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About SCE’s Emerging Markets & Technology Program

SCE’s Emerging Markets and Technology (EM&T) program was established in 2005 by the CPUC as a research initiative to identify, assess, and develop technologies to support and enhance SCE customers’ participation in DR programs, retail tariffs, and wholesale markets. Over the last two decades, the EM&T program has adapted to serve the needs of customers under evolving state policy initiatives, including wholesale market integration, renewable energy goals, environmental concerns, and the emergence of distributed energy resources behind the customer meter. To better realize the benefits of DR to meet both state policy and customer needs, SCE’s EM&T program has:

  1. Tested and assessed innovative DR enabling technologies and moved them into DR programs
  2. Provided policy support and technical advocacy through working groups and trade associations for technology-driven DR software and secure communication standards
  3. Funded innovative demonstration projects directly and in collaboration with State and national research
  4. Conducted market research studies that assess the customer acceptance and efficacy of cost-effective DR emerging consumer “smart” technologies

SCE’s EM&T program technology adoption influence strategy delivers upstream industry market facilitation to accelerate DR awareness to the consumer industry. This includes supporting technology-driven DR standards advocacy and collaborating on innovative demonstration projects and joint research studies with state agency grant awardees and research firms. These early stage intervention efforts accelerate the deployment of DR technologies that will ultimately help facilitate the customer acceptance of cost-effective DR software and systems.


The EM&T program’s activities are cyclical, meaning that with the results from each activity, study, and assessment type feed into a pipeline of further research, pilots and program designs. The EM&T program’s investment strategies focus on facilitating the pipeline in addressing the market development of DR innovation, environmental benefits, grid reliability, and customer needs. In collaboration with other DR research activities, the research builds upon these past efforts and leverages the previous investments and collaboration with others to maximize ratepayer value from the program. 


The EM&T program’s current focus is on addressing DR innovation, environmental benefits, grid reliability, and customer needs. EM&T’s core activities are cyclical, with the results from each activity, study, and assessment type feeding into other activities. The five EM&T core investment categories are as follows:

  • Intake and Curation: Identifying projects for inclusion in EM&T’s portfolio and selecting which ones to fund based on a well-informed understanding of the broader industry context.
  • Market Assessments: Creating a better understanding of the emerging innovation and consumer markets for DR-enabling technologies.
  • Technology Assessments: Creating and reviewing the results of lab and field tests of DR enabling technologies with stakeholders
  • Technology Transfer: Advancing DR-enabling technologies to the next step in the adoption process, including raising awareness, building capabilities, and informing early stages of product development for DR offerings.
  • Strategic Advocacy: Actively supporting key market actors to integrate DR-enabling emerging technologies into their decisions, including promoting DR emerging technologies to state and federal agencies and advancing the widespread adoption of industry standards.

The EM&T program actively shares its activities through DR affiliate organizations, including OpenADR Alliance (OADR), Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA), Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP), Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), and Association of Energy Engineering (AEE).

These are examples of a few of the SCE-implemented EM&T partnership affiliations and strategic communication approaches:

  • Partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), to test and execute DR projects through participation in the core Power Delivery and Utilization program, as well as supplemental projects focused on specific DR technology assessments
  • Publication of full reports on EM&T projects on the Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council (ETCC) website for public access. The ETCC coordinates among its members, which include the California IOUs, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), and the CEC
  • Assistance in organizing DR-related conferences to promote and support DR technologies, markets, and programs and services. This includes hosting events held in California, to encourage customers and stakeholders to attend trainings and presentations

This engagement strategy will assist with educating and influencing industry stakeholders and non-participating customers to better understand DR technology opportunities. They also encourage consumer technology firms and other innovation market actors to adopt emerging DR technologies and strategies, which will ultimately assist with the beneficial customer participation of future DR program models.

For a comprehensive overview of the EM&T program that identifies the value and purposes of the portfolio investments and the program’s role in accelerating demand response (DR) innovation, along with recommendations about how the EM&T program can continue to build on its accomplishments, please click the link below.