it is in the advanced prototype stage and getting ready to be mass produced by a large manufacturer. The heat pump is sized to meet the heating requirements for the packaged unit rated capacity and has the typical electric resistance heaters for defrost and to provide supplemental heat if outdoor temperatures are extremely low.
Multifamily In-Unit Heat PumpVEIC conducted a study to examine the market opportunity and technology performance of 120-volt and 240-volt (120V/240V) variable speed, high-efficiency in-unit heat pumps for use in direct replacement of less efficient room air conditioning units and displacing or replacing in-unit gas or electric heating in California multifamily buildings. The market opportunity and technology performance are examined and informed through a review of the existing multifamily building stock in California and a technical review of new in-unit heat pump solutions, building energy modeling, and interviews with key market stakeholders including manufacturers, multifamily program implementers, consultants and property managers, and national, regional, and state level energy efficiency organizations.
Final Report
Residential Water Heater Sizing Measure Package SupportCurrently, incentives for energy efficient water heater retrofits require a like-for-like replacement. However, anecdotal evidence exists that contractors upsize heat pump water heater (HPWH) replacements relative to existing gas water heaters. This projects’ results can add to current statewide water heating measure offerings by enabling incentives for non-like-for-like size replacements.

TRC utilized data from existing fuel substitution workpaper development with prototype buildings and various water heater sizes to update the (CPUC-approved) DEER Water Heater Calculator V 5.1 across the California (CA) climate zones establishing like-for-like baselines for savings claims.

A survey of current practice found: 1) most contractors upsize tanks when replacing a gas or electric resistance water heater with a HPWH, 2) a HPWH replacement required circuit breaker upgrades in approximately half their projects but rarely an electrical panel upgrade, and 3) the most common type of HPWH retrofit is from a natural gas water heater to a HPWH.
ET22SWE0036Water HeatingTSRComplete
Final Report
Aerosol Sealing of Existing Attics and CrawlspacesThis project will evaluate new applications of aerosol sealing for use on existing homes. Previous studies have shown that half of the leakage in new California homes occurs through the attic so addressing leakage at the attic floor has a significant potential to reduce total envelope leakage. A key advantage of applying the aerosol from the attic is that there is no noticeable deposition of sealant on surfaces inside the home so surface protection requirements are minimal. The process can also be applied from crawlspaces allowing the floor of homes on raised foundations to be sealed. The aerosol sealing approach will be demonstrated on 10 homes to determine the effectiveness of the approach.
ET22SWE0037Whole BuildingsTDRActive2024/08
ASHRAE Guidline 36 Open Source Supervisory Control Technology Development and DemonstrationThis project is an open source supervisory control technology development and demonstration of ASHRAE Guideline 36 (G36), ASHRAE 2021.

The promise of G36 is that the standardization of the sequence of operations (SOO) allows manufacturers to program and centrally test the control logic and then distribute to installers. This approach reduces cost and the risk of errors inherent in the current practice. Designers can specify G36 rather than write their own SOO. Installers can draw from a library of G36 control logic options rather than program their own logic. G36 can minimize functional testing, as the logic will be pre-programmed at the factory.
High Efficiency Dehumidification System Field StudyThis project involves field demonstration of the High Efficiency Dehumidification System (HEDS) technology. The technology was first developed to address dehumidification issues but has evolved to include energy efficiency benefits. The technology reduces loads on both the chiller and reheat water source by expanding dehumidification and reheat coils, lowering chilled water flows, and utilizing dehumidification coil outlet flow for reheat purposes. This saves energy over the traditional design that has separate dedicated higher flow chilled water and hot water coils. The technology supports decarbonization and electrification by reducing the natural gas consumption common in hot water reheat systems while also reducing energy consumption at the chiller.
Field Study of HVAC Cost Optimized Supply Air Temperature Reset (CORE)Variable air volume (VAV) HVAC systems dominate the commercial building market but have widely varying performance, with a well-documented performance gap between best-practice and typical operation. Two recent studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the California Energy Commission (CEC) reported a wide variation in energy performance for various typical supply air temperature (SAT) reset strategies (4-15% variation in HVAC energy). Existing SAT reset strategies have three inherent deficiencies that explain the lack of market uptake and sub-optimal real world energy performance: (1) they include simplifications and assumptions about SAT and total HVAC energy cost, (2) they require tuning of key parameters whose optimal values differ for every building and vary over the life of the building, and (3) there is no easy way to determine what those optimal settings are and whether tuning is improving savings or not. CORE (Cost Optimized Reset), a new cost-responsive supply air temperature reset open-source solution for multi-zone variable air volume systems, addresses these problems. This solution applies to the majority of the time that a building is occupied. In a VAV reheat system (the focus of this study), the air handler provides cooling most of the time, with zones providing heating where-needed. The open-source SAT reset solution developed by this research team could be deployed through two different paths: 1) the traditional path of a native building automation system (BAS) and 2) a third-party solution such as a microcontroller or a cloud based solution that integrates with an existing BAS. CORE dynamically estimates the energy cost of operating an air handling unit at its current supply air temperature setpoint, as well as slightly higher and lower setpoints. It does this using existing instrumentation commonplace in these systems. Using this information, along with the current approximate cost of electricity, chilled water, and hot water, we can dynamically estimate the cost of fan, cooling, and reheat energy at each setpoint. The algorithm then chooses the lowest cost operating point every 5 minutes, continually moving in the direction of least cost while adjusting to the changes occurring dynamically within the building, while ensuring that comfort conditions are maintained. CORE offers greater value over existing solutions because: (a) it uses existing sensors and hardware typically installed in modern VAV systems, (b) in contrast to far more complex model predictive control solutions, it is simple enough to be implemented either within the existing building automation system’s logic, or in an independent controller, and (c) it adjusts automatically to operational or weather-related changes in the building over time to directly minimize energy cost. CORE offers benefit to building owners, building operators (who will see improved occupant comfort and will spend less time and money troubleshooting), BAS manufacturers, third-party vendors, and other stakeholders. In this project, the research team will implement CORE at multiple test sites and determine energy savings.
Standardized HVAC Sequence of Operations Savings CalculatorOne of the greatest underutilized opportunities for energy savings in buildings through retrofits and retro-commissioning is optimized HVAC system sequence of operations (SOO). A recent EPIC Best In Class research project funded by the California Energy Commission showed that implementation of standardized SOO in building automation systems (BAS) represents significant, cost-effective energy savings opportunities compared to typical practice and ensures long-term optimized performance and persistence of energy savings. Field implementation results in six nonresidential building types yielded 12-60 % HVAC energy savings.

Standardized and optimized control sequences for HVAC systems have been developed and published by ASHRAE. Field validation of these control sequences in new construction and during major control upgrades confirms that significant and cost-effective energy savings outcomes are possible compared to typical practice. However, this work also revealed a variety of compatibility barriers when applied to existing control system hardware and the SOO have not been validated across a full range of physical conditions and building types.

Utility program services and incentives play a crucial part in driving the market adoption of standardized HVAC SOO. While today a standardized HVAC SOO retrofit may be able to receive an incentive under a custom program, prescriptive programs are easier for the implementer (and the applicant) because savings algorithms and data inputs are pre-approved and the process is streamlined. Before an energy conservation measure can be introduced to a prescriptive incentive program, the baseline assumptions, calculation methodology, equipment useful life, incremental costs, and other measure attributes must be well established and typically published in a Technical Reference Manual (TRM) or technology workpaper. These protocols then serve as the basis for many aspects of program design, including the establishment of program eligibility criteria, incentive levels, measure cost-effectiveness pre-screening, and program reporting, among others. This process ensures that prescriptive programs are aligned with the requirements set by state regulators, and they utilize a set of pre-approved, standardized measurement and verification (M&V) approaches for claiming savings.

Retrofitting existing HVAC system controls to a standardized SOO has great potential for energy savings in buildings. However, it is difficult and therefore costly to accurately estimate the energy savings of the control retrofits. Therefore, energy savings and an incentive-estimating tool is needed that can quickly assess the value of a potential retrofit before embarking on project design will reduce barriers to identifying promising retrofit sites.

This project will establish energy savings estimates through simulation of a standardized HVAC SOO covering a variety of existing conditions in a variety of building types in California. First, we will use simulations to determine the control optimization measures with the most potential impact on energy savings. Second, we will develop an energy savings calculator to estimate energy savings using site-specific conditions and parameters. Third, we will develop supporting materials required for the development of a TRM/workpaper.
Final Report
Lab Evaluation of Integrated Controls for Commercial BuildingsThis project will demonstrate an integrated, whole-building control system; quantify and compare performance against a similar building without an integrated control system; and document building energy use, demand, load flexibility, occupant comfort, and system costs. The 2,000 sq.ft. demonstration building is equipped with an off-the-shelf, programmable building automation system (BAS) capable of connecting to and controlling a wide-range of smart appliances including lighting, thermostats, window shades, plug-loads, electric water heaters, and actuated casement windows. The BAS is designed to minimize energy costs over time using a control model informed by environmental sensors, local forecasts and energy-management strategies such as occupancy-based HVAC setbacks and nightly precooling enabled by the actuated windows. Project results are expected Fall 2024.
ET22SWE0044Whole BuildingsTSRActive2024/12
Compressed Air End-Use Air ManagementA new air management system (AMS) product has been developed as a drop-in replacement for compressed air filter-regulator-lubricator (FRL) assemblies. The AMS saves energy by reducing pressure to large pneumatic end-uses during idling and cutting off air supply during downtime. The product also includes data collection capabilities integrating with overall plant management and compressed air system optimization. The project will test the AMS at a food manufacturer measure the impacts, cost-effectiveness, user acceptance, and installation experience. Full M&V adhering to IPMVP protocols of the compressed air equipment and impacted end-uses will provide data for energy, demand, and cost savings analysis. The study will evaluate per-unit savings, statewide potential, market conditions, and program recommendations for the difficult-to-address compressed air market base of the industrial sector.
ET22SWE0045Process Loads, Whole BuildingsTSRActive2024/06
Restaurant Field MonitoringThis field demonstration project in a full service restaurant involves pre-retrofit energy monitoring of existing domestic hot water systems, the installation of single-pass air-source heat pumps (HPs) and other efficiency measures, and post-monitoring of optimized systems. Hot water is primarily used for sanitation purposes in commercial kitchens. A 2013 study (CEC-500-2013-050) by Fisher-Nickel Inc. estimated gas-load for domestic hot water (DHW) in foodservice at 340 million therms per year across 85,500 facilities. This project intends to demonstrate the energy savings potential from shifting the primary hot water energy load from the existing gas-fired or electric resistance heaters to high-efficiency HPs. Load flexibility measures via controls will be utilized to operate only at off-peak periods between 9pm to 4pm to minimize restaurant operating cost and maximize grid benefits to California. Any potential operating cost increase from switching from primary gas heating to electric in a restaurant will be offset with sensible efficiency measures on the distribution system (e.g., addition of master mixing valves) and end-use equipment (e.g. heat recovery dishmachine). If possible, we will try to perform additional testing to isolate the energy savings impact of heat-recovery dish machine and the master mixing valve.

This proposed HP retrofit ‘add-on’ project will, by design, keep the existing water heater in place to serve a much lower heat load and serve as a backup, so as not to trigger health department review. Positioning this project as a retrofit add-on versus replacement or new build application has other benefits as well, since it removes a lot of risk associated with design, operation, maintenance, and operating cost. The HP and storage tank do not have to be sized to meet the winter design day load and handle the high variability in daily hot water use in this segment. This mitigates the space requirements and electrical panel capacity issues that are common in existing buildings.
ET22SWE0046Water HeatingTSRActive2025/11
Master Mixing Valve Field StudyThe California Plumbing and Energy Codes do not mandate master mixing valves (MMV) for temperature control of domestic hot water (DHW) recirculation systems. Prior lab or field studies has not investigated the energy savings potential of MMV in recirculation systems. While some applications such as large multifamily buildings, elder care facilities and other applications may require the use of mixing valves for health and safety reasons, there are many applications where DHW recirculation systems have been installed without the use of MMV. The study will install high performance MMV, known as electronic or digital master mixing valves (DMMV) that are designed for use with operation of recirculation loops and handle the dynamic nature of variable flow water draws downstream at the point-of-use. They also may have additional monitoring, remote adjustment and other components and controls built in depending on the manufacturer and model. They are much more advanced than the conventional wax type thermostatic mechanical master mixing valve (MMMV) and various other thermostatic/mechanical types available on the market, many of which were not designed or rated for operation of variable water draw distribution systems with recirculation return loop. This project is a field study of DMMV installation in commercial gas-fired and electric HP-based DHW systems that do not have existing MMV. The five sites will include restaurants, supermarkets, cafeterias, office buildings, multifamily buildings, fitness/recreational centers, and laundry.
ET22SWE0047Water HeatingTSRActive2024/10
Commercial Kitchen Hot Water System Design GuideWater heating for food service applications represents 340M therms of gas consumption in California presenting a significant opportunity for electrification. Public-facing design guides specific to improving hot water heating, delivery, and use in commercial kitchens are critical to restaurant operators, system designers, and other audiences. We will create a design guide intended for general audiences such as restaurant operators with an added focus on heat pump (HP). We will also develop a technical design guide for a designer audience to help guide commercial kitchen designers and DHW system designers toward creating efficient and optimized systems. Written guides, slide decks accompanied by audio, and Spanish translations will be produced.
ET22SWE0048Water HeatingTSRComplete
Final Report
REA Systems – Market StudyThis market study characterizes the current state and anticipated future of Residential Energy and Automation (REA) systems. REA systems are a new category of residential appliances that combine the features of home energy management systems with control of distributed energy resources such as bi-directional electric vehicle chargers, photovoltaics, and stationary battery energy storage (BES). REA systems may improve residential energy efficiency and demand flexibility by providing integrated, automated control of building devices from a single control system. Additional benefits include centralized scheduling to avoid peak energy costs and automatic switch-over to BES during grid outages. The project includes a product survey, literature review, and preliminary energy modeling/analysis to quantify benefits by climate zone and system type. It is one piece of a multi-phase program to understand, evaluate, and support REA technology in the California marketplace.
ET22SWE0049Whole BuildingsTDRActive2024/09
Tech Evaluation of Air-to-Water Heat PumpsVEIC is conducting a study of the efficiency, load shift, and cost of residential non-phase change thermal energy storage systems integrated with combined space heating and domestic water heating heat pump systems. The field study evaluates in four single family residential buildings the performance of systems comprising of a commercially available air-to-water CO2-refrigerant heat pump, domestic hot water storage tank, air handler, a supplemental air-to-air heat pump for cooling and heating, and a proprietary control system.

The study will assess the appropriateness of such systems for existing and new California single-family homes in terms of cost to owners, cost to utilities, and public benefits. The results of the study can inform utility-sponsored programs for energy efficiency and load shift / load reduction.
ET22SWE0050HVAC, Water HeatingTSRActive2025/01
Residential Multi-Function Heat Pumps: Heat Exchanger ImprovementResidential Multi-Function Heat Pumps (MFHPs) use one efficient compressor and outdoor heat exchanger coil to provide space cooling, space heating, and domestic hot water heating. The UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) is field testing a production-ready prototype of an air-to-air MFHP that uses a hot water tank with both a refrigerant to water and a water-to-water heat exchanger. Preliminary results show good energy efficiency performance for typical heat pump mode cooling and heating, and even higher efficiency for the mode using waste heat from space cooling to heat hot water. The heat exchanger design can likely be improved to further increase energy efficiency and reduce costs. This project will collect specifications and cost data for relevant commercially available heat exchangers, build computer models of the refrigerant to water and water-to-water heat exchangers using different refrigerants to assess the current design, and complete a technoeconomic analysis to recommend improvements that can increase efficiency, reduce cost, and reduce refrigerant GHG impacts.
ET22SWE0051Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTDRComplete
Final Report
Swimming Pools as Heat SinksUsing swimming pools as heat sinks for air conditioner waste heat has been estimated to reduce air conditioner energy use in California by 25-30%. There are two primary advantages of rejecting waste heat to an air conditioner instead of ambient air: 1) swimming pool temperatures are colder than ambient air during peak cooling periods, and 2) water is a superior heat transfer medium than air resulting in better heat exchange performance. This process also has the added benefit of providing “free” pool heating which would increase the benefits to consumers and spur market adoption. This project will perform two retrofit installations of this technology to evaluate the impact on air conditioner energy use, and develop an analysis tool for predicting energy savings in different applications.
ET22SWE0052HVAC, Process LoadsTSRActive2024/11
PoE Microgrids for Commercial Buildings Lab EvaluationThe PoE DC Microgrid project will evaluate the electrical efficiency and cybersecurity of a centralized PoE switch serving as the power and communications hub for multiple building systems in whole-building or floor-level microgrid. Power over Ethernet (PoE), leverages existing IT infrastructure including power switches, CAT cables and the IP protocol to communicate and distribute power among connected devices. Many building controls are PoE-compatible, which saves energy from AC-to-DC conversion, facilitates networking, and reduces installation costs. The project will assess the electrical efficiency of a cross section of PoE-enabled components relative to their AC counterparts, then model two, uniquely sized, PoE systems to assess relative and absolute performance in a commercial setting. Products slated for evaluation include VAVs, physical access controls, thin clients, window shading and displays. Outcomes will include cybersecurity best-practices for commissioning multiple systems under a centralized PoE switch.
ET22SWE0053Whole BuildingsTSRActive2025/03
Foodservice Refrigeration: High Efficiency Condenser and Evaporator Units Focused PilotThis Focused Pilot project will identify and address the comprehensive set of barriers associated with the purchase and installation of commercial high-efficiency condensing units (HECUs) and high-efficiency evaporator units (HEEUs) used in walk-in coolers and freezers and remote condensing refrigerated cases, most commonly used by food retail customers and restaurants. The Focused Pilot will partner with high-efficiency evaporator and condensing unit manufacturers, distributors, and operators to prepare a comprehensive market characterization study, test two potential midstream incentive program designs, and perform onsite equipment testing and energy simulations to present a series of program implementation recommendations as well as compile all data points needed to prepare a measure package for these measures.
ET22SWE0054Process LoadsFPActive2024/12
Performance Evaluation of Advanced HEMSHome energy management systems (HEMS) may provide home energy and demand management; event- or price-based load shifting and demand response; interoperability with other home appliances and controls; and consolidated management of connected DERs such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and battery energy storage (BES); and bi-directional, electric vehicle (EV) charging. In addition, these new systems can make homes more resilient during grid outages by automatically switching loads to local battery storage when available. Advanced HEMS are currently under development by multiple companies, most available technology is in prototype form, and many products require independent testing to validate performance and quantify benefits. This laboratory evaluation of advanced HEMS will quantify the electrical efficiency associated with distributed energy resource (DER) management features, assess claims of product interoperability, and estimate energy use and peak demand as compared to homes without a HEMS. Results are expected in Fall 2024.
ET22SWE0055Whole BuildingsTDRActive2025/04
Increasing Heat Pump Water Heater DeploymentThe 120V heat pump water heater (HPWH) has the potential to vastly increase customer adoption of heat pump water heaters by reducing installation costs. The 120V units plug directly into existing shared or dedicated circuits at the WH location, eliminating additional electrical wiring and/or electrical panel upgrades, which is one of the most substantial barriers to HPWH installation.

To date, HPWH adoption has been much slower than heat pump HVAC, largely because the plumbing market tends to be more conservative as a whole and is not as used to continuous advances in technology seen in HVAC. Experience by other implementers, such as NEEA and Efficiency Maine, suggests that contractors first-hand home experience with the product significantly increases willingness to recommend that product to customers.

Our project plan to accelerate adoption will install 150-160 HPWH into the homes of plumbing contractors for them to experience the ease of installation and alleviate uncertainty about units not producing enough hot water. Special emphasis will be placed on contractors living in and serving DAC communities where panel upgrades and additional electrical work constitute a significant financial burden and barrier to HPWH adoption.

These 120V units will be installed exclusively in the homes of plumbing contractors and will not receive any further incentives from TECH, although they will be eligible for federal tax credits. TECH will record these installations and they will become part of the TECH dataset and the GHG savings will be claimed (this is negotiable), but no further incentives will be available through TECH. We do not propose to install any units where additional partner incentives may be available (i.e. SMUD/BayREN).

This project is proposed as an augment to TECH’s “Bulk Purchase/Contractor Demo” program which focuses on 240V units. Funds from CalNEXT will be used solely for purchasing 120V HPWH units for delivery through the TECH Bulk Purchase/Contractor Demo program. As part of this project, TECH will educate contractors on training around customer incentives available from TECH, SGIP, EE PLA and other resources to aid in their sales process to their customers. We will coordinate with PLA and SGIP stakeholders (depending on timing of the SGIP award) for input on the project planning.
ET22SWE0056Water HeatingTSRActive2024/09
Market Study of Household Electric Infrastructure Upgrade Alternatives for ElectrificationThis report provides a market assessment of commercially available intelligent power management technologies (IPMTs) – which shut off circuits when current draw exceeds a maximum limit and may minimize or avoid cost and time associated with residential household electrification projects. This report is informed by a market scan of the IPMT landscape, combined with vendor interviews which validated and built upon the secondary research. This report is also informed by stakeholder engagement which included comprehensive interviews of key market actors including investor-owned utility (IOU) program managers and program implementers, direct install contractors, and staff at community-based organizations (CBOs).

There are four distinct IPMT Product Groups on the market: Smart Electrical Panels, Smart Control Units, Smart Breaker and Relays, and Circuit Splitters.

IOU program managers and implementers, direct install contractors, and staff at CBOs have varying levels of familiarity, awareness, and perceived benefits and barriers associated with IPMTs.
ET22SWE0057HVAC, Plug Loads & Appliances, Whole BuildingsTSRComplete
Final Report
Mobile and Manufactured Housing Market Characterization StudyThis study analyzed data on the mobile and manufactured housing (MMH) sector to better understand technical and market barriers to electrification. Data analyzed include the distribution of MMH by geography/climate zone, ownership data, and site/building characteristics including age, equipment and appliance baselines, and fuel types. Additional information on existing programs, permitting processes, codes & standards, manufacturer landscape, and contractor network were assessed through a literature review and extensive stakeholder engagement to develop a more complete picture of the MMH market in California. Energy modeling was conducted to characterize typical existing MMH across California climate zones and develop an understanding of the potential impacts on energy use, utility bills, peak load, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with electrification retrofit measure packages and all-electric new construction built to various voluntary above-code manufactured housing standards. The project report includes recommended strategies for reaching MMH occupants with energy efficiency and electrification offerings, a list of technologies likely to benefit residents, a summary of opportunities and barriers for retrofit programs, and a retrofit versus whole-home replacement decision logic model for potential comprehensive electrification and energy efficiency programs to use in targeting program opportunities to this housing segment.
ET23SWE0017HVAC, Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTDRComplete
Final Report
Commercial Windows Market Study and Measure Package DevelopmentThis project presents findings on various commercial window projects including new construction, retrofit replacement and secondary windows. Energy Solutions interviewed regional, California statewide, and national market actors to understand high-performance window sales trends, new and emerging technologies, and barriers to adoption. Additionally, this report contains an overview of the total market size of commercial windows, an economic analysis of window measures available in California investor-owned utilities’ (IOU) service areas, recommendations for a program delivery model and finally, details on the windows measure package Energy Solutions plans to submit to the California Technical Forum (“CalTF”).
ET23SWE0018Whole BuildingsTSRComplete
Final Report
Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Process Water Recycling Systems for Ag Dairy FarmsThe proposed study will evaluate bead filtration technology to remove a majority of containments in dairy wastewater, expanding the use of effluent in drip irrigation, facility maintenance, etc. The technology uses low-power automatic pneumatic backwash and the backwash water is recycled internally for low water loss. The process aims to remove energy demand for pumping groundwater used to dilute the wastewater. Additional energy savings are achieved by reducing energy use through more efficient processing techniques which are embedded in the water saved through the treatment process. The process will reduce the cost of sludge removal and create a supplemental fertilizer revenue stream.

This project is a field demonstration of the technology at a dairy farm located in the Central Valley of California in 2024.
ET23SWE0019Process LoadsTSRActive2025/01
Emergency Replacement Heat Pump Water Heater Market StudyEmergency failures drive a reported 70-90% of water heater replacements and over 85% are in-kind natural gas models, locking in future barriers to electrification. In the Emergency Replacement Heat Pump Water Heater Market Study, VEIC will assess the tradeoffs of customers’ and contractors’ preference for in-kind or HPWH replacements, as well as the impact of installation costs, project duration, site-specific limitations (e.g. location, space, electrical service upgrades, noise, etc.), and two specific solutions, plug-in 120V HPWHs and the use of temporary gas loaner water heaters as part of emergency replacements. Customer, contractor and manufacturer interviews, and installation data will inform the key factors in customer and contractor decisions and guide recommendations for boosting acceptance of heat pump water heaters for emergency replacements.
ET23SWE0020Water HeatingTSRActive2024/08
Residential Electrical Service Upgrade Decision ToolMeeting the state’s climate and clean air goals requires electrification of the existing residential housing stock. Residential electrification is often erroneously assumed to require electrical panel and service upgrades in dwellings that currently have less than 200A of capacity. Under this assumption, a substantial minority (30-40%) of all dwellings in the state of California would require costly and time-consuming panel and service upsizing, representing $25-40 billion dollars of investment. These upgrades will also impose additional stress on the electrical grid, requiring substantial upstream investments by utilities and ratepayers. This represents a major bottleneck to rapid and equitable building electrification. This path poses an especially large burden on the state’s disadvantaged communities and tenants in older single-family and multifamily housing, who are more likely to have inadequate electrical infrastructure.

The proposed project’s goal is to leverage current research and practices to provide a “Residential Service Upgrade Decision Tool,” hereafter referred to as “Tool”, focused on existing residential single-family and multifamily buildings. The Tool is aimed at utilities, homeowners, contractors, regulators, and policy makers, and will include several decision-trees providing guidance on when to upsize electrical panels and service versus alternatives to manage available panel and service capacity to electrify homes. The Tool will provide differentiated information based on the intended audiences. For example, a homeowner will be able to assess the likely need for a panel/service upsizing or alternatives to avoid the same at their individual home. A contractor may use the Tool to view several scenarios for homes they typically service to estimate which of their projects will likely need panel/service upsizing or avoid it. Utility and policy makers will be able to run scenarios allowing them to estimate the potential needs at a statewide, utility specific or locational basis based on input assumptions on home size, location, existing panel capacity and likely electrification upgrades. The Tool will also be differentiated based on whether it is for a single-family home versus a multifamily building. 
ET23SWE0021Whole BuildingsTSRActive2024/08
HVAC Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) Field EvaluationThermal Energy Storage System (TESS) utilizes phase change material inserted in the supply duct to shift load. Its controller can adjust the thermostat’s cooling setpoint and compressor limiting strategy according to the event defined by the utilities demand response tariff or demand response program utilizing OpenADR protocol. The study will evaluate the field performance of the TESS installed across multiple RTUs operating in sequence. Results will be presented for summer peak period and off-peak periods, focusing on overall daily operation to show peak demand reduction, peak load shift, and energy savings resulting from shifting the compressor operation to cooler morning hours.
eTRM Heat Pump Baseline Systems AssessmentHeat pumps are an important technology in the residential sector for both energy efficiency and decarbonization efforts. The California Electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM) is the official repository for deemed measures which has several individual measure packages that address deemed savings for HP related technologies and smart thermostats that together form the technical basis for most of the State’s electrification efforts. This project will address gaps in current EE Portfolio offerings for Residential Heat Pumps when retrofitting existing homes and multifamily units with no existing space cooling systems or systems; systems currently not addressed as baseline systems in measure packages. This project was designated Fast Track.
Final Report
Water-Cooled Chillers Market Assessment & Performance EvaluationThe current Water-Cooled Chiller (WCC) measure package (SWHC005) in eTRM of Cal TF has a disconnect where WCC Tiers of CPUC’s DEER do not match market conditions. The FLE/PLE efficiency levels for Tier 1 and Tier 2 are 10%/10% and 15%/15% respectively. The Energy Solutions team worked with CPUC in 2021 and adjusted these Tiers to 7%/12% respectively.

The objectives of this CalNEXT Fast Track project were, therefore, to perform the background work to update the eTRM with new high-IPLV offerings for cooling-only WCCs within SWHC005 and to develop a new measure package for the Heat Recovery Chillers (HRCs)​. This project was designated Fast Track.
Final Report
Characteristics of Energy Efficiency Emerging Technologies for WineriesIn recent years, California’s regulatory agencies have placed a greater emphasis on establishing market influence to justify energy efficiency (EE) program incentives. In addition to providing engineering support, estimating savings, verifying performance, and analyzing costs, EE program administrators are asked to evaluate a variety of decision-making scenarios that comply with specific program measure application types.

While wineries and vineyards have been leaders in developing and setting sustainability goals they are often disqualified or discouraged from participating in EE programs for such efforts. Without an improved understanding of the existing market barriers for deploying energy efficient technology in wineries, it is difficult to identify and design new EE programs to more effectively intervene. This study is a market characterization of the California winery energy efficiency and technology ecosystem. Particularly of interest is how new and innovative EE programs, services and incentives can help transform the market for EE technology in the winery market.

Improving EE in wineries can require complex deployment projects often without clearly defined baselines.  Causes and triggers that naturally influence a customer to act include code requirements, industry standard practices, and customer standard practices. The expected outcome of this project is market information to help steer future program designs for wineries toward a greater emphasis on energy efficiency, electrification, decarbonization, water conservation, and total system benefits.
ET23SWE0027Process Loads, Whole BuildingsTDRActive2024/05
Market Characterization of Ultra-Low GWP Space Conditioning Heat Pumps for Commercial BuildingsHeat pumps provide significant energy savings and a path for electrification, but they typically use refrigerants with a high global warming potential (GWP), which can degrade the greenhouse gas reductions from energy savings. The California Air Resources Board has regulations that will require refrigerants in stationary air conditioners in nonresidential buildings to be <750 GWP starting in 2025, and for refrigerants in variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems to be <750 GWP (low GWP) starting in 2026. This study is a characterization of the market for low GWP and ultra-low space conditioning heat pumps for commercial buildings.
Final Report
Heat Pump Crankcase Heat ManagementHeat pumps are a key tool for meeting the state’s GHG goals and decarbonization goals. Recent studies have shown that up to 50% of annual energy use arise from energy penalties from the incorrect operation of heat pump crankcase heaters (CCH). CCH are installed in air source heat pumps (ASHP) systems to ensure that no liquid refrigerant is in the compressor. Defrost controls in ASHP systems results in significant energy penalties. The California eTRM measure packages currently do not adequately address these energy penalties from incorrect operation of crankcase heaters, defrost controls or phantom baseloads. This project will address eTRM modifications to address heat pump CCH defrost controls and standby power usage in CCH. This project was designated Fast Track.
Final Report
Manufactured Housing Electrification Measure Development SupportWith rising housing costs in California, the prevalence of affordable manufactured housing has been growing, especially in areas affected by recent wildfires. Many homeowners find manufactured housing to be a means to get them back in a home much faster, and much more affordably. For years, manufactured homes have been excluded from efficiency rebate programs, but with the number of manufactured homes growing every year, there is an increasing need to ensure the units going into the market are efficient all-electric units. The project team will utilize existing DEER prototypes for single-, double-, and triple-wide all-electric manufactured homes meeting the updated HUD code and the new ENERGY STAR® 2.1 Certification to model energy consumption and expected energy savings over the HUD baseline across California’s climate zones. This modeling effort will include both standard resistance heating technologies and heat pumps of varying above-code efficiencies and induction cooking technologies. Development of an all-electric manufactured home measure package allows for a more streamlined inclusion of manufactured housing in utility rebate programs. With both the new updated HUD code for manufactured housing (first update since 1993) and the EPA implementation of ENERGY STAR 2.1 for manufactured housing in 2023, development of new manufactured housing measure packages is timely.
ET23SWE0031Whole BuildingsTSRActive2024/04
Emerging “Micro” Heat Pumps: Testing and Heating Performance MetricsIn the pursuit of California’s ambitious goal to install at least 6 million heat pumps by 2030, “micro” heat pumps (MHP) are emerging as innovative solutions to multifamily buildings. This technology offers unique features by providing both space cooling and heating, operating down to -7°F with enhanced part-load efficiencies, and works using a variable speed compressor powered by a 120V socket without the need for a contractor or permit. MHPs offer the potential to replace small gas-fired furnaces or inefficient electric-resistance space heaters.

This project will test several MHPs in a National Recognized Testing Laboratory, obtain performance data, and share the test results with key stakeholders. This work aims to lay the technical groundwork that will allow utilities to provide incentives for this rapidly emerging market.
Residential HPWH Market Study and Measure Gap AnalysisThis project will analyze the current CA eTRM measure packages for residential Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH) based on market and product data to identify gaps and recommend enhancements to the measure offerings. The final report will be delivered to the California Technical Forum and other eTRM stakeholders for consideration of measure package enhancements with the goal of improving HPWH measure options for energy efficiency programs.

The current measure packages for HPWH are based on limited information, necessarily so because market penetration for these products has been well below 1% and so fuller market data has been impossible. Limitations that make certain HPWH replacements ineligible or outside the savings and load shape analysis of the measure package include installations with mixing valves or demand control connectivity, or units where the tank size has been increased to compensate for lower heating power.  

HPWH product offerings from manufacturers have evolved quickly. Recently, 120V products have entered the market, and many more HPWH offerings have become available. Both the California market and available installation data have been undergoing significant changes; new products have captured attention, and the TECH program has funded efforts at promotion, supply chain awareness and training, product cost and use data at scale, as well as an array of new market approaches to HPWH. The market will likely continue to evolve rapidly as the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) takes a significant funding role and adds requirements for CTA-2045 controls.

The market conditions and the TECH data make an analysis of the current measure packages possible and useful with the goal of an eTRM that covers the popular use cases (such as tank size changes) and benefits (such as demand flexibility). This is an evolving energy efficiency program implementation area; CalNEXT’s suggestions for the portfolio should include scenarios where EE portfolio administrators promote comprehensive residential energy efficiency and decarbonization measures including HPWH. 

This project will study current gaps and provide the Cal TF and California IOUs with recommendations for addressing them. Aspects of the HPWH to be considered include base case fuels, measure case uniform energy factor (UEF), base case tank capacity and tank capacity increases, mixing valves, and CTA-2045 controls and their impact on load shapes and demand flexibility. 

The study will start by gathering data from TECH, SGIP, installers, and the supply chain. Available data will be described in a Preliminary Findings Report. Written analyses from the TECH program relevant to the eTRM, such as installation cost issues or impacts to DAC/HTR customers, will be summarized for their impact of EE programs. Data will be analyzed to highlight trends for residential HPWH and identify the importance of installation types that are and are not covered by the current measure packages. These findings will be described in Draft and Final Reports, along with recommendations for the HPWH measure packages and a summary of HPWH data sources. This project was designated Fast Track.
ET23SWE0035Water HeatingTSRComplete
Final Report
Industrial Heat Pump Market StudyThis project involves a market characterization study for Industrial Heat Pumps. Industrial Heat pumps are heat pumps that are used in large-scale industrial processes. Standard heat pumps are generally used for residential and small-scale commercial applications. Industrial heat pumps, on the other hand, are typically designed to handle much larger heating loads, temperatures, and pressures and overall more robust to meet the demands of industrial processes. Available studies suggest that industrial heat pumps are an underserved sector mostly due to the critical roles the incumbent technology plays within existing processes. End users are generally hesitant to embrace technology that is less common/mature and ones they are less familiar with. Existing studies indicate that there are significant energy and greenhouse gas savings potential by replacing more common natural gas heating technologies with industrial heat pumps. For example, an ACEEE study notes a savings of up to 32% of source energy. The IEA report suggests a savings of up to 10% of global emissions if fossil fuel boilers were replaced by heat pumps in these applications.

This study was completed to provide additional context as to how this technology can play a role in decarbonization and reducing energy usage within California. The study includes the following: 1) market sizing of the potential market of industrial heat pumps in CA, 2) identification of the highest benefit applications and locations, 3) identification of commercial and pre-commercial technologies and manufacturers, 4) identification of technology feasibility including technology and market barriers and opportunities, and 5) recommendations for utility interventions to support market adoption.
ET23SWE0036Process LoadsTDRComplete
Final Report
Integrated HVAC RTU Remote Monitoring SystemsThe Integrated HVAC RTU Remote Monitoring System is the first of its kind and includes factory installed equipment where wiring and sensors are manufactured together with the new roof top package units (RTU) and heat pumps as a packaged solution. The system provides standard data points for system operation status and are the same points of data that are evaluated when a technician puts instrumentation on at the site. This makes available diagnostic data available at a fraction of the cost for in field installation of the same sensor points. The project team will work closely with the facility management and engineering customers to define and detect appropriate tolerance ranges for applicable parameters monitored to ensure optimal operational conditions while achieving energy savings.
Double Duct Packaged Terminal Heat Pump Field DemonstrationThe project will evaluate the installation and performance of double duct packaged terminal heat pumps (DDPTHP) in a low-income multifamily new construction. The product can enable cost-effective electrification and energy efficient heat pump usage providing space heating and cooling in a single package for each apartment. This technology has potential benefits and advantages over efficient alternatives such as variable refrigerant flow, ductless heat pumps, and typical packaged terminal heat pumps. Monitoring and analysis of the installed systems will enable normalized performance assessment and conclusions for the statewide market. Although the field demonstration will be conducted in a new construction building, retrofit applications will be discussed. Recommendations for program support, product roadmap, and best applications will be provided based on the study findings.
Wastewater Pump Measure DevelopmentThis study has developed the necessary data for the development of a deemed measure offering for the replacement of wastewater pumps, for eventual application within the statewide program. Among the 171 offerings within the CA Electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM) is an offering for the replacement of clean water pumps (Statewide Measure ID SWWP004) with high-efficiency units. As the existing offering is applicable only to clean water pumps within the commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors, a gap exists for the replacement of pumps within the wastewater industry. The study draws upon data from hundreds of pumps supported by CA wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) program-related projects as well as the existing measure methodologies to provide the framework needed for the development of a new statewide offering. The measure development followed methodology of the existing approved statewide measure for Water Pump Upgrade, SWWP004-02. The bulk of the analysis used pumping data from Southern California Edison’s Hydraulic Services for a variety of pumping systems used to derive annual use profiles for the various bin sizes of pumps, which were used to establish the deemed metrics. The data and findings presented in the report are recommended to be utilized by the lead investor-owned utility (IOU) team to facilitate the development of a statewide offering to complement the existing clean water pump offering. This project was designated Fast Track.
ET23SWE0039Process LoadsTSRComplete
Final Report
AMI Intelligence Connected Building Energy ModelingVEIC proposes to demonstrate a building simulation modeling tool that would use Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) data and regression methods to identify customer specifics about their facility. Model outputs would be efficiency measure suggestions customized to the customer’s specific building situation. VEIC plans to demonstrate this technology on grocery stores, K-12 schools, and health clinics.

The control-based strategies for energy savings identified by this automated energy analyst are expected to be in the range of 5 kBtu/sqft/year which may provide a range of 5-20% overall improvement. The ease of use and customized savings analysis of the tools becomes a catalyst for users to continually make efficiency enhancements beyond the original suggested control-based strategies.
ET23SWE0040Whole BuildingsTDRActive2024/11
Propane Air to Water Heat Pump Market StudyHeat pumps are crucial for building decarbonization, but their widespread adoption could yield unintended climate consequences from the release of refrigerant greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. R-290 air-to-water heat pumps are an exciting solution due to both R-290’s ultra-low global warming potential value and their ability to provide hot water and thermal storage in addition to space heating and cooling. The technology is widely used internationally, but regulatory confusion impedes its inclusion in American utility incentives. This market study investigated these challenges and demonstrated the market potential and suitability of R-290 heat pumps—specifically monobloc air-to-water heat pump designs— as an end-to-end decarbonization solution for domestic heating, cooling, and hot water needs across California’s single-family residential market.
Final Report
Residential High-Performance Windows Measure Package DevelopmentFor this project, the project team developed a measure package for residential high-efficiency windows to the standards of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requirements for measure packages. The measure package, including all major characterization sections and supporting energy modeling files and outputs, is ready for submission to the California Technical Forum (Cal TF) for review and approval. The Database for Energy Efficiency Resources (DEER) Residential Building Prototypes were used for building energy modeling simulation, and to determine energy savings. The measure package utilizes eligibility criteria specified in the ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Residential Windows, Doors, and Skylights, Version 7.0, and provides two measure offerings: new construction and retrofit high-efficiency residential windows. This project was designated Fast Track.
ET23SWE0043Whole BuildingsTSRComplete
Final Report
Benchtop Efficiency Measurements for Residential mesh Networking EquipmentCurrently, 40% of advertised Integrated Access Device (IAD) products use mesh networking. MNS are a group of devices, offered by a single manufacturer, and typically purchased as a package, that establishes a single integrated Wi-Fi network accessible at multiple points. By having multiple connection points, it is easier to place devices in key locations that increase signal connectivity and reliability. Within five years, MNS could account for 80% of the IAD installed base. However, MNS electrical characteristics are not well defined and IAD energy consumption, which was estimated at 1.5 TWh in 2020 in California, could increase dramatically over the coming years. This project consists of a market assessment of today’s commercially available mesh networking systems combined with a laboratory evaluation to characterize their performance in residential settings. MNS performance will be compared to business-as-usual IADs to quantify relative energy use, savings, and other performance benefits expected from this emerging product category.
ET23SWE0044Plug Loads & AppliancesTDRActive2025/01
Field Assessment of Refrigerated Display Cases Air Curtain Guiding VanesA field assessment is being conducted that updates prior lab findings demonstrating energy reductions from installing air vanes on vertical open refrigerated display cases. Air vanes are thin rigid strips attached to the end of display case shelves. They are positioned across the air curtain of the display case and re-direct airflow, reducing infiltration between the refrigerated space and warm moist air outside of the display case.

There is an estimated 900,000 linear feet in SCE’s service territory. Potential energy savings resulting from the measure could yield 5.7 kW of load reduction per store, and 15.4 MW grid reduction. A 50,000 ft2 supermarket with air vanes could save 50,000 kWh annually. The project will measure store results by comparing savings post-installation to a baseline.
ET23SWE0046Process LoadsTSRActive2024/09
Residential Multi-Function Heat Pump Laboratory TestingThe only commercially available air-to-air Multi-Function Heat Pump (MFHP) in California is the Villara AquaThermAire which is single speed equipment using R-410A refrigerant. The UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) completed a PGE-funded emerging technologies project field testing this prototype system along with Frontier Energy. Preliminary results show good energy efficiency performance for typical space conditioning and water heating modes as well as the capability to use waste heat from space cooling to heat hot water during the summer ². This project will test the efficiency and capacity performance of the Villara AquaThermAire air-to-air MFHP across a range of outdoor air conditions to match California climate zones for space heating, space cooling, water heating, and for simultaneous space cooling with heat recovery water heating. These lab test results will then be used to develop equipment performance curves for use with EnergyPlus and CBEC-Res to estimate energy savings in residential buildings.
ET23SWE0047Whole BuildingsTDRActive2024/12
Commercial Air-to-Water HP Market StudyThe industry is at the very beginning of the process to electrify existing large commercial buildings. Technological and financial elements of electrification retrofits remain unknown, particularly for this market segment. However, there are many recent innovations that designers are pursuing to transform these electrification retrofits into common practice. Numerous studies and programs have addressed small residential and small commercial buildings, but only a select few have been completed for large commercial buildings, presumably because large commercial buildings are more complex resulting in additional challenges and barriers to overcome. Additional solutions must be identified and documented for large commercial buildings to overcome the unique challenge of custom-built, complex heating and cooling systems, and larger building heating and cooling loads. As a result, electrification of these systems is one of the most challenging in the current market.

We are proposing a market study to assess existing opportunities and barriers for electrifying heating systems in existing large commercial buildings, with a focus on electrifying large boilers with air-to-water heat pumps, including hybrid solutions. In large commercial buildings, boilers are used primarily for this space heating, which is typically the largest source of fossil fuel consumption in these facilities. Air-to-Water heat pumps pull heat from ambient air to heat water that is then circulated through radiators, baseboard units, radiant panels, or heat/re-heat coils throughout large buildings. This project will help understand the market potential and solutions available for decarbonizing these large systems through air-to-water heat pumps.
Final Report
Enhanced Normalized Metered Energy Consumption Analysis with Rapid InterventionsThis project is a demonstration and comparison study between conventional Normalized Metered Energy Consumption (NMEC) analysis and a Measurement & Verification (M&V) method which enhances NMEC with rapid & repeatable interventions. The Enhanced NMEC (E-NMEC) with Rapid Interventions (RI) is anticipated to require less time, less data, and potentially be more accurate in scenarios where the current NMEC protocol has limitations. RI protocols has the potential to expand NMEC availability to: 

New customer accounts with no previous consumption data. 
Customer accounts anticipated to undergo a Non-Routine Adjustment (e.g., Renovation). 
Customer accounts prone to Non-Routine Events (e.g., Tenant Moving-In/Out). 
Customer accounts with routine and sporadic loading (e.g., Industrial) 
Periods that experience exceptional weather events. 
Projects undergoing concurrent interventions at initial implementation. 
Projects having an impact less than 10% of total facility consumption. 
Programs where NMEC data collection timelines are too long for a given contract. 

Typical NMEC procedures only include evaluation of the effect of a single point of intervention, a one-time implementation of a change to a building or system. Data collection timeframes often extend 12-15 months before and after the intervention to ensure seasonal changes in performance are captured. These longer timeframes have a higher risk of aggregating the impacts of confounding variables, potentially never achieving sufficient ‘un-confounded‘ data to provide a robust result.  A single intervention is also at risk of aggregating concurrent parallel interventions not project-related but occurring within the same timeframe. This leads to poor regression statistics and potentially misleading results. In some extreme cases, it can lead to complete disqualification of the site from utilizing conventional NMEC methods. 

The Enhanced NMEC with RI will be limited to repeatable and reversible interventions. The method incorporates multiple interventions where the subject system toggles between different modes of operation for various intervals of time. The number of interventions and the duration within each mode of operation is initially predetermined by best practice but is then adjusted mid-execution using statistical techniques to update the intervention scheduling. Real-time feedback on data quality, parameter coverage, model fit statistics, and other application- specific considerations increase savings estimate reliability. Rapid Interventions are anticipated to typically be made up of Behavioral, Retro commissioning and Operational (BRO) measures, but there may be opportunity for other measure application types if the baseline performance can be emulated by the new system. An example of a new system emulating baseline performance is a VFD with the speed manually set to 60 hertz.  

Applications involving continuous management of M&V benefit from site-optimized budgets and timelines as well as reduced risk of disqualification due to poor model fit statistics. This ultimately results in a substantial increase in flexibility for Program Design, which will result in higher cost effectiveness and higher accessibility. The comparison study between the NMEC and the enhanced NMEC with RI will discuss criteria, timeline, cost, accuracy, and other program design considerations. 

For this study, the E-NMEC demonstration site locations will be selected from a sample of 20 sites currently being studied in a complementary CEC-funded research project. The energy efficiency measure of the CEC project includes assessment of load flexibility controls for energy savings and load shifting capabilities of residential heat pump water heaters and the sites are located within a Disadvantaged Community. 
ET23SWE0049HVAC, Whole BuildingsTSRActive2025/07
Comfort Impacts of Partial Coverage ASHPsA limiting factor to rapid adoption of air-source heat pumps (ASHPs) for residential retrofit applications is the first costs associated with installing a heat pump system that provides the home’s full heating and cooling loads with direct distribution into all conditioned rooms of the home. This is true with both ducted and ductless technologies and impacts low-to-moderate income customers disproportionally. Anecdotal evidence (from previous utility programs) suggests that in some scenarios, room and home comfort may be sufficiently sustained year-round even in the case of a partial-coverage system where the heat pumps either a) lack direct distribution into certain rooms or b) are sized to only provide between 70-90 percent of the full design load.

Homeowners who installed heat pump systems to meet 70-90% of the heating loads engaged through TRC’s various heat pump program implementation efforts, have indicated that they do not use their backup/supplemental heating systems and that their homes maintained personal comfort ranges even with outdoor air temperatures below design conditions. This study would attempt to account for the common market error of Manual J load calculations overstating the actual load of the home. 

Using a combination of energy modeling and field testing, this project will identify specific conditions where this is true, quantify the comfort impacts of various partial-coverage scenarios, and quantify first-cost and operating cost savings of partial-coverage applications that still fulfill sufficient year-round heating and cooling. The project will also measure operating costs of partial-coverage heat pumps to assess if they operate more efficiently due to less short cycling and more operating hours within the heat pump’s modulating zone.

Heat pumps sized for the full design load are sized to provide heating and cooling at the 1% and 99% temperatures seen annually. However, smaller capacity heat pumps may operate in their efficient modulating zone for more time annually. The net result is more annual hours of efficient operation and less annual hours of inefficient low-load cycling. We are expecting to see benefits and lower annual energy usage as a result of lowering the minimum capacity and maximizing the time spent in the heat pumps modulating zone.

Specific applications include the following:

1. Indirect Coverage: Base case is an ASHP system providing direct airflow with heads or registers in every room. Test case is individual rooms with no ducted registers, or ductless heads, but with certain thermal-transfer pathways to the rest of the home such as door undercuts; transfer grills; transfer fans; low amounts of external wall/ceiling/floor exposure relative to internal partitions; and highly insulated external wall/ceiling/floors

2. Partial Load: Base case is 100% of the design load. Test case is ASHP systems whose heating or cooling capacity at the home’s design temperature are only 70-90 percent of the full design load but for which the short duration of insufficient capacity combined with solar gains and internal gains (for heating) or fans (for cooling) may not lead to substantial comfort impacts.

The study will use energy modeling to predict the temperature drift in rooms or homes with Indirect coverage and/or partial load under the most extreme outdoor weather conditions in various climate zones. The project will use field studies to verify thermal comfort impacts with indirect coverage and partial load ASHP systems in real-world scenarios.
Performance Assessment of Integrated Core Daylighting TechnologyFiber optic, solar-tracking, core daylight systems can deliver natural light deep into a building’s core. Previous studies have shown these systems can deliver ~620 lumens/watt at a maximum length of 300 feet when direct sunlight is available. However, this technology requires extensive refinement in terms of electric lighting controls and photometric integration if such high efficacy products are to be realized in practice. This project is focused on advancing solar-tracking core daylighting systems as an energy efficiency measure by improving electric lighting controls integration and optical system integration. Research includes evaluation of a solar-tracking, core daylight system with a claimed efficacy exceeding 1000 lumens/watt based on a previously unevaluated version of the product.
Insights from Innovative Programs on Barriers and Opportunities for Heat Pump AdoptionAddressing non-cost barriers to heat pump adoption is critical to accelerating their uptake. This project highlights programs, strategies, and efforts to promote residential heat pumps led by utilities, governments, and non-governmental organizations around the world. Examples were gathered from heat pump program databases, news media, and targeted web searches. Efforts to address the specific characteristics that hinder heat pump adoption (e.g., low observability, low trialability) are described and synthesized, presenting a range of options for mitigating challenges associated with each technology characteristic. The information collected is summarized in brief case studies as well as a searchable database. The project is intended to inform Energy Savings Assistance programs and other stakeholders about innovative options to promote residential heat pump adoption.
Heat Pump Rooftop Unit DemonstrationThe goal of this project is to understand the potential of heat pump rooftop unit (RTU) technology to electrify and decarbonize existing commercial building heating loads. Rooftop units are particularly ripe for market transformation as they are ubiquitous in the commercial sector with decades of little to no advancement and innovation. For this project, we will characterize the energy consumption of heat pump RTUs using data collected from monitoring of actual equipment performance. The monitored heat pump equipment will include a high-efficiency RTU, ideally with variable speed compressor technology, and a standard efficiency heat pump rooftop unit with single or two stage compression. These systems will be instrumented to measure their overall power and energy consumption, delivered heating and cooling capacity, and coefficient of performance (COP).
High Efficiency Refrigerated Display CaseVEIC and NREL propose a market potential study and technology performance assessment of high-efficiency, liquid-cooled, low-GWP, self-contained, medium temperature, refrigerated display cases with advanced controls. The performance assessment will use EnergyPlus modeling software to create a building-scale model, including HVAC system interactive effects and compressor waste heat reclaim potential across multiple climate zones.

With refrigeration accounting for roughly 50% of energy usage in supermarkets and grocery stores, these buildings have one of the highest EUIs and CUIs in the commercial sector. The state of California has nearly 18,000 food retail establishments that operate more than 8 million linear feet of refrigerated cases. As new case technologies and low-GWP refrigerant options come into the market, high-efficiency refrigerated cases present cost-effective, energy efficient, and decarbonization opportunities for food retailers.
ET23SWE0056Process LoadsTSRActive2025/02
Overcoming Key Barriers to Electrification of Foodservice Hot Water in CaliforniaThis project focuses on the electrification of foodservice hot water. The project will conduct a literature review of commercial kitchen hot water research and data and collect primary data of foodservice facility hot water peak and hourly demand. The objective of this project is to provide data to dismantle a key barrier to electrification of water heating in commercial kitchens, which is outdated sizing guidelines for California foodservice water heating systems. In California, the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (CCDEH) outline foodservice water heater sizing guidelines and requirements for water heater installations and replacements. The statewide guidelines exclude heat pumps, storage capacity, and use outdated consumption assumptions, making HPWHs cost and/or space prohibitive to install even if allowed by local jurisdictions today. To meet California’s climate goals[2] and prepare for anticipated future commercial water heater zero NOx rulemaking[3], the CCDEH sizing guidelines must be urgently updated to right-size all foodservice equipment and accommodate HPWH technology.

As part of the literature review, the project will evaluate currently available HPWH products to determine if they meet unique demands of commercial kitchens, which are typically satisfied by gas tank-type water heaters, or whether one or more technical solutions (HPWHs with larger heat pumps and/or capturing waste heat from  kitchens) can overcome the recovery rate barrier. Additionally, this project will identify opportunities to further reduce hot water demand and energy use in commercial kitchens, lending further support to revised water heating sizing guidelines. These opportunities include equipment efficiency (such as dish machines and pre-rinse systems) and revised pipe sizing methods such as Uniform Plumbing Code Appendix M. In addition to supporting revised water heater sizing guidelines, the hourly and maximum hot water demand data collected from CA foodservice facilities by this project and harvesting data from prior field projects can help validate the pipe sizing assumptions in UPC Appendix M, supporting broader acceptance in the regulatory and design community, and eventually building code updates, resulting in additional energy savings. This project will engage CCDEH members and local leading health departments to ask what data or information from field sites would be valuable to support this sizing guideline expansion to incorporate HPs and potential revisions.

This project will summarize the above data in a way that can be easily understood and assimilated by CCDEH, California Energy Commission (CEC), and other code-setting bodies (e.g., ASHRAE); the project team anticipates CCDEH will be interested in computed total hourly hot water demand (gallons per hour, GPH) for each facility studied and monitored peak hourly demand in gallons for first hour recovery (FHR) and peak two-hour calculations, and that the CEC and other code-setting bodies will be interested in minute, hourly, peak, and annual consumption data. This project will engage with NSF and/or nationally recognized testing laboratories to publish thermal efficiency/COP value for commercial HP so they can be used for calculating energy input in the CCDEH guidelines.  Additionally, the project will provide real-world hot water demand data to CBECC and other software development teams to improve energy models for water heating in foodservice facilities. The team will engage with HPWH manufacturers to determine whether they have incorporated recovery rating requirements in their product development pipeline, share and build support for the project goal to overcome this key barrier, and eventually to share field data they can use when developing technical solutions to these issues. The project team will engage directly with the above organizations to support current and future updates to codes and standards that can both remove code barriers to electrification of water heating in food service, and eventually support adoption of energy code requirements for high efficiency and low-carbon water heating equipment. By removing electrification barriers in foodservice hot water, this project aims to allow for heat pump and hybrid water heating to be more widely installed in foodservice facilities, including under existing utility or other incentive programs.

[1] TRC, 2023. ET22SWE0019 Market Potential for Heat Pump Assisted Hot Water Systems in Foodservice Facilities. Final Report prepared for Energy Solutions for the CalNEXT program.

CCDEH. 2020. Guidelines for Sizing Water Heaters.

[2] California Office of Governor, Gavin Newsom. 2022. California Releases World’s First Plan to Achieve Net Zero Carbon Pollution.

[3] SCAQMD Proposed Amended Rule 1146.2 Working Group Meeting #2 Presentation Slide 9
ET23SWE0057Process Loads, Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTSRActive2025/09
HVAC Capacity ControllerProblem: For residential and commercial consumers seeking to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint and to promote a more sustainable future for their local communities and economies, variable frequency drives (VFDs) deliver significant efficiency improvements and a quick return on investment (ROI). Although adding a VFD to existing “fixed-capacity” or “fixed-speed” heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) equipment can drastically improve overall efficiency, a standalone VFD would have to be manually controlled or adjusted to achieve optimum efficiency improvements. Therefore, to maximize the benefits of retrofitting VFDs to existing “fixed-capacity” or “fixed-speed” HVACR equipment, control systems that provide the proper input information to the VFDs must be included.

Solution: Go Solar America (GSA) has developed and demonstrated an HVAC Capacity Controller (HCC). The HCC is a standalone device capable of interfacing with the multitude of off-the-shelf VFDs currently available on the market. The function of the HCC is to provide the signal inputs to the VFD so that the VFD’s output supplies the correct voltage and frequency that produces improved load matching, less on and off cycling, soft start-ups, and faster temperature pull-downs of the HVACR system. The two main inputs required by the VFD to control the HVACR compressor’s speed are temperature and remote start. A temperature probe or sensor is installed in the “return-air-duct” to sample the temperature in “space to be cooled”. The probe produces a small voltage that is directly proportional to the “return-air-duct” temperature and is fed into a temperature transducer. The temperature transducer converts the small voltage to a 0-to-10 volt signal that the VFD requires to vary the frequency and the speed of the HVACR compressor automatically.  The VFD requires a “dry contact” input (switch) to remotely start the VFD. The thermostat in the “space to be cooled” starts the cooling or heating process by sending a signal to the HCC which in turns send out the “dry contact signal to the VFD starting the HVACR compressor. There are many high-efficiency HVAC systems currently available for both residential and commercial applications; however, for the millions of “fixed-capacity” or “fixed-speed” systems already installed, there are not widely available off-the-shelf, easy-to-install retrofits that provide the control inputs required by VFDs to produce the desired efficiency and environmental improvements. Therefore, retrofitting the HCC and a VFD to existing “fixed-capacity” or “fixed-speed” HVACR equipment allows owners and operators the ability to implement a variable-capacity modulation strategy that reduces energy consumption while performing the same amount of work. Adding a VFD to a “fixed-speed” compressor motor can result in a 30 to 50 percent reduction in energy costs while enabling capacity modulation from 40 to 100 percent without having to replace a compressor.

Proposed Project: Go Solar America proposes to conduct a “Field-Study” of their HCC interfaced with various off-the-shelf VFDs to retrofit various types of “fixed-capacity” or “fixed-speed” HVACR equipment. Participants in the study shall include a school and several single-family residences. The participants shall be located within the Southern California Edison-service area, allowing the project team to take advantage of data provided by installed smart utility metering. The data can be used to evaluate reductions in energy consumption and demand. The objectives of the study are to:
– Select the best VFDs to be interfaced with the HCC
– Select the best HVACR equipment to be retrofitted
– Determine net reductions in energy consumption and demand
– Determine estimated operating cost savings of retrofitting existing HVACR equipment
– Determine the Short- Term-Reliability (STR) of the interfaced HCC, VFD and HVACR equipment. The STR describes how often the HCC/VFD upgrades or HVACR equipment malfunction within the first 6 months of service installation dates.
– Determine system operating procedures, settings and parameters, such as; minimum and maximum frequencies, temperature, starting torque, ramp up time, etc.
CHPWH Unpressurized Storage Design OptimizationCentral heat pump water heater (CHPWH) systems are crucial for the efficient decarbonization of multifamily and commercial buildings. These systems can provide electrified, efficient hot water for both new and existing buildings while minimizing grid impact and energy costs with load shifting capabilities. However, additional production options and design solutions are necessary to overcome remaining barriers to widespread market adoption. This study will study unpressurized hot water storage designs that can reduce several of these adoption barriers and optimize unpressurized storage heat transfer. This study will computationally model the most likely unpressurized storage design (closed loop, external pumped plate heat exchange) with and without phase change materials, assess the respective performance and benefits, and explore the market potential and implications.
ET23SWE0059Water HeatingTDRActive2024/07
PG&E HVAC Tool ValidationThe proposed idea is to conduct a validation of parts of the “PG&E HVAC Tool” (Tool). The Tool is currently available to energy efficiency developers and implementors to estimate savings for RCx measures pursuing IOU energy incentives. However, there has been a reluctance by stakeholders regarding if, when, and how to use the Tool without additional validation and CPUC approval.

To date, the Tool has been managed and developed by PG&E. Cal TF is drafting an RCx Custom Measure Characterization Report and this tool is the proposed tool for producing the output for the report. The request for this validation work comes directly from CalTF with the goal of accelerating the acceptance of the Tool as a statewide standard tool by the three IOUs, Cal TF and the CPUC.

The Project Team proposes to validate the airside and hot water measures in the Tool using simulation output generated by Energy+. These two groups of measures (airside and hot water) are chosen because the models for these functions already exist in Energy+ allowing completion of significant progress within calendar year 2023 and at the expected budget.

The results of this work will help users, developers, program administrators and evaluators understand and minimize uncertainty when using the tool to forecast and verify CPUC/IOU energy savings claims and incentives. This project was designated Fast Track.
Residential Smart Panel Field DemonstrationSmart electrical panels provide energy efficiency and electrification benefits to single family homes through monitoring and control of each electrical circuit in the home. This may allow homeowners to install high-efficiency appliances in situations that may otherwise be constrained by panel capacity. This field study will identify 3-5 host sites to gather occupant and installer feedback, quantify costs, and assess benefits. Each installation will include accompanying EE measures such as a HPWH, HP, or EVSE. EE measures will be assessed in terms of how the measure is supported by smart panel capabilities. Recruitment will also focus on sites including photovoltaics and energy storage; evaluating the ability to control the DERs using the smart panel. Different panel manufacturers will be used to assess manufacturer specific functionality.
ET23SWE0061Whole BuildingsTSRActive2025/05
Craft Brewery Industrial Heat Pump Screening ToolThe proposed project is to develop a “Craft Brewery Industrial Heat Pump Screening Tool” to assess the viability of potential industrial heat pump (IHP) installations for small and medium business (SMB) craft breweries. The proposed tool will screen IHP performance specifications for typical thermal loads found at SMB craft breweries. Site visits will provide validation of common baseline conditions that affect IHP system design, performance, and cost. The goal of this proposal is to develop a screening tool for customers, developers, and program implementors to help educate, assess, and bring to market IHP opportunities for craft breweries. The tool will be used by decision-makers to screen options during the project planning and early system design process.  Cost inputs will be allowed to estimate payback times.

The questions the tool will answer are:
Where might a heat pump be viable?
What technologies might be suitable?
Do similar installations exist?
Which technologies and equipment are available on the market for these load types (brewing heating and cooling, domestic hot water, bottle pasteurization, space heating and cooling, etc.)?
What field data are necessary to improve assessment confidence?

Answering these questions will provide a road map for realizing potential energy, economic and environment benefits associated with IHP installations. The literature review will include researching industry websites, posted conference reports and presentations, review of existing case studies and applicable HP technologies and characterizing existing hot water and steam generation and heat recovery technologies. We will review literature and identify progressive breweries that break down thermal loads and are early adaptors of IHP. We will interview energy managers in key breweries to substantiate our modeling and measure characterizations.

What is currently lacking in this sector is a IHP tool specifically targeting SMB craft breweries. This standalone tool could help overcome current barriers by informing breweries about existing conditions, proposed 2030 No NOx water heating air quality requirements, viable retrofit opportunities, and proposed benefits – i.e., to energy savings, potential cost savings, CO2 emission reductions, ranking of utility incentives and on-bill financing (OBF) programs. This project was designated Fast Track.
ET23SWE0062Process LoadsTSRActive2024/10
Residential Heat Pump Financing Solutions AnalysisWhile HVAC heat pumps (HP) and heat pump water heaters (HPWH) continue to grow in market share for California (CA) single-family households, upfront cost remains a significant barrier to market transformation. Legislation, incentives, and education efforts have all motivated electrification. However, if the state and its investor-owned utilities (IOU) intend to achieve mass market adoption of HP technologies and significant progress toward decarbonization goals, they will need to support the deployment of a robust set of financing products for residential customers. Yet, to date, effective financing solutions for HP technologies are not widely available to CA residents at scale. 

Through this CalNEXT market study, the Project Team aims to document the feasibility of multiple financing solutions that can accelerate HP market transformation in CA. The Project Team will start by reviewing the state of energy and electrification financing in CA, identifying salient HVAC and related energy technology financing products along with legislation influencing development of these solutions. Through this research, the Project Team will select up to four financing products with high potential to support HP market transformation to focus on for additional evaluation. The Project Team will interview key stakeholders across the supply chain and source financing project data, as available, to gain insight into how each of these solutions align with customer financial interests. By analyzing opportunities and barriers and risk and reward allocation for these solutions, the Project Team plans to provide a guide for thoughtfully deploying these financing solutions to targeted customer segments across the residential market. If effectively scaled, multiple, targeted residential financing products would aid all CA homeowners in adopting HP technologies, benefiting themselves and helping CA and the state’s IOUs make progress on decarbonization goals.  
ET23SWE0063HVAC, Water HeatingTSRActive2024/11
120V Induction Stoves with Battery Back-UpThe project scope is to replace propane fueled stoves in the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, with 120V induction stoves that have an internal battery. The results of the project will include providing the IOUs with electrical operational data, customer testimonials, and program development recommendations. This project will specifically study the stove’s energy use, load shifting capabilities, cost, resilience, and user experience. The energy use and cost of the stove will be compared and benchmarked to a propane stove.

The stove (oven + cooktop) that will be utilized for this project is called “Charlie” by its manufacturer Channing Street Copper Company. There is no competing stove on the market that incorporates both a cooktop, oven and battery all powered by 120 volts, making it the only candidate to replace existing gas stoves at the time of this study.

Utilizing an 120V induction stove with an internal battery can provide resilience during power outages and can dramatically change the impact of electric cooking on the electric grid during the evening peak, reducing the potential for grid impact from 9600W down to 1800W—an 81% reduction of potential peak. A battery integrated stove can also provide boosted power to cooking, while staying on a smaller circuit so there is no change in provided service compared to a typical 240V electric stove. In addition, because 120V appliances do not need new wiring of 240V circuits (or potential electrical panel or service upgrades), they can save electrification retrofit costs, which can be essential in hard-to-reach and disadvantaged communities.

To ensure the benefits of this project were delivered to those most in need, the project team partnered with Lisa Sundberg, who is an active Tribal member of Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, and who has held numerous other leadership roles in the community. The project aims to replace propane stoves in 36 tribal households, focusing on homes of tribal members with asthma or cardiopulmonary disease, which is aggravated by propane’s invisible “smoke,” and households that are subject to frequent multi-day power outages from winter storms and summer Public Safety Power Shutoffs. Ms. Sundberg worked on behalf of the Tribal Council to discuss with fellow tribal members their affirmative interest in replacing their propane stoves with induction and secured the attached letter of support from the Rancheria’s Tribal Council. All homes that will be in the study are by definition “Hard-to-reach” because they are geographically rural, and all homes in the study will qualify as Disadvantaged Communities because they will be located on Tribal Land.
ET23SWE0064Plug Loads & AppliancesTSRActive2024/10
Central HVAC Advanced Electric Motor Lab EvaluationIn recent lab dynamometer testing, the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) found that the ABB Baldor-Reliance® EC Titanium™ motor had the highest efficiency across a range of motor speeds and torque. The Baldor EC Titanium combines synchronous reluctance and permanent magnet motor technologies (PMSynRM) and is commercially available from a widely trusted manufacturer. The WCEC will install variable speed high efficiency PMSynRM motors in the water loop pumps that supply HVAC cooling and heating water for a UC Davis campus office building. The power consumption of both the advanced motors and standard motors will be monitored to evaluate energy savings and estimate typical operating cost savings.
ET23SWE0065Process LoadsTSRActive2025/10
Multifunction Heat Pump Lab Test – Variable SpeedField test results for the single speed residential Multi-Function Heat Pump (MFHP) Villara AquaThermAire show good energy efficiency performance for typical space conditioning and water heating modes, and can use space cooling waste heat for hot water. Variable speed MFHP have potential for even greater energy savings than single speed MFHP equipment. This project will test the efficiency and capacity performance of one variable speed air-to-air MFHP across a range of outdoor air conditions to match California climate zones for space heating, space cooling, water heating, and for simultaneous space cooling with heat recovery water heating. These lab test results will then be used to develop equipment performance curves for use with EnergyPlus and CBEC-Res to estimate energy savings in residential buildings.
ET23SWE0066Whole BuildingsTDRActive2025/10
Smart Controls for Data-Driven Indoor Agriculture Field EvaluationThis project will explore the market potential and evaluate the impact of smart controls technologies on Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), which involves the cultivation and manufacturing of food and floriculture products. The focus is on automated, integrated, and intelligent environmental (HVAC, lighting, and crop irrigation and nutrient management) controls technologies used in indoor and greenhouse CEA facilities in California. Environmental CEA controls capable of automation, integration, and artificial intelligence will be investigated for energy savings potential and barriers to adoption across the California CEA industry. A market assessment, field evaluations, and a technology roadmap will identify cost-effective energy efficiency and demand response measures for smart environmental controls in the CEA sector. The technology roadmap will recommend measures and propose intervention strategies for market implementation.
ET23SWE0067Process LoadsTSRActive2025/06
Advanced Motors Channel Partner Support and Measure Package DevelopmentAdvanced Electric Motors in this pilot are defined as electric motors with energy efficiency levels above current federal conservation standards published by DOE in 2014, which encompasses those listed on the 2022 Focused Pilot TPM as well as additional advanced motor technologies.[1]  The technologies encompassed within Advanced Motors include motor technologies with efficiencies greater than current federal minimum standards: switched reluctance motors, synchronous reluctance motors, permanent-magnet (PM), PM alternating current (AC) (PMAC) motors, PM synchronous motors (PMSM), and Brushless DC Motors (ECM motors). This pilot will address the non-OEM market, which focuses on motor replacements and retrofits in non-residential systems, with emphasis on variable torque motor-driven systems, such as pumps and fans. Through existing research, the following have been identified as primary barriers to the adoption in the non-OEM market:

1) Advanced Motors are seldom stocked by distributors. Product availability (both the quantity and diversity of motor frame, speed, and horsepower) and very high prices compared to standard induction electric motors are holding back this market. Long lead times for these products are also resulting in missed opportunities, especially in the replace on burn out (ROB) market. Manufacturers are not incentivized to increase production volume however until demand rises.

2) Only Software Controlled Switch Reluctance Motors for Packaged Unit HVAC are currently covered as a measure within the CalTF eTRM. All other Advanced Motors are not listed as eligible measures in the CalTF eTRM and, therefore not incentivized by utilities.

3) Broad lack of industry awareness, understanding of benefits and demand. The non-OEM motor replacement/retrofit market requires specialized expertise from contractors, distributors and manufacturer representatives and there is a significant opportunity to increase the number of professionals with this expertise. Expertise is particularly important given the complexity of compatibility with existing drives. If a customer has to replace a functioning existing drive just to accommodate the new motor, this represents a significant additional cost with an unknown customer payback. Fostering a better understanding of motor drive compatibility could therefore help to spur customer uptake. There are several types of advanced electric motor technologies available on the market today. Electric motor customers, including commercial building owners, managers, HVAC contractors, and maintenance managers are generally not aware that advanced motors exist, what their performance benefits are, whether they are appropriate for their applications (e.g., HVAC air handlers), how to ask for them, or where to buy them.  These are all significant barriers on the customer side but also more broadly for several market actors. As a result, most commercial and industrial consumers are not aware of advanced motors, including their energy savings, improved control/operation or their environmental benefits compared to regulated induction motor.

To address the identified barriers, this pilot will:

Identify non-residential building types and systems that are recommended for advanced motor and drive retrofits. This will inform deliverables for the rest of this pilot.
Develop a draft Advanced Motor and Drive Measure Package for submission to the California Technical forum (Cal TF). This is meant to address barrier (2) and consequently barrier (1) from above: lack of eTRM coverage and limited distributor stocking/sales. This would be successful if the measure package is accepted by Cal TF into the eTRM and then used for a deemed utility incentive program to increase stock and sales the equipment detailed in the measure package.
Document technical requirements such as NEMA Design, torque (starting, accelerating, constant, running, full load, stable), sizing, frame size, enclosure type, rpm, hazardous location, and mounting base, that must match existing motor specifications.
Document savings from onsite monitoring of advanced motor and drive in specific motor system applications. The sample of field monitoring sites will provide both an average savings and a range of savings based on the sample size. This will address barrier 2: lack of eTRM cover for advanced motors. Success of this task will be measured by CalTF’s acceptance of this measure package which will provide a foundation for an advanced motors incentive program utilizing deemed incentives. The scope of this pilot will only include the development of the draft measure package.
Draft educational materials and draft QPL for channel partners (such as contractors, sales engineers, manufacturers, distributors) aimed at increasing advanced motor and drive awareness and adoption. This is meant to address barrier (3), barrier (4), and barrier (1) above: the need for channel partners to have specialized knowledge, limited awareness about advanced motors, and limited distributor stocking/sales. By creating materials for the channel partners and interviewing them to determine what kinds of materials they’d find most useful, the project will raise awareness about advanced motors in the market and identify future opportunities for developing effective trainings. The success of this intervention will be measured through surveying the channel partners before and after they have trialed the draft educational materials; the surveys will measure their awareness and how materials will impact their stocking and selling behavior.
ET23SWE0068Process LoadsFPActive2024/12
Light Commercial Variable Speed Heat Pump Performance MapCPUC Resolution E-5221 (DEER2024) governs updates to the EE portfolio measures, and Section R directed program administrators to collect and update performance data for a variety of high efficiency variable capacity heat pump equipment (VCHPs) types (with and without heat recovery) in the deemed portfolio for PY2026-27 including light commercial VCHPs. Subsequent coordination with the CPUC and SDG&E agreed a focus on residential-grade equipment in 2023. In addition, CPUC seeks data for equipment charged with low-GWP refrigerants, which will impact essentially all HVAC equipment other than fossil fuel heating. Energy Solutions undertook an in-depth data gathering effort in 2023 to satisfy this regulatory requirement for <65,000 Btu/h “SEER2 class” equipment. Similar work is needed on commercial-grade equipment in 2024, including VRFs and light commercial unitary heat pumps with capacity >65,000 Btu/h. SDG&E, as Measure Lead, identified this as a pressing measure need, similar to other CalNEXT Fast Track projects performed previously on CPUC-requested measures. The Energy Solutions team will coordinate with SDG&E, CPUC, and other measure developers as stakeholders and collect the remaining performance data called for under E-5221.  

Variable capacity light commercial heat pumps are an important emerging technology for energy efficient building electrification and are a promising replacement to current Roof Top Unit (RTU) air conditioners with gas furnaces. VCHPs use variable speed compressors and fans to increase efficiency. Performance maps are required to properly model them in EnergyPlus. Current DEER performance maps only capture equipment features such as two-speed compressors and fans, which field data suggests performs differently than variable-speed. This project was designated Fast Track.
Industrial Microwave Technologies Market StudyIndustrial processes are one of the more difficult sectors for electrification and energy efficiency measures due to the high capital costs and risks of implementing new technologies. While less known, emerging microwave technologies can be a process heating solution for a variety of industrial, agricultural, medical, and food processing applications. Benefits compared to other heating technology can include equipment size, reduced noise, lower energy usage, and higher operating temperature ranges.

This market study will assess existing opportunities and barriers for deploying industrial microwave technologies. With the wide applicability of microwave technology across a variety of industrial sectors, this project will help understand the market potential and solutions available for decarbonizing industrial processes through microwave systems.
ET23SWE0070Process LoadsTSRActive2024/11
Field Evaluation of Ultra-Efficient, Compressor-less, Packaged Rooftop Unit with Integral Energy StorageThis project will evaluate the efficiency, load shifting, demand flexibility, and cooling performance of a liquid desiccant-enhanced commercial packaged rooftop unit with integral energy storage that can be used in dedicated outdoor air supply (LD-DOASTM) applications. The project will install and demonstrate a new class of equipment referred to as a Separate Sensible and Latent Cooling (SSLC) air conditioning. This technology eliminates the peak demand impact of heat waves on the grid, futureproofing buildings against rising ambient temperatures. Cooling capacity and energy efficiency do not degrade as a function of increasing ambient temperature, eliminating the need to oversize equipment to meet design day cooling loads. The project includes independent evaluation, measurement, and verification services. 
Occupant-Centric Micro-Zone Control for Commercial BuildingsThe proposed project involves field demonstration and evaluation of occupancy-based micro-zone control for ducted variable air volume (VAV) systems in medium to large commercial buildings. The technology uses advanced sensors and smart dampers to modulate airflow into each individual space (micro-zone) in a zone. The advanced sensors monitor temperature and humidity for occupant comfort; infrared, light, sound, and Bluetooth beacon for space occupancy; as well as CO2 and volatile organic chemicals (VOC) for air quality in each space. The technology then uses machine learning to analyze the sensor data and history to predict space occupancy at the micro-zone level, which is then used to control the damper to modulate ventilation as well as cooling/heating provided to the space.  
Supply Chain Engagement for Increasing Packaged Unitary Heat Pump System AdoptionThis focused pilot aims to increase the adoption of Commercial Packaged Unitary Heat Pump systems (Commercial HP RTUs) ≥ 5.4 tons through a streamlined midstream pilot program. While Commercial HP RTUs have been on the market for decades, adoption in CA is lower than expected given the generally mild climate that is suitable for heat pump heating. Commercial HP RTUs can serve as a drop-in replacements for the thousands of RTU air conditioners currently installed in California. 

The midstream pilot program aims to offer a higher incentive and a more streamlined application process than the existing statewide program. The program will address some of the barriers to participation identified in the most recent program evaluation including low incentives and complex data collection requirements. In addition, interviews will be conducted with program participants at all levels of the supply chain including manufacturers, distributors, contractors, design engineers, and end users to understand the barriers preventing heat pump adoption in CA, both real and imagined. The findings from this study will inform future program design and other initiatives in CA aimed at increasing heat pump adoption. Data gathered though this project may also inform updates to relevant test standards and codes such as AHRI 340/360 and Title 24, Part 6/
Plug-in 120V HPWH Measure Package Updates to eTRMThe proposed idea is to provide recommendations for updates around adding plug-in 120-volt heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) for inclusion into existing residential HPWH related eTRM measure packages.  

The 120-volt HPWHs are market-ready and proven to be important new offerings. It is estimated that 90% of water heating replacements occur on an emergency basis. Without easy, fast and affordable replacement solution homeowners are likely to opt for replacement with gas/propane water heaters. The low-power design can plug into existing wall outlets without expensive electrical panel upgrades and/or home rewiring often required for gas WH replacements. The recent California-wide field study observed an average monthly energy consumption savings of approximately 85% in comparison to the pre-existing gas/propane water heater when normalized to kWh. The new electrification measure will allow space and power constraints households to decarbonize and help CA meet its’ 6 million heat pump installation goal. 

The current HPWH e-TRMs have UEF requirements for eligibility. Since the 120-volt HPWH has a smaller compressor size, the UEF for majority of the tank sizes are lower than the eligibility criteria. However, since they do not have inefficient electric resistance element on them (or have smaller size element), they are expected to save more energy. The primary goal of this project is to research and document ways to reduce UEF cap requirements or add additional savings for this new class of solution.  

The research questions are: 

1. What are the current residential HPWH TRM requirements for eligible HPWHs? Do the different 120-volt products meet the requirements?  

2. What are the current minimum code requirements for UEFs?  

3. Can the current UEF requirements for 120-volt HPWHs be reduced, or can additional savings be achieved by updating the DEER calculator?  

4. Can caps for product types, building types, market sectors be added?  

The project team will also document and installation first costs and look at technical feasibility and practical considerations of the technology. This project was designated Fast Track.
HPWH Conversion Readiness Program Focused PilotThe intent of this Focus Pilot is to break down barriers to residential heat pump water heater (HPWH) adoption in the marketplace. We target three of the most significant barriers to test for scalable solutions that will result in faster time to market for HPWH. Those barriers are 1) Higher first costs due to additional expenses for electrical upgrades 2) Customer uncertainties around electrification impacts and 3) Lack of trained installers.

The Focus Pilot is designed to test customer adoption impact of removing these three barriers and test willingness to undertake a water heater fuel substitution project without these deterrents. The Focus Pilot will offer targeted customers a free “heat pump readiness assessment” that will clearly detail the impact of an electrification project on the customer utility bills. This assessment will include a guide to all incentives available to the customer, list the expected “readiness” tasks that will be necessary to complete the work, and showcase the offer of free electrical upgrades to prepare them for electrification if they should choose to undertake a heat pump measure. The program will also train installers to create a scalable model for delivery state-wide, as well as offer gas loaners to customers experiencing a water heater failure.
ET23SWE0075Water HeatingFPActive2024/12
Residential High-Efficiency Windows Measure Package CompletionThe proposed project will continue the measure package development process for residential high-efficiency windows, picking up where project ET23SWE0043 ends. The proposed project will provide measure package development support from the point of Cal TF submission of the measure package to CPUC submission of the measure package and will include all review and editing activities required for Cal TF and IOU review of the measure package to prepare the measure package for CPUC review and approval, including adding the measure to the CA eTRM as a measure developer.
ET24SWE0004Whole BuildingsTSRActive2024/07
Commercial High-Efficiency Windows Measure Package CompletionThe proposed project will continue the measure package development process for commercial high efficiency windows, picking up where project ET23SWE0018 ends. The proposed project will provide measure package development support from the point of Cal TF submission of the measure package suitable for submission to the CPUC and will include all review and editing activities required for Cal TF and IOU review of the measure package to prepare the measure package for CPUC review and approval, including assisting the Cal TF as they add the measure to the CA eTRM as a measure developer. This project was designated Fast Track.
ET24SWE0005Whole BuildingsTSRActive2024/10
Medical Devices Market Characterization StudyVEIC proposes a market study of energy efficiency for medical devices. The market study will quantify the potential for energy savings, identify device types with opportunity for higher efficiency, define the mechanisms for achieving higher efficiency, and recommend efforts for achieving higher energy efficiency and energy savings in the CA market. The research team will engage stakeholders in medical device manufacturing and sales, the U.S. Department of Energy ENERGY STAR® program, health care facility operation, medical insurance administration, and efficiency program administration to inform the findings and recommendations. The study will address opportunities for medical devices used in a household setting and medical devices use in a healthcare facility setting.
ET24SWE0008Plug Loads & AppliancesTSRActive2024/11
DAC HTR Statewide SF Housing Characteristics StudyThis market characterization study builds on the efforts and findings of the 2022/2023 CalNEXT Residential Housing Characteristics Study ET22SWE0022. The ET22SWE0022 study’s objectives were to:
• Characterize existing DAC single family residence (SFR) building stock through publicly available census data relevant to electrification and electrification programs.
• Develop and validate a field survey by gathering information from a sample of 50 DAC and HTR housing sites.
• Characterize existing DAC SFR building stock and electrification readiness based on census and limited field survey analysis.
• Develop recommendations for future programs and interventions necessary for facilitating equitable electrification in DAC and HTR communities.
ET24SWE0011HVAC, Plug Loads & Appliances, Whole BuildingsTSRActive2024/10
Controllers for Inverter-driven CompressorsThe proposed project will evaluate patent-pending compressor controller technology through a field demonstration. The field demonstration entails installing the technology onto an existing VRF system with inverter-driven compressor to understand its potential energy savings. Technology is commercially available. The technology increases the suction pressure of the compressor to optimize the inverter compressor operation when system demand reduction occurs. As a result, the optimization allows for an overall compressor lift decrease, which saves compressor energy while maintaining occupant comfort. To our knowledge, there are no known competing manufactures of this technology or existing EE measure.
Smart Ventilation Retrofit Demonstration ProjectThis project investigates “smart ventilation” systems that have sensors to track pollutants and automate ventilation systems to address IAQ. These systems reduce energy use by only operating ventilation equipment when needed. Smart ventilation systems include apps that provide the user with an app-based interface, tracking and logging IAQ along with run time presented on an easy-to-understand graphic display. Customers can use this feedback to improve the air quality in their home.  In addition, because many residents forget to turn on smart ventilation systems, automated demand-based controls activate systems when needed rather than relying on activation by the user. Poor ventilation can increase concentrations of pollutants such as NO2 and PM2.5, and both pollutants can contribute to asthma. High humidity combined with poor ventilation can drive increased pollutant levels, increasing the risk of asthma symptoms. The importance of ventilation is even greater for low-income households, as asthma rates can be higher among low-income residents.  In addition, ventilation is important to reduce pollution from smoking and second-hand smoke, and smoking rates among adults receiving federal housing assistance are almost twice the rate of the general population. Smart ventilation is a promising, emerging technology that can provide good IAQ with minimal energy and demand impacts.
Large Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer Measure OfferingThis  project aims to add a measure offering within the existing CA eTRM Measure Package (MP) SWCR017 Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer, to cover units larger than 29 ft3 (Existing MP includes 15–23.9 ft3 and 24–29 ft3) by performing a baseline monitoring analysis for standard efficiency units in this size category. The project will also review incremental measure cost of the existing measure offerings and add new building types to the list of applicable building types for the measure including “Government Facilities” and “Education – Community College” for all sizes of ULTs. The existing HVAC interactivity methodology will be reviewed as well, with any recommendations for improvement being provided to the measure package Lead IOU. This project was designated Fast Track.
ET24SWE0016Process LoadsTSRActive2024/11
Small Medium Business HPWH Emergency DeploymentsThis field study will evaluate the viability of plug-in HPWHs as emergency replacements for the small medium business market. Lessons learned from this project can advance commercialization of this technology and provide program design data points for CalTF and IOUs, contributing to addition of the measure in existing TRMs, and allowing faster deployment and scaling. 
ET24SWE0017Water HeatingTSRActive2025/11
Automated Guideline 36 ValidationPoorly implemented BAS are widely recognized as a major cause of poor energy performance. Challenges stem from a variety of factors including lack of controls understanding by designers, poor workmanship by installers, and inadequate commissioning processes. Field demonstrations of G36 have shown significant energy savings over current practice and tools to enhance and streamline the use of G36 are needed to accelerate adoption of this emerging technology. This project will develop a test method to validate control programming ensuring consistency with the control sequences in ASHRAE Guideline 36 (G36) High-Performance Sequences of Operation for HVAC Systems.
Demonstration of “Combi” Air-To-Water Heat PumpAir-to-water heat pumps (AWHPS) have been gaining traction worldwide in countries where hydronic heating is the predominant HVAC option. With the United States increasing national focus on decarbonization of the building sector, the AWHPs market still trails behind other more popular HVAC options. AWHPs provides year-round space conditioning, and in several AWHPs also provide dedicated domestic water heating. This “three function” (i.e., space heating, space cooling, and domestic water heating) combination operation is attractive as a cost-compression technology. In the proposed work, GTI Energy will conduct two field evaluations to validate the performance of the high-efficiency and low-GWP state-of-the-art AWHPs technology in the California single-family home residential market to support future market adoption
Enabling Non-Residential Electrification and Efficiency with Fault Managed Power Systems (FMPS)This project will explore the market potential of and evaluate how Fault Managed Power Systems (FMPS) can provide high-efficiency power distribution and remove barriers to electrification efforts by reducing the complexity and cost of electrical infrastructure upgrades in non-residential buildings in California. The focus is on validating energy savings of FMPS and enabling the electrification of HVAC, water heating, foodservice equipment, and EV charging infrastructure. FMPS will be investigated for energy savings potential and barriers to adoption across segments of California’s commercial, industrial, and agricultural industries like controlled environment agriculture. A market assessment, field evaluations, and a technology roadmap will identify cost-effective energy efficiency and demand response FMPS measures. The technology roadmap will recommend measures and propose intervention strategies for market implementation.
ET24SWE0021Whole BuildingsTSRActive2025/08
Heat Pump Customer Questions StudyAir source heat pumps for replacing gas-powered water and space heating are a keystone technology in efforts to decarbonize buildings.[1] Heat pumps have the potential to save approximately 60% of total residential heating energy consumption and reduce GHG emissions by 13.1 MMTCO2e if installed in homes throughout California.[2] Utility programs in the state offer generous rebates to address the high initial costs of heat pumps, but market adoption must accelerate substantially to achieve the Governor’s goal of installing 6 million heat pumps by 2030. Doing so will require addressing customers’ questions and concerns about heat pumps. Recent research on this topic has relied on third-party reports of customers’ perspectives or data collected from early adopters. By contrast, the proposed project would collect data from the next wave of potential heat pump adopters rather than their proxies. We will mine information from questions and comments posted in public forums (e.g., blogs, news articles, podcasts, online forums), conducting broad sweeps and targeted searches to uncover data on issues such as split incentives between building owners and occupants and views on the need for backup fossil fuel systems. Other priority topics will be identified in consultation with utility program implementers. Using recently available web scraping and AI-assisted data cleaning techniques, we will be able to hear from customers contemplating heat pumps like never before.

This project will identify consumers’ most critical questions and concerns about heat pumps and answer three research questions. 

RQ1: What are the most common questions, comments, and concerns about heat pumps among California’s residential electricity customers?
RQ2: What insights do their comments and questions give us about the experiences of prospective heat pump adopters?
RQ3: What insights do they give us about potential adopters’ impressions of heat pump performance, quality of service, and non-energy impacts?
ET24SWE0022HVAC, Water HeatingTSRActive2025/06
Field Demonstration of Electric Clothes Dryer ControllerThe project is technology support research (TSR) including a market study and field demonstration of electric clothes dryer controllers. Past studies have shown that clothes dryers operate longer than needed even in automatic termination mode, wasting energy. The Dryer Controller will reduce the drying time of the residential electric vented clothes dryer by monitoring vent air temperature and humidity and terminating its operation when clothes are dry, saving energy. The project outcomes will help develop measures for the IOUs to incentivize the dryer controller technology and reduce energy usage in electric-vented clothes dryers.
ET24SWE0023Plug Loads & AppliancesTSRActive2025/04
Commercial Cooktop Fuel SubstitutionThe proposed project will develop a new, commercial cooktop, fuel substitution measure in the CA eTRM for use in the CA Instant Rebates midstream foodservice program and appropriate IOU downstream programs. The existing measure package, SWFS026, for both commercial electric and gas cooktops will be utilized to develop the measure package. The proposed project will support CPUC Decision 23-04-035 by developing a fuel substitution measure package for customers switching from natural gas to electric. The project will provide a fully developed measure package suitable for approval by the CPUC, which will be delivered to the Cal TF measure screening committee, and will include development of a draft measure packet in the eTRM and all review and editing activities required for Cal TF affirmation. This project was designated Fast Track.
ET24SWE0024Process LoadsTSRActive2024/11
Performance Evaluation of DC EVSEThis project will focus on two distinct electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) categories: EVSE with an Alternating Current (AC) output and EVSE with a Direct Current (DC) output. The PEV battery requires a DC source for charging, but when connected to an AC charger, the PEV’s on-board charge converter hardware is active. The immediate outcome of the project will be determining the measured and reported difference in total charging pathway efficiency between market-available AC and DC EVSE. This knowledge can then be published and used by the public to decide between the two EV charging methods. Another outcome will be a detailed understanding of the efficiency of PEV onboard chargers and their impact on the overall charging pathway efficiency.
ET24SWE0025Plug Loads & AppliancesTSRActive2025/12
Characterization of Central Heat Pump Water Heating Deployment in the Multifamily MarketWater heating energy use in multifamily buildings can account for 27 to 32 percent of total energy use. While a variety of residential HPWHs are available to the single-family residential market, CHPWHS are relatively new technology, with limited field installations in multifamily buildings in California. Field research finds that they are not performing well and are operating at lower COPs. 

The goal of the project is to collect comprehensive data on field lacking. This study will identify HP system designs and existing installation practices and compare the configuration with established systems listed by NEEA in their Advance Water Heating Specification publication. The expected outcome is an update to existing HPWH measure packages in the eTRM.
ET24SWE0027Water HeatingTSRActive2025/02
Electrifying Large Commercial Central Plants: Demonstration of TIER and Program Delivery SolutionsStandard designs for large commercial buildings rely on separate gas-fired hydronic heating and chilled water loops. This technology has slowly been refined with incremental energy efficiency improvements over several decades. The HVAC industry has not yet had enough time to establish how to serve large commercial building heating loads effectively and energy efficiently with all-electric equipment. Many engineers lack the expertise and time to keep up with new and rapidly evolving equipment needed in order to overcome the novel design challenges to combine the plant equipment into functional systems. To meet the urgent need to rapidly decarbonize buildings, the HVAC industry needs targeted support to overcome these new design challenges and barriers around system complexity and integration. 
Multifamily Central Heat Pump Water Heater Field StudyCentral HPWH systems are a relatively new technology. While there are previous studies that focus on lab testing and field demonstration of specific products and highly engineered system designs, field evaluation of typical real-world installations of a wide range of systems and products will be of significant value in terms of improving industry’s knowledge of the technology, creating awareness and confidence among consumers, and consequently providing data to support or expand existing utility program design, and advancing market adoption. This study will leverage the opportunity primarily provided by the Energy Smart Home (ESH) program. This project team will work with the program participants to collect system installation data, install monitoring instruments to collect operational data for evaluation of the field performance of their systems. This performance evaluation of installed HPWH systems at five sites in combination with prior documented field studies will allow for preliminary identification of high, medium, and low performing hot water system designs. We will identify design, installation and operational features that are critical for a success application.
ET24SWE0029Water HeatingTSRActive2026/02
Central Heat Pump Water Heating Control OptimizationCentral heat pump water heating systems (CHPWH) are crucial for the greenhouse gas, decarbonization, and energy efficiency goals of California. Potential greenhouse gas emissions reduction in the California multifamily market alone are around 1.7 million tons per year. A recent low-GWP CHPWH retrofit field demonstration at two low-income, multifamily buildings in San Francisco demonstrated system performance (ET22SWE0017). This project will return to those sites to implement load flexibility controls towards optimizing energy costs while conducting full measurement and verification. The study will demonstrate the value of optimized controls to the building owner and utilities while also providing recommendations for control sequences for CHPWH installations across the state. Guidelines and demonstrations such as this are paramount to the effective, equitable, beneficial adoption of CHPWH systems.
ET24SWE0030Water HeatingTSRActive2025/05
New CFS Measure PrioritizationThe existing commercial foodservice (CFS) measures offered in California (CA) incentive programs are the most common pieces of equipment for this industry. Many of these measures will be considered for appliance code standards in the coming years or removed from programs due to the gas incentive phase out initiative. This will leave the foodservice market, which has the highest energy intensity usage in the commercial sector, with fewer opportunities to drive savings despite a wide selection of energy intensive products used in this market. The undeveloped list of CFS equipment is comprised of a diverse range of equipment types, sales volumes, and energy intensity, but currently, there is limited aggregated data to determine which measures would provide the largest impact on the energy efficiency (EE) Investor-Owned Utilities (IOU) Portfolio. This project aims to develop a database of measure development criteria for potential new electric CFS measures to help prioritize measure development for EE IOU Programs. The Project Team will conduct an extensive assessment of non-incentivized CFS equipment including discussions with market actors to determine market trends and efficiency efforts, development of preliminary savings estimates, estimation of measure costs and sales volumes, and identification of equipment testing needs and fuel substitution measure potential. The collective data will help maximize the impact of limited measure development funds by identifying which technologies will be successful and cost-effective in EE Programs like the CA Instant Rebates Statewide POS Foodservice Program.
ET24SWE0032Process LoadsTSRActive2024/11
Lab Grade Refrigerators and Freezers Measure Package DevelopmentThis project aims to develop a new California (CA) electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM) Measure Package (MP). This includes both high performance lab grade refrigerators and high-performance lab grade freezers, as categorized by ENERGY STAR®’s Laboratory Grade Refrigerators and Freezers Specification. The ENERGY STAR qualified products list provides measure case performance data, and the project will perform a baseline monitoring analysis for standard efficiency units. The project will also compile all information required to submit a new measure package to the CA Technical Forum (Cal TF). The proposed new measure would be an expansion of the existing life sciences measures currently included in the CA Instant Rebates statewide POS foodservice program.
ET24SWE0034Process LoadsTSRActive2024/11
Nonresidential Heat Recovery Chiller and Air-to-Water Heat Pump Measure Package DevelopmentHeat recovery chillers (HRC) can provide significant energy savings over traditional central plant arrangements as they reuse the energy in the system before the energy is rejected into the atmosphere, but their utility is only optimized in buildings where cooling and heating needs are simultaneously present. Air-to-water heat pumps (AWHP) are excellent candidates to support electrification by providing hot water and space heating needs of a building. On the other hand, there is the potential to misapply both technologies if the use case isn’t appropriate, so an element of the research will be devoted to identify these poor use cases and ensure that the measure package does not inadvertently push the market in the wrong direction. The team will exercise a well thought out strategy to screen out the “poor” cases and focus on the “preferred” cases. The strategy will include defining some of the attributes such as the building size, the heating and cooling load shapes, and the energy efficiency of the building. These technologies are commercially available and being leveraged by designers and are ready for addition to the utility portfolio to boost visibility and market share. This project was designated Fast Track.
Cooling and Dehumidification for Indoor FarmingThis project aims to address the humidity and temperature regulation challenges in enclosed indoor farming facilities, known for high energy consumption, by utilizing a high-efficiency heat pump-powered solid desiccant dehumidification system and an indirect evaporative cooling system. The system’s performance will be evaluated in the Controlled Environment Engineering Lab at UC Davis in addition to developing a model to project system performance under different operating and climate conditions.

The project holds significant value as it proposes cost-effective and environmentally friendly HVACD solutions for enclosed indoor farming facilities. By improving the energy efficiency of the dehumidification and cooling processes, the project has the potential to lower the carbon footprint of indoor farming and ultimately achieve the target for net-zero indoor food production, contributing to environmental sustainability.
ET24SWE0037Process LoadsTDRActive2026/08
Laboratory Evaluation of Residential Smart PanelsSmart panels are relatively new to the residential market and are not well understood in terms of features and delivered benefits. Additionally, features between any two products can vary because there is not a standardized smart panel definition. Currently, codes and standards focus only on system safety and not functionality. This project will characterize available smart panels and provide transparent information on system features and benefits to end-users and grid operators. The team will assess smart panels’ ability to improve energy-efficiency, deliver load management and reduce electrification costs for California homeowners.
ET24SWE0039Whole BuildingsTDRActive2025/11
CO2 Chiller for Agricultural SectorThe proposed project is a field demonstration of natural refrigerant (CO2) for high volume milk cooling on the dairy farm. Traditional methods of cooling high flow rates of milk have evolved over time from the use of different synthetics such as CFC’s, HCFC’s, and HFC’s. This proposed CO2 chiller is really the first to offer a true natural refrigerant for today’s dairy farm use to cool the milk efficiently from 98°F down to 36°F. By doing this, the GWP is vastly reduced, and is far and away the primary justification of utilizing CO2. The sustainability of using this gas overtakes any concerns of higher pressures and trans-critical natures of the natural refrigerant.  Additionally, the use of CO2 as the refrigerant brings an extraordinary benefit of heat reclamation for hot water production – a leading use of fossil fuel energy on the dairy farm. The high-pressure side of the refrigeration system can produce all the hot water needed for a modern dairy operation. This project will study the energy reduction and GHG reduction potential of the proposed chiller for use in dairy milk cooling applications through field monitoring at the selected sites. 
ET24SWE0040Process LoadsTSRActive2025/08
Commercial Building Duct Sealing Market CharacterizationThis market characterization study focuses on evaluating the range of duct sealing technologies available for commercial buildings, emphasizing their effectiveness, market availability, and implementation challenges. Through market research, including literature reviews and expert interviews, the study aims to establish a comprehensive understanding of the current duct sealing technology landscape.

Together with a parallel CalNEXT study on commercial duct sealing energy savings and costs, this study supports the development of a measure package (or measure package update). This project supports the adoption of energy-saving duct sealing practices by providing a detailed analysis of each technology’s advantages and limitations, thereby contributing to enhanced energy efficiency and sustainability in the commercial sector. This project was designated Fast Track.
ET24SWE0041Whole BuildingsTSRActive2024/12
Multipurpose Hydronic CO2 Heat Pump for Commercial BuildingsThe two largest decarbonization targets in commercial buildings are typically space heating and domestic hot water. A new multifunction, low-GWP, modular, packaged heat pump system can produce high water temperatures for heating and domestic hot water while also replacing existing chillers used for space cooling, all at high coefficients of performance. This design can preempt costly electrical and utility infrastructure upgrades by relying on the same electrical service as the existing chiller.

This project will explore the design, feasibility, benefits, sizing, and cost of this product as applied to an existing building. The report will outline the design considerations, how the system integrates into the building, and recommend actions for manufacturers, engineers, and utility programs for future study and adoption pathways
DIY HPWH Installation & Maintenance StudyThis project will assess pathways, technical solutions and guidance for simplified DIY homeowner or general contractor replacement of existing electric and gas water heaters with new heat pump water heaters (HPWH) in California. Permitting and code requirements for water heater installations can place significant limits on what residential homeowners can legally perform in water heater replacements, but the introduction of new plug-in 120V unitary and split HPWH products are designed to reduce the complexity of installations. Identifying the necessary plumbing, mechanical and electrical requirements and potential technical or process solutions to simplify and expedite permitting and installation could conceivably make DIY (or alternatively, general or HVAC contractor installations) more prevalent. The project team will engage existing programs offering rebates accessible to non-professional installers to evaluate opportunities to provide additional resources and guidance for quality HPWH installations, including a public facing DIY digital fact sheet/guide that will be available should California IOUs and CCAs want to share with their customers. The guide will identify the most important considerations for homeowners regarding the technical and permitting process to install their own HPWH, including supporting customers through DIY install feasibility while directing to relevant rebate and incentive programs. The project team will interview homeowners and general contractors that have completed recent HPWH installations to capture their reasoning, access to rebates and installation instructional guidance, and overall approach and experience. The project will also document recommended maintenance procedures for homeowners to support continuous high efficiency operation and product longevity. Our research intends to validate the size of the market that might be interested and able to take advantage of DIY installations, understand the necessary equipment and skill sets and provide actionable recommendations to program administrators on how to best support this alternative residential HPWH replacement path.
ET24SWE0044Water HeatingTSRActive2025/06