Technology Priority Maps

The Technology Priority Maps (TPMs) highlight CalNEXT’s research priorities across six technology categories and 46 technology families. Each technology family provides details on the types of research CalNEXT would like to fund in support of the investor-owned utility energy efficiency program portfolios. The most recent versions of the TPMs were published December 15, 2023. They are updated annually by the CalNEXT team. The next update is set for July 1, 2024 to the HVAC and Water Heating TPMs.

We encourage prospective participants to view each TPM by Technology Area using the links below.

Requests for Ideas

Each quarter we will be identifying technologies that could use additional focus. We will issue a Request for Ideas and share why we are prioritizing these technologies, as well as the opportunities and considerations.

View the Q4 2023 RFI here. Submission deadline: November 30, 2023

View the Q3 2023 RFI here. Submission deadline: August 31, 2023

View the Q2 2023 RFI here. Submission deadline: May 25, 2023

View the Q1 2023 RFI here. Submission deadline: February 23, 2023

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. Research conducted through this project will address opportunities and/or barriers that are highlighted in the TPM Research Priorities or narrative sections. Note that a project may align with multiple TPMs.

  • Technology Transfer and Program Alignment – The project establishes a market and/or a direction for utilities to continue researching the technology or designing incentives for customer adoption. The project exhibits real potential for impact savings and has enough technical or market maturity to fit utility programs. The project demonstrates understanding of the market and current portfolio programs and how the market might be engaged to ensure technology adoption. The project does not need to directly transfer to a program but should describe how the research project could eventually lead to Technology Transfer. Here are several examples of Technology Transfer:
    • Would there be any anticipated changes or updates to an existing eTRM deemed measure such as supporting an existing workpaper or measure package revision?
    • Would this research help to develop a new eTRM deemed measure by updating or contributing new workpaper content that would ultimately create a new measure package?
    • Would this research support a new or existing custom measure development or tool by way of providing existing or new custom measure recommendations?
    • Would this research work on case study development by focusing on a particular use case for an integrated Demand Side Management (IDSM) measure: a subset of the possible building types, customer types, equipment types, program delivery options?
    • Would this research support an existing measure by making recommendations regarding technology market penetration, cost, standard practice, market or supply chain practices, suggested offerings, changes in efficiency or capacity, other supply chain developments?
    • Would this research support an existing utility program by reporting on a potential technology or delivery method for Integrated Demand Side Management (IDSM)?
    • Could this research support future CalNEXT work?

  • Utility/Efficiency Program Benefits — Project has defined clear benefits to utilities with emphasis on Total System Benefits (TSB), kWh and kW savings, Total Resource Cost (TRC), and lifecycle kWh savings and ET measures are expected to meet the delivery design and cost-effectiveness criteria of current portfolio programs. If your project directly benefits an existing or emerging utility program, this should be called out.

  • 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 the impact on HTR households (e.g., rural communities)
    • Project invests in the DAC/HTR workforce, by hiring contractors that serve DAC/HTR communities, have DAC/HTR labor bases, or work with local training programs that support DAC/HTR community members
    • Project engages with DAC/HTR communities or community advocates with accessible outreach materials, interviews, or meetings, incorporates feedback into research findings, and shares the results with the engaged individuals, organizations, or communities
    • Project documents benefits of research outcomes for DAC/HTR communities, specifically, demonstrating how increased investment in clean energy resources benefiting DAC/HTR to improve local air quality, public health, and reduce energy burden

  • Project Innovation/Justification – Identify differentiators from incumbent technology and/or research, including how the subject technology or technology deployment tool/method are different from current technologies, 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.

  • Project Execution – A high quality project submission explains how the project will be successfully completed by meeting time, scope, and budget requirements.
    • Define the project scope and expected outcomes, including how it will be researched, substantiated, or achieved.
    • 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.
    • Explain who the relevant program, market, or technology stakeholders are for this project and how the project will engage with these stakeholders, including mention of specific EE programs or implementers. Describe the stakeholders expected or perceived barriers to adoption of the technology or deployment strategy.
    • Outline a timeline that is reasonable given the research objectives and associated tasks. If the research is seasonally sensitive, please explain.
    • Estimate a budget that is reasonable given the research objectives and associated tasks and partners.

  • Portfolio Fit — CalNEXT has annual budget restrictions, annual project completion targets, and aims to have a balanced portfolio that delivers on technology transfer now and in the future. Projects that meet the above criteria may not be a good fit for the portfolio depending on the status of the portfolio. For the best chance of being selected for the portfolio, the budget is recommended to not exceed $300,000 and not exceed 18 months in duration.

It is important that you answer the Project intake form questions completely to ensure it can be evaluated fairly. We recognize the research project may be conducting research to answer some of these questions, in this case please indicate this in the submission responses.

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

Quarterly Reports

To provide transparency into the CalNEXT portfolio and our key focus areas, each quarter we will publish reports on the project submissions we have received for each technology area and project type. Future quarterly reports will be updated to show the progress being made from quarter to quarter.

View the Q2 2024 Quarterly Technology Area Report here.

View the Q1 2024 Quarterly Technology Area Report here.

View the Q4 2023 Quarterly Technology Area Report here.

View the Q3 2023 Quarterly Technology Area Report here.

View the Q2 2023 Quarterly Technology Area Report here.

View the Q1 2023 Quarterly Technology Area Report here.

View the Q4 2022 Quarterly Technology Area Report here.

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, please see this Example Project Submission, to get a better idea of the type of information the CalNEXT team needs to fairly evaluate your Project.​

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.

One of our review criteria specifically addresses the question of whether the Project submitted is innovative. Additionally, our Program Team reviewing the Ideas was assembled specifically to ensure that we have expertise across different technology areas, as well as diverse experience in implementing past programs. We are relying on this team of experts to understand the landscape.

Check out our Approved Projects, and view all past and current California statewide emerging technology projects and reports on the Emerging Technologies Program Portal or the Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council websites.

Once information is submitted via the CalNEXT website form, it goes into our project management system where we can control the visibility and access to the various applications. VEIC and Energy Solutions, who are overseeing the selection process, can see everything that comes in. Before it gets scored, a PDF is created with key pieces of information removed before it is given to the evaluators. During evaluation, evaluators don’t see names, and they only have view access to score the Project information.

If the submission gets moved forward into a project, the CalNEXT partner that you’re paired with will be able to see the details but at no point is your Project submission information made public. Projects that have been reviewed and accepted by SCE are listed on our Approved Projects page once you’ve developed a short public Project description.

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.

Idea 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.

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

Please see the Technology Transfer and Program Alignment section of the Review Criteria above.

All Idea proposers will receive an email response with information on the selection status of their Idea. Follow up will come from [email protected]. Please check your spam if you do not see a response within 3 weeks.

Yes, all Ideas will be acknowledged and if it has sufficient information to move to scoring, evaluators will provide comments and feedback as necessary. These include:

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

Ideas 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.

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

The ETP categories are based on qualitative ratings of four key factors from the 2022 TPMs: energy efficiency potential, decarbonization potential, demand flexibility potential, and “other” GHG emissions impacts potential. These categories are meant to capture known impact values outside of the traditional kWh/kW/therm energy efficiency savings metrics. Each key factor averages qualitative ratings from subject matter experts (SMEs) and are subject to feedback from our advisory committee.

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.

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. This is not a grant program as we are focusing on helping implement the project rather than just funding the Project.

It depends on the Project. Please plan for at least 4 weeks of contracting review.