13. Measurement and Evaluation

The Staff Proposal recommends allocation of $15 million for the M&E of the CSI Thermal Program, with $10 million funded from the gas-displacing program budget, and $5 million funded from general market CSI administration funds. As described above in Section 10, we have reduced the M&E budget to $5 million from the gas-displacing budget and $1.25 million from the general market CSI funds.

Staff recommends that M&E studies be jointly funded by the four program administrators. We agree, although we adopt a slight modification to the allocation for M&E funding. The allocation we adopt will be the same percentages as shown in Table 10 representing the combined CSI Thermal budget allocation for the four utilities, and shown in the table below.

Table 11: Budget Allocation for M&E Studies

Moreover, staff recommends that the CSI Thermal Program work closely with the ongoing M&E in the general market CSI Program to coordinate M&E efforts between the CSI program and the CSI Thermal Program. CALSEIA supports this recommendation and so do we. We direct Energy Division to oversee the M&E work in the CSI Thermal Program and ensure it is coordinated with the general market CSI M&E work. The Energy Division shall issue an RFP for an independent entity to perform the M&E work, and select the evaluation contractor. The utilities shall reimburse Energy Division for this contract according to the percentages set forth above.

Energy Division should consult with the assigned Commissioner to finalize the M&E reports that will be undertaken, and the schedule for these reports. The M&E reports may include the following:

· Market Baseline Studies - to provide a basis for assessing program progress toward achieving program goals.

· Program Impact Evaluation - to assess the impact of the program on electricity and natural gas demand, assess the number of systems installed, assess the greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved by the program, collect and analyze actual performance data of installed systems, compare the performance data to the expected performance of those systems, and make that information readily and transparently available to consumers and policy makers.

· Program Process Evaluation - to assess the program operations and make recommendations for improving the program's effectiveness.

· Cost-Benefit Studies - to provide a periodic check on the costs and benefits of the program, and to evaluate the program's cost-effectiveness on an updated basis.

· Technology Evaluation - to assess SWH, other (non-SWH) solar thermal technologies and their ability to support the state's goals for reducing energy demand.

· Market Surveys - to periodically assess the market, and how the market intervention is affecting technology deployment.

· Other Evaluation Studies - to serve the ongoing program management and evaluation needs.

The Energy Division will obtain parties' input and work in consultation with the assigned Commissioner to establish the CSI Thermal M&E budget and scoping plan through an assigned Commissioner's Ruling, which will serve as the basis for conducting M&E Studies. The M&E Studies will be made publicly available, and the results of the M&E studies will form the basis of program modifications, as necessary.

The CSI Thermal PAs will be responsible for ensuring that program participants provide the program with performance data, as necessary, to evaluate the program.

In addition, we adopt the recommendation from the Staff Proposal that the CSI Thermal PAs will be jointly responsible for design and maintenance of a statewide program database that facilitates application processing, public program data, and program evaluation. The database should include all installation performance design characteristics and other application data. Energy Division shall oversee the other details of the database and provide direction to the PAs in establishing the database.

Finally, the CSI Thermal PAs will be responsible for quarterly progress reports that provide a snapshot of application and installation data, as well as other information on the implementation and administration of the program. The PAs will also be responsible for submitting semi-annual expense reports on all aspects of the program budget.

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