One of the bright spots in the dark period that marked California’s energy crisis of 2001 and 2002 was the emergence of energy efficiency and conservation as tools to help cut down on demand during periods of tight supplies. That success carried over even after the crisis ended, as programs expanded in response to concerns about global warming.

For their part, California’s Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) recognize the value of continuing to reduce demand. In January 2008, they issued several request for proposals (RFPs) for third-party-administered energy-efficiency programs. The RFPs provide an opportunity for nonutility organizations to design and implement targeted energy-efficiency programs in the 2009–2011 cycle.

The IOUs have numerous programs in place. The current RFPs offer third-party bidders the chance to help them expand on existing programs, and they target an array of program categories affecting both residential and commercial users, ranging from residential point-of-sale retrofit programs to energy--efficiency programs.

To become eligible to submit proposals, bidders must register for each individual RFP and attend a mandatory “Technical Documentation and E3 Calculator Workshop.”

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