Request for Ideas

Each quarter we will be identifying research ideas that are of particular benefit to the CalNEXT Program. We will issue a Request for Ideas and share why we are prioritizing these types of ideas, as well as the opportunities and considerations. 

Q3 2023

Energy Program Improvements 

CalNEXT is looking for research ideas to inform current or future utility programs. The deadline to submit is August 31, 2023. These submissions may align with any of the TPM Areas: HVAC, Lighting, Plug Loads and Appliances, Process Loads, Water Heating, and Whole Buildings. 


As the program begins to plan for its 2024 portfolio of projects, it seeks to identify ideas that will have a direct benefit to specific existing and/or developing Energy Efficiency Programs, Building Electrification Programs, future California Market Transformation Initiatives, low-income programs like Energy Savings Assistance (ESA), Custom/SEM programs, Codes and Standards program, or development and updates to measure packages. Ideas from people and organizations that run these programs or interact with these programs will help ensure we have research projects that promptly create value for utilities, ratepayers, and disadvantaged or hardtoreach communities. 


Types of valuable research include studying underutilized incentives or portfolio technologies to understand barriers, looking for opportunities to expand incentives or technologies to new market segments, improving program reach to disadvantaged or hard-to-reach communities, collecting data to expand the applicability of an existing measure, or addressing the needs of critical stakeholders (manufacturers, contractors, distributors, etc.). Participants are encouraged to consider the program(s) they are involved with, identify what might make the program(s) stronger, and how CalNEXT research can support those endeavors. Analyzing participation data or feedback from existing programs could be an excellent place to find an opportunity for your program. Submitting an idea will not create any obligation for the participant.  

Response to this RFI is intended to be relatively simple, and only requires answering a few questions in this RFI Submission form.  

After the deadline, the Program team will take a few weeks to review the ideas and contact the submitter about next steps.  This could include selecting the idea to develop into a full project, combining the idea with another idea to develop a project, deferring the idea to a later date, or not moving forward with the idea. If the idea is selected, a full project will be developed, submitted, and evaluated against the program eligibility criteria and review criteria. 

Join us for our webinar on August 8 to find out more.  


How to Participate

If you are interested in submitting an idea for the Energy Program Improvement RFI above, use the RFI Q3 webform located here 


Dates & Deadlines

Request for Ideas issuedJuly 25, 2023
WebinarAugust 8, 2023 12-12:30 PM PT 
Deadline for Idea Submission August 31, 2023 
Idea Review September 1, 2023 – September 29th, 2023 
Project Submission Target Dates 

October 26, 2023, November 30th, and  

2024 date TBD 

Project Evaluations & Selection Complete 3-4 Weeks from Project Submission Date