The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, the Commission responsibilities include:
- Forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data.
- Licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger.
- Promoting energy efficiency by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards and working with local government to enforce those standards.
- Supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs.
- Supporting renewable energy by providing market support to existing, new, and emerging renewable technologies; providing incentives for small wind and fuel cell electricity systems; and providing incentives for solar electricity systems in new home construction.
- Developing and implementing the state Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program to reduce the state's petroleum dependency and help attain the state climate change policies.
- Administering more than $300 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funding through the state energy program, the energy efficiency conservation and block grant program; the energy efficiency appliance rebate program and the energy assurance and emergency program.
- Planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.