In the 2009-2011 program cycle, the California Investor-Owned Utilities ("IOUs"), Southern California Edison Company ("SCE"), Pacific Gas and Electric Company ("PG&E"), and Southern California Gas Company/San Diego Gas and Electric Company ("Sempra") have proposed a new program component, the Technology Resource Incubation Outreach ("TRIO") program. The TRIO program focuses efforts in two areas: 1) It aims to draw a greater number of innovative technologies into utility energy efficiency programs by providing training workshops for potential program candidates; and 2) It supports the transition from a promising technology, to an investment-worthy energy efficiency opportunity.
Prospective technologies for the TRIO program will be qualified through screening criteria designed to maximize effectiveness of program budgets and energy impacts. The proposed activities represent a movement in the involvement of the utilities to nurture newer technologies into the IOUs' existing energy efficiency rebate programs.
The program attempts to pull more technologies into utility energy efficiency portfolios by providing training and investor-networking workshops, which discuss:
The program also facilitates the drive of promising energy efficient technologies from universities, investor deal flows, and entrepreneur networks, by assisting in networking opportunities and business partnerships to procure funding or other needed resources. Target partners may range from the investment community to corporate entities, to Public Interest Energy Research ("PIER"), a grant program provided by the California Energy Commission ("CEC"). By educating entrepreneurs and investors on available, cost effective energy efficiency opportunities, the IOUs want to help raise the value of energy efficiency and streamline the technologies evaluated by the utility Emerging Technology ("ET") programs.