CEA gets SSL-centric CEC energy grant, evolves organizational structure

Feb. 17, 2021
The California Energy Alliance will work with the California Lighting Technology Center and the California Plug Load Research Center to study outdoor lighting and plug-load energy usage.

The California Energy Alliance (CEA) has announced that it received a $997,000 grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to research new technologies that curb energy usage from plug loads and exterior lighting. The CEA will partner with the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) at the University of California at Davis and the California Plug Load Research Center (CalPlug) at the University of California at Irvine on the program.

The CEC issued the grant within its EPIC (Electric Program Investment Change) Program and the GF-200-303 solicitation. Both outdoor lighting and plug loads consume a disproportionately large share of wasted energy in homes and commercial settings. Indeed, the problem includes lighting and other devices in both active and standby modes.

“This research is important because plug loads are one of the fastest growing categories of energy use in residential and commercial buildings in California and are not currently widely monitored or controlled,” said Josh Dean, CEA executive director. “Results from the research will ultimately have a tangible impact on how we implement future demand management and grid modernization strategies in California. This project is also a prime example of how CEA leverages the rich diversity of collaborative expertise in its member base to identify and deliver vital research and development to meet the demands of evolving California’s energy future. We look forward to working with our partners and the California Energy Commission on this exciting project.”

The CEA is a non-partisan alliance of business government, NGO, and environmental leaders formed in 2016 to help guide California to a clean-energy future. In the research, the CEA will work with two deeply experienced, energy-focused organizations. The CLTC helped lead the adoption of energy-saving LED lighting in California while also pushing for high-quality solid-state lighting (SSL). For example, the organization has sought paths to human-centric lighting that is both affordable and effective.

CalPlug was formed back in 2011 to help improve energy efficiency in all plug-load devices. Of course, we have seen a huge move in the last decade to products that use DC power adaptors and that stay in standby modes continuously, which can still use a large amount of cumulative power.

The CEA also has been through a round of organizational changes recently. Back in January the organization named a new board of directors including Cori Jackson, California Lighting Technology Center, president and board chair; Bernie Kotlier, California Labor Management Cooperation Committee, vice president; John Martin, treasurer; Doug Avery, Avery Energy Enterprises; Bernadette Boudreaux, DesignLights Consortium; John Busch, Leviton; Pekka Hakkarainen, Lutron; Kelly Seeger, Signify; and Randy Young, Sheet Metal Workers Local 104. The organization further named a new technical advisory council including Dick Lord, Carrier; Craig Ochoa, Dynalectric; and Dan Salinas, Salinas Lighting Consult.

“We’re starting 2021 with a new strategic plan, work on several important new initiatives, and successful funding and new membership activity,” said the CEA’s Dean. “The formation of our new board of directors and technical advisory council is part of this effort and helps us to clarify our focus and execute on our core mission.”

Dean himself just joined the CEA back in September 2020. He formerly headed the San Diego Green Building Council — a CEA member. “Josh brings a skillset to the Alliance that is particularly well suited to our current needs and our evolution as an organization: his experience managing a nonprofit NGO well aligned with CEA’s mission; a deep understanding of green building, and energy efficiency; and a solid working knowledge of the needs and interrelationships of California municipalities, utilities, state government, the building industry, and energy policy and technology players,” said Doug Avery, co-chair of the CEA at the time of the announcement.

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About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.