Resources

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 version of the TPMs was published on December 15, 2022 and will be updated annually by the CalNEXT team.

Prospective projects submitted after December 15, 2022 will be evaluated using the 2022 TPMs since these projects will begin the project planning stage after the new TPMs become effective on March 1, 2023.

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

Request 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 RFI Q1 2023 here.

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, please see this Example 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. If you are not sure where to look to see if a project has already been done, a good place to start is the ETCC website.

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.

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.

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

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

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


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.

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, 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.

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 two weeks of contracting review.