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FAQ: CalMTA

How does CalMTA fit into California’s goals on energy and climate? 

California has set ambitious goals in its climate plan including cutting air pollution, slashing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, economic and workforce development, health benefits, etc. Energy efficiency is a critical strategy to achieve these goals. In January 2023, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created the state’s first-ever Market Transformation Administrator (CalMTA) to advance groundbreaking energy efficiency transformation initiatives that will bring sustainable, cost-effective market changes to California. CalMTA will play a key role by developing strategic, market-level initiatives to remove barriers and accelerate adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices. CalMTA efforts, which will invest $310 million over eight years, will achieve outcomes consistent with the goals of California’s Climate Action Plan.

What will CalMTA accomplish?  

California has a robust set of energy efficiency programs currently in operation. CalMTA is one such program, which will apply a unique approach called market transformation.  Market transformation is the strategic process of intervening in a market ​to create lasting change by removing market barriers or exploiting opportunities, accelerating the adoption of identified technologies or practices. 

CalMTA-developed market transformation initiatives (MTIs) will prioritize efforts that result in the highest-value market transformation. Those are MTIs that deliver efficiency, but also GHG emissions reductions, demand flexibility, and advance the state’s workforce development goals as well as the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Environmental and Social Justice (ESJ) Action Plan 

Why is market transformation important?   

Market transformation is a proven approach that has successfully changed markets for emerging technologies and business practices, resulting in quantifiable energy efficiency, GHG reductions, and other benefits.  

The urgency of the climate crisis and the need to decarbonize all sectors of our economy make market transformation an important investment for California. Because CalMTA initiatives will work to change the way markets operate to favor efficiency and low-carbon solutions, the benefits are long lasting and result in large savings over the long term. California’s forming market transformation initiatives (MTIs) will work to align with programs in operation in regions around the country significantly growing the market power to catalyze market change.   

How is CalMTA working with environmental and social justice communities?  

CalMTA recognizes the historical lack of energy efficiency investment in ESJ communities, especially communities of color, and strives for energy equity in its initiative development. The CalMTA team will be developing a process to track, report, evaluate, and improve benefits to ESJ communities. Our approach involves: 

  1. Engagement and involvement of ESJ communities during the MTI development and implementation process. 
  2. Bringing an equity lens to our MTI selection process, including aligning with existing income-qualified programs and assigning equity metrics to our screening and scoring. 

Learn more about how CalMTA works with ESJ communities.

How will CalMTA be managed?  

CalMTA is administered by Resource Innovations, a woman-led company providing software-enabled clean energy services for utilities and their customers. The team is led by Lynette Curthoys, Vice President at Resource Innovations, and managed by a pool of talented principals, project managers, coordinators, and other staff. This work is also supported by a number of expert firms and strategic advisors with deep backgrounds in energy efficiency, market transformation, evaluation, and environmental and social justice. Staff from each of these firms are dedicated to supporting the operations of CalMTA, primarily the development and evaluation of MTIs.  

The Market Transformation Advisory Board (MTAB) plays a critical role at CalMTA to advise on the design, development, and deployment of MTIs. Comprised of experts from various backgrounds, the MTAB helps shape and prioritize California’s market transformation portfolio in a public forum to ensure transparency and encourage stakeholder engagement. 

How is Resource Innovations involved?

Resource Innovations, with the support of several partnering firms, was selected in a competitive bidding process to start up the CalMTA and has dedicated expert staff to lead and manage the effort. Over the long term, the efforts launched now by Resource Innovations will transition in 2030 to a format that will be decided by the CPUC.

How will you prevent conflicts of interest?

To ensure that CalMTA decision-making is transparent, impartial, and unbiased, we have developed robust conflict of interest (COI) policies and instituted a firewall that separates decisions and work on the CalMTA program from work being performed on other programs administered by Resource Innovations that may have conflicting or competing interests.

What’s the long-term plan for CalMTA? 

While CalMTA is currently a statewide program being administered by Resource Innovations, the program will be transitioned to a single-purpose, mission-driven nonprofit entity to administer and further cultivate California’s market transformation portfolio. This transition will begin in 2028 and conclude in 2030 and will be informed by two planned studies on CalMTA’s efforts and effectiveness:  

  • CalMTA Organizational Review conducted in 2025 by an independent organizational development consultant to recommend improvements to processes and systems. 
  • CalMTA Long-Term Recommendation Review conducted in 2027 that will involve the MTAB, an independent consultant, and input from stakeholders to recommend the best path forward to administer California’s MT Portfolio over the long-term. 

 

Milestone Timeline 2024 – 2030

Long-term CalMTA timeline showing our planned activities through the transition to a nonprofit in 2030

 

 

 

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