California has additional ways to generate investments for climate action outside of the state’s budget. One notable example is the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program that was established in 2012. The EPIC program invests in scientific and technological research to accelerate the transformation of the electricity sector to meet the state’s climate and clean energy goals. Ratepayers from the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities—PG&E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric—fund the program. The California Energy Commission (CEC) manages 80 percent of the program with the IOUs administering the remaining 20 percent.
The EPIC program has funded 437 projects throughout California and $7.8 billion of private investment has been raised by the private sector after receiving EPIC support as of the end of 2021. In that last year, it resulted in a 55 percent increase in successful exits by start-up companies funded by the CEC through EPIC, as well as a 39 megawatt (MW) load reduction from just three of EPIC’s demand response projects in the residential and agricultural sectors, improving grid reliability in the hot summer months.76 Grid reliability and ensuring sufficient supply to meet demand will be an ongoing task as more electric cars and appliances come online.
76 “2021 EPIC Highlights.” California Energy Commission. April 2022. Available at: https://www.energy.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2022-05/CEC-500-2022-002-SUM.pdf
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