The Institute builds on the success of the Energy Efficiency Center (EEC) and its roots in energy efficiency technology commercialization. The EEC was established in 2006 with a challenge grant from the California Clean Energy Fund. It was the first university-based energy efficiency center in the United States. Since its inception, it has built a strong program through its four affiliated research centers: the California Lighting Technology Center, the Western Cooling Efficiency Center, the Center for Water–Energy Efficiency, and the Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center. It has also established robust global impact efforts, collaborators, and research and education initiatives.

The EEC has leveraged a VIP Board of Advisors and collaborative industry and agency partnerships to drive new solutions, guide the development of West Village at UC Davis–the first planned Zero Net Energy community in the country–and train thousands of students and energy professionals at UC Davis and beyond.

With the growth of the EEC and its transition to an institute, the development of a strong coalition of over 50 energy-related faculty from multiple disciplines, and prominent energy initiatives on campus, including the new energy graduate program, UC Davis has become a global leader in energy.

The Institute serves as a hub for the university’s energy-related efforts and is well positioned to continue its success in driving the development and commercialization of critical energy solutions in the Sacramento region, across California, the nation, and the world.