Public Interest Energy Research Grants (PIER) (California)

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Last modified on May 23, 2011.

Financial Incentive Program

Place California

Name Public Interest Energy Research Grants (PIER)
Incentive Type State Grant Program

Active Incentive No

Implementing Sector State/Territory

Amount 62.5 million/year

Program Administrator California Energy Commission

Last DSIRE Review 2001-03-20

References DSIRE[1]


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.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Terry Surles
Department California Energy Commission
Division Public Interest Energy Research
Address 1516 9th Street

Place Sacramento, California
Zip/Postal Code 95814
Phone (916) 654-4878


  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"