The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) oversees and monitors the implementation of the ratepayer funded Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) research, development and deployment program. For current EPIC funds from investment periods 1, 2 and 3, there are four program administrators: the California Energy Commission (CEC), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).
In Decision 18-10-052, the CPUC established the Policy + Innovation Coordination Group (PICG) - comprised of a Project Coordinator, the four Administrators, and the CPUC - to increase the alignment and coordination of EPIC investments and program execution with CPUC and California energy policy needs.
To identify Policy+Innovation Partnership Areas - areas around which the PICG will engage in targeted coordination to accelerate RD&D, and to gather input and lessons learned from projects related to timely and critical policy challenges.
To create transparency of EPIC program results, and to find ways to track or identify substantive developments and discoveries in EPIC projects that may inform energy policy.
To ensure alignment between policy and programs, and to increase the CPUC's understanding of energy innovations in key policy areas to inform decision making.
To center equity in process and programs by ensuring input from disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and tribal communities is prioritized during the PICG process.
(details coming soon)Projected December 2020 - February 2021
Per Decision 18-10-052, the Policy + Innovation Coordination Group is made up of a) the Project Coordinator, b) one representative from each EPIC administrator at the program management/leadership level (i.e. Commissioner and/or Division Director/Deputy for the CEC; senior leadership level with oversight over EPIC and innovation projects for the utilities), c) CPUC staff and Commissioners.
The CPUC has selected The Accelerate Group, working with 2R Group, to be the project coordinator for the Policy + Innovation Coordination Group. The Project Coordinator is primarily responsible for creating an environment for coordination between the CPUC's energy policy and planning needs, and the energy RD&D supported by EPIC funding. As the dedicated entity that provides support for improved coordination, the Project Coordinator is organizing and facilitating PICG activities. This arrangement allows members of the PICG to focus on substantive input and creating meaningful dialogue.
The Project Coordinator conducted initial interviews and meetings with PICG members in early 2020, and conducted background research on state regulatory proceedings and reports. The Project Coordinator developed the Policy + Innovation Framework to identify the State's electric sector goals, core strategies, and known obstacles and challenges to achieving those goals. The Project Coordinator developed an initial list of 12 possible Partnership Areas, identifying where there are significant opportunities for coordination among EPIC projects and where input into California energy proceedings or other energy policy discussions would be timely and relevant. The CPUC narrowed the initial list of Partnership Areas to four for 2020, based on which topics would be the most "ripe" and "timely" to engage on in 2020.
The PICG will initiate four workstreams in September 2020, one for each of the selected 2020 Partnership Areas. The workstreams will gather input and lessons learned from EPIC projects and other stakeholders on core policy challenges, encourage enhanced coordination, support knowledge- and results-sharing, and convene public meetings on each topic.
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You can reach the Policy + Innovation Coordination Group Project Coordinator at: PICG@theaccelerategroup.com