SAN FRANCISCO - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has adopted a long-term energy efficiency strategy that is similar to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) goals for zero-energy buildings. California’s new Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan includes two “Big Bold” strategies for significant energy efficiency gains in new buildings - to have all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020, and to have all new commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030. In comparison, DOE’s Building Technologies Program aims to achieve marketable zero energy homes by 2020 and zero energy commercial buildings by 2025.

California’s plan also goes farther, with two more goals - to “reshape” the HVAC industry to ensure optimal equipment performance and to weatherize all the homes of eligible low-income families by 2020.

California’s new plan focuses on energy efficiency goals for electricity and natural gas consumption, with targeted efforts for residential and commercial buildings, industries, and farms. The strategic plan also indicates that energy efficiency programs should include efforts to commercialize emerging technologies, to provide technical assistance to users and sellers of the technologies, to educate and inform people about energy efficiency opportunities, to mandate minimum energy efficiency codes and standards, and to offer incentives to consumers.

To see the full plan, go to

Publication date:10/06/2008