Zero Net Energy
Research Gaps Analysis
CEC Itron


Residential and commercial buildings account for over 60 percent of California's electricity consumption. To address the need for more efficient buildings, California has adopted a plan which calls for all new residential and commercial construction to be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020 and 2030, respectively. In general terms, a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) building is one that produces as much energy, usually through on-site renewable energy sources, as it consumes.


The goal of the Research Gaps Analysis for Getting to Zero Net Energy Buildings is to identify, describe, and prioritize key RDD&D needs for achieving the state's goals for ZNE buildings.


The gaps analysis will cover multifamily and commericial new construction ZNE and cover topics including building energy efficiency technologies, behavioral research, distributed and community-scale renewables, and more.


Results of the analysis will be used by Energy Commission staff to develop a research roadmap for future EPIC investments that benefits Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) electric ratepayers, and maximizes the use of public research and development investments.

Project Tasks

Literature Review

A searchable database of recent and relevant literature, including recent ZNE studies and Action Plans by CPUC and IOUs.

Stakeholder Surveys

Input from subject matter experts on specific technologies and strategies, as well as in-depth interviews with relevant market actors.

Gaps Analysis

The appropriate research will be identified to fulfill the gaps and move the industry and the market towards the state’s ZNE goals.


Itron’s Consulting and Analysis (C&A) group provides clients with custom research, evaluation, and consulting services focused on maximizing the value of distributed energy resources (DER) and creating a cleaner, more cost-effective, and more reliable grid.

A nonprofit organization driving better energy performance in commercial buildings. Throughout its 20-year history, NBI has become a trusted and independent resource helping to drive buildings that are better for people and the environment.

An interactive global network of design professionals collaborating under a single deep green engineering umbrella. They provide a full range of building system design and energy analysis services, with a staff widely regarded as innovative leaders in their fields.

A nationally recognized energy consultancy that provides cutting-edge and visionary solutions for building systems and building science. They use sustainable technologies and strategies to help create energy efficient new buildings and improve the efficiency of existing buildings.

An independent, nonprofit organization that conducts research, development, and demonstration projects to enhance the quality of life by making electric power safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible.

The UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center (EEC) was established in 2006 as the first university-based energy efficiency center in the United States to focus on the transfer of technology into the marketplace. They focus on accelerating the development and commercialization of new technologies and training future leaders in energy efficiency.

Key Milestones

  • Q2 2017


    The first Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting is conducted to discuss the methodology for the project.

  • Q2 - Q3 2017

    Technical Assessment

    Literature review and stakeholder input to identify gaps in ZNE research.

  • Q4 2017 - Q1 2018

    Gaps Analysis

    The second Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting is conducted to discuss results of the Technical Assessment and the proposed approach for the Gaps Analysis.

  • Q2 2018

    Finalize Results

    Articulate research gaps for high priority building energy technologies with the potential to advance ZNE.