Skip to Main Content

Ideas Into Action: Catalyzing Market Change for California's Energy Future

  • Written by Margie Gardner
  • May 25, 2023
Motion blurred coastal road and mountains at sunrise

Since January, when the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced Resource Innovations as the state’s first-ever Market Transformation Administrator (CalMTA), a lot of behind-the-scenes work has been happening. Resource Innovations has staffed up CalMTA and has launched a key advisory board, known as the Market Transformation Advisory Board (MTAB). And now, the process of soliciting ideas to create the first initiatives in California’s market transformation portfolio begins. This “request for ideas” or RFI, which is open June 15 through August 18, is a way for everyone to participate in helping create market transformation initiatives (MTIs) for California. Once the MTIs are approved by the CPUC, CalMTA will lead a competitive solicitation to select the implementers.

Resource Innovations anticipates that the RFI will establish an arena to collect inventive and imaginative concepts, which can be leveraged to build a highly effective portfolio of market transformation initiatives in California.

Better Together 

Market transformation is a proven strategic process of intervening in a market to create lasting change. In the context of CalMTA’s work, these changes work to deliver cost-effective energy efficiency and support California’s other goals on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, workforce development, and equity.

diffusion curve graphic

Market-level interventions, which are a key component of the MTIs that CalMTA is developing, break down barriers to energy efficiency, such as lack of awareness, high costs, or low product availability. By creating a more competitive market for energy-efficient technologies and practices, market transformation can drive down costs and increase adoption, ultimately leading to greater energy savings and environmental benefits that remain long after active market interventions have ended.

A Venn Diagram highlighting the highest value

CalMTA plans to align and collaborate with California’s current programs, utilities, and stakeholders to prioritize efforts that result in the highest-value market transformation, which delivers not only efficiency goals but also decarbonization and demand flexibility. All MTI development will look specifically at how beneficial impacts can be delivered to environmental and social justice (ESJ) communities, which have historically been left out of efficiency investment.  

Propose Your Idea

If you have an idea that will accelerate market adoption of a new or under-used energy efficiency technology or practice, then we want to hear about it! CalMTA is seeking ideas that will help California reach its energy goals and also advance state priorities for accessing hard-to-reach, low-to-moderate income customers, or disadvantaged communities. The Request for Ideas (RFI) officially opens on June 15, but you can learn more about the process at the link below or join the June 14 briefing.

MTI Development process

All ideas must result in energy savings but could also offer non-energy benefits and climate-friendly impacts that Californians value. If your idea is selected for advancement, it will then be developed into a plan for implementation. Once all the plans are designed and submitted, the process of bidding out the implementation will begin. 

MTI development will be done in collaboration with the MTAB, which will provide expertise and unbiased, non-binding recommendations via public forums on the design, development, and deployment of market transformation initiatives. 

Market transformation and energy efficiency are critical components of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address climate change, and ensure a clean energy future for all.

A full summary of work to be completed by CalMTA this year is included in the 2023 Operations Plan

You can find more information about CalMTA here, or join our email list to learn about meetings, input opportunities, and our work.
For more on RI's MT capabilities, visit:

Meet the Advisory Board

The newly formed advisory board includes representatives from investor-owned utilities, workforce development, ratepayer advocacy, and environmental advocacy, as well as evaluation and efficiency experts.

Cyane Dandridge, Founder & Executive Director of Strategic Energy Initiatives 

Hayley Goodson, Managing Attorney with TURN (The Utility Reform Network) 

Fred Gordon, Director of Planning and Evaluation at The Energy Trust of Oregon 

Jeff Harris, Chief Transformation Officer for the NEEA (Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance) 

Randall Higa, Codes and Standards Program Manager and lead for Zero Net Energy Strategies at Southern California Edison 

Lujuana Medina, environmental initiatives sections manager for SoCalREN 

Peter Miller, Senior Scientist with NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Christie Torok, Regulatory Analyst at the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission)  

Ky-Ann Tran, member of the CPUC’s Cal Advocates