Technology Priority Maps

The primary goal of the Technology Priority Maps (TPMs) is to provide a framework to help CalNEXT identify high priority needs across utility service areas. They capture the emerging technology areas of the investorowned utility program portfolios and help inform the project types that CalNEXT selects to implement.

The current TPMs were developed in 2020. The CalNEXT team is updating these TPMs over the course of the 2022 calendar year and will be releasing them as they are completed.

For more details, download the full Technology Priority Maps and Appendix PDFs.

Appliances & Plug Loads

This broad category includes electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), white good appliances, home entertainment and office equipment, medical equipment, and miscellaneous plug loads.

Download the Appliances & Plug Loads section of the TPMs


Decoupled ventilation and heating/cooling systems incorporating low energy technologies with advanced design and control features—including heat recovery ventilators, variable refrigerant flow systems, chilled beams, and radiant systems—are leading the movement for greater efficiency gains.

Advanced controls, system integration, and fault detection are gaining importance in advancing building energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Non-compressor and variable capacity compressor technologies, and sustainable refrigerants are also emerging areas of interest.

Download the HVAC section of the TPMs


LEDs and related controls have demonstrated the ability to achieve high efficacies and connectivity between lighting, window shades, and other building systems. New research into the role lighting plays on physical well-being of occupants may push requests for increases in total installed lighting power, making continued development in easily installed, programmed, and tested lighting controls imperative to prevent achieved lighting demand reductions from backsliding. OLED hardware remains an immature but advancing technology. LEDs and connected lighting controls continue to draw consumer and operator interest for their non-energy benefits.

Signage and indoor agricultural lighting have emerged as practical energy-saving opportunities.

Download the Lighting section of the TPMs

Process Loads

Advanced controls, variable speed compressors and fans, and hybrid condensing units provide flexibility and load management opportunities that have not previously been available.

Employing sensors to gather data and leveraging existing data collection sources with advanced data analytics will provide cost-effective opportunities for efficiency improvements in wastewater and water treatment, water delivery, and water use processes.

New applications of heat recovery technologies in the food processing industry have the potential to reduce energy and water consumption.

Download the Process Loads section of the TPMs

Water Heating

Water heating electrification using heat pump water heater (HPWH) technologies represents one of the major strategies to achieve deep greenhouse gas emission reductions from buildings. Driven by this strategic goal, active research and development efforts are underway to advance HPWH equipment, grid-interactive load control technologies, and system integration solutions.

Download the Water Heating section of the TPMs

Whole Buildings

The continued expansion of energy storage and other distributed energy resources (DERs), as well as the emergence of building demand flexibility as an important design attribute, help support California’s legislation and decarbonization goals. Maintaining building performance and integrating systems to achieve ongoing energy management information systems.

Download the Whole Buildings section of the TPMs

Review Criteria

Project submissions will be scored by the CalNEXT Team based on the following criteria:

  • Technology Priority – Project aligns with the priorities described in the CalNEXT Technology Priority Maps (TPMs). If a project does not align, the project must have clear reasoning as to why it should be approved.

  • Technology Transfer and Program Alignment – Project is well positioned for integration into an existing utility Energy Efficiency (EE)/Demand Side Management (DSM) portfolios. The project establishes a market and/or a direction for utilities to take to continue researching the technology or designing incentives for customer adoption. The project exhibits real potential for energy savings and has enough technical or market maturity to be a fit for utility programs.

  • Utility Company Benefits — All projects must have energy efficiency benefits to be considered for this program. Additionally projects can provide utility company benefits in other ways, including:
    • Reducing energy demand during peak hours;
    • Increasing grid flexibility;
    • Reducing operating costs;
    • Meeting energy efficiency targets; and
    • Meeting clean energy goals.

Projects are eligible for a high score in this criteria category if they have a strong benefit to utilities.

  • Hard to Reach (HTR) Community and Disadvantaged Community (DAC) Benefits – While not every project will have HTR Community or DAC benefits, projects that have these benefits can earn higher scores. Benefits that will be evaluated include:
    • Physical location of the project in a DAC Enviro Screen 3.0 designation area, or will impact HTR households (ex. rural communities)
    • Project works with diversity advocates or community-based organizations (CBOs)
    • Project will develop outreach materials in multiple languages
    • Project utilizes a diverse contractor base
    • Project supports/utilizes workforce development programs
    • Project research and/or project outcomes addresses impacts on vulnerable communities
    • Project conducts outreach to diverse working groups in DACs to solicit feedback and/or partnership (ex. Latino chamber of commerce)

  • Quality of Idea/Project – A high quality project submission will clearly:
    • Define the project scope and expected outcomes, including how it will be researched, substantiated, or achieved.
    • Explain how the subject technology or technology deployment tool/method are different from current technologies or technology deployment tools/methods, including why this project is different from any past and present research on the technology. The submission should provide energy, carbon, or demand reduction estimates, with explanations or references for calculations and data.
    • Explain how the project will be executed, including identifying critical partners, and describing a clear path to completing the project and deliverables within the estimated budget and timeframe.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the market for the technology or technology deployment method the project will focus on, including barriers to adoption, relevant industry, size of industry in California etc. as well as, feasible paths to engage the market.
    • Outline a timeline that is reasonable given the research objectives and associated tasks.

  • Cost — The project’s estimated budget is reasonable given the research objectives and associated tasks and partners.

It is important that you answer the Idea intake form questions with as complete an answer as possible to ensure full evaluation of the Idea. We recognize that you might be performing research to answer some of the project questions, especially in the Quality of Idea/Project category. We request that you indicate this within your answers.

Idea submissions will be evaluated based on their likelihood to be developed into a project by meeting the above criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, and we recommend that you prepare your answers before using the online form, as your answers may not be saved if you leave the session and come back to it later. Here are the links to the PDFs of each form:

Idea Submission Form Questions

Project Submission Form Questions

Yes, all ideas will be acknowledged and if a project has sufficient information to move to scoring, evaluators will provide comments and feedback on the idea during scoring as necessary. These include:

  1. Suggestions for improvements to help make the project stronger
  2. Explanations of your scoring results
  3. Sharing knowledge about available resources for the proposer to utilize during the project

s may be selected, deferred, or rejected. Ideas will be deferred if the idea is strong, but is not the right fit with the program at a particular time. Ideas will be rejected if they do not meet the program scope or evaluation criteria.

Ideas or Project submissions can be submitted at any time, but they will only be evaluated once a quarter. You can find the current submission deadline listed on the How to Participate page.

All idea proposers will receive an email response with information on the selection status of their idea.

The types of projects that fall under the CalNEXT Program include, but are not limited to: verifying a technology’s technical claims, understanding the market barriers, or assessing a technology’s ability to provide savings for the IOU (investor-owned utilities) portfolios at scale, and evaluating new program approaches.

Project ideas that are not in scope include:

  • Projects focused on demand response only (see SCE or DRET to submit an idea)
  • Projects focused on gas efficiency only (see GET to submit an idea)
  • Technologies that are in very early stages of development prior to developing a prototype
  • Technologies that have no energy efficiency savings impacts

If your project is selected, we will provide funding and implementation support from our team of partners. The funding is meant to cover the costs of implementation and any equipment that would need to be purchased as part of the project. This funding ranges for different projects. We also support projects that leverage co-funding from other Emerging Technologies (or similar) programs.

The ETP categories are based on qualitative ratings, energy efficiency performance, and four key factors from the 2020 TPMS: energy efficiency performance, demand flexibility, codes and standards alignment, and decarbonization potential. Those all receive qualitative ratings from subject matter experts (SMEs) and are subject to utility feedback. Then, that flows up to prioritization based on other programs’ focus.

Project and field sites need to be in the CA IOU electric service area, which includes CCAs in CA. There is an exception for lab demonstrations. Your product or solution can be developed in other regions, but you must justify the benefits specific to CA (climate zones or specific to CA buildings) since this is a CA ratepayer-funded program. Your company can be based outside of CA, but the site test demo, site demo, or field installation (where the project is being tested) must be based in CA.

Not necessarily, but having a project site identified will make your submission stronger. If you do not yet have a site identified, please clarify in your submission how you intend to recruit a site, whether you will need CalNEXT partner support to find a site, and whether your site recruitment is part of your project scope.

CalNEXT will not take equity and there is no intent to take any ideas. To receive the funding and implement a project, you will need to be under contract with Energy Solutions and abide by SCE terms and conditions.

It depends on the project. Please plan for at least two weeks of contracting review.

You can expect to have one of the partner teams assigned to support you throughout the process. For more details, please refer to the Participant Expectations Guide.

Projects may be deferred for a variety of reasons:

  • If your project has potential overlap with a project that is already in progress
  • If your project centers on a technology that is not yet in the TPM, but may be at a later date
  • If the program has met its quotient for types of projects it can accept in a year
  • If your project centers on a technology that is too early in development to qualify for this program
  • If the program has hit its annual implementation budget limit, per the Project Implementation Plan