Public Interest Energy Research Grants (PIER)

March 20, 2001


Signed into law in 1996, Assembly Bill 1890 provided authority for a fundamental restructuring of California’s electric services industry. Among other things, AB 1890 requires that at least $62.5 million be collected annually from investor - owned utility ratepayers for "public interest" energy RD&D efforts not adequately provided by competitive and regulated markets. The California Energy Commission was given legislative authority to administer the funding of specific RD&D projects. Senate Bill 90 was enacted into law in 1997, and it established administrative and funding criteria for the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program. The legislation required that the program portfolio focus on projects in five subject areas: Renewable energy technologies; Environmentally preferred advanced generation; Energy-related environmental research; Strategic energy research; and End-use efficiency. The Energy Commission added a sixth program area when it divided end-use efficiency into (a) buildings and (b) industrial/agriculture/water. In October 2000, Governor Gray Davis signed into law AB 995, which extended funding for PIER through 2012 at the same annual funding level.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: California
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site:
Administrator: California Energy Commission
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
Incentive Amount: $62.5 million/year


Name: Terry Surles
Organization: California Energy Commission
Address: 1516 9th Street
Sacramento CA 95814
Phone: (916) 654-4878

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.