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Distributed Energy Resources

Distributed Energy Resources (DER) are derived from a variety of small, decentralized grid-connected technologies such as renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric vehicles, and demand response. DER systems can be managed and integrated with utilities’ conventional energy resources using smart grid technologies.  

In 2010, Governor Jerry Brown set a goal of installing 20,000 MW of renewable electricity by 2020. His Clean Energy Jobs Plan included a specific target of 12,000 MW of distributed generation, targeting localized energy, in order to spur investment in renewable energy and help meet the state’s ambitious climate goals. In October 2013, Governor Brown signed into law AB 327 (PU Code 769), which among other things, requires electric utilities to submit a Distribution Resources Plans (DRP) proposal to the CPUC by July 1, 2015 in order to identify optimal locations for the deployment of distributed resources. 

In August 2014, the CPUC opened a Rulemaking to set policies to guide the utilities in their development of Distribution Resources Plans to integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER) into all utility system planning, operations, and investment. Costs associated with CPUC-approved DRPs will be considered in the utilities' subsequent general rate cases to determine whether costs are just and reasonable and that ratepayers will realize net benefits from their investment.


Distribution Resources Plan

The purpose of the Distribution Resources Plan (DRP) is to integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER) into all utility system planning, operations, and investment.  


Distributed Energy Resources is comprised of many proceedings, programs, and strategies...


Electric Vehicles

In August 2009, the CPUC issued the Alternative-Fueled Vehicle Rulemaking in order to support California's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals as set forth in Assembly Bill 32. In 2013 Executive Order B-16-2012 set goals for one million electric vehicles by 2020 as well as the Governor’s 2013 Action Plan for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025. The CPUC opened a Rulemaking to support these state goals and consider needed policies, programs, and tariffs.


California Solar Initiative

Customers receive upfront cash incentives when they install solar electric systems on homes, businesses, and public sites.  


Demand Response

Demand response is a set of actions taken by customers to reduce their electric consumption when the during local transmission emergencies or shortage of operating reserves, in order to avoid rotating black-outs.


Energy Efficiency

Customers fund approximately $1 billion per year for utility administered Energy Efficiency programs designed to utilize more efficient technologies to reduce energy demand.


Energy Storage

The CPUC set targets of 1,350 MW for Energy Storage pursuant to AB 2514 to integrate renewables and aid in deferring investments in fossil energy.


Feed-in Tariff Small Renewable Energy Generators

A mechanism for small renewable generators to sell power to utilities and help contribute to California's renewable energy goals.


Net Energy Metering

NEM is a billing arrangement that enables customers who off-set all or a portion of their electricity usage with on-site generation to receive a financial credit for the “net,” or extra, energy produced by their system and fed back to the grid. In response to AB 327, the CPUC established a Rulemaking to develop a replacement for the existing NEM program by December 31, 2015.     



Renewable Energy Programs



Rule 21 - Interconnection

This CPUC Rule governs interconnections how advanced energy technologies may interconnect with the electric distribution systems of the state’s investor owned utilities  


Self-Generation Incentive Program

California's electric utility customers receive upfront and/or performance-based rebates when they install wind turbines, fuel cells, or related storage systems combined with wind turbines or fuel cells.


Utility Shareholder Incentives 

The CPUC is considering a proposed pilot program for a shareholder incentive mechanism intended to encourage investor owned utilities to invest in DER.