To accelerate the development and commercialization of sustainable energy technologies & solutions.

Guiding Principles

Energy efficiency is at the core of what we do.

  • The inspiration for our work comes from our roots as a land grant institution and the first university-based center in energy efficiency.
  • As is the case with the loading order in the State of California, energy efficiency is the first resource we look towards for achieving society’s energy (and related greenhouse gas emission reduction) goals.
  • We recognize that energy efficiency is a critical component within the broader energy system, which is in turn, a critical system within the broader network of societal infrastructure.

The evolving energy system needs integrated solutions.

  • We work at the nexus between energy and many fields, leveraging UC Davis’ substantial strengths in lighting, HVAC systems, buildings, water, agriculture and food-production, sustainable transportation, fuel cells & batteries, economics, life sciences, health and well-being, and human and community development.
  • Tackling the hardest problems requires leveraging the best resources. We connect the right expertise with key policy-makers, industry representatives, and stakeholders.
  • Working together, we analyze and use data, technologies, and policies to solve problems that cross systems, disciplines and scales.

Innovation matters most when it is adopted at scale.

  • Impact requires accounting for the perspectives and behaviors of all stakeholders who invest, deliver and benefit from energy services.
  • New solutions don’t have to be invented here — great ideas can come from academia or anywhere – our ultimate goal is to translate them into reality.
  • We strive to improve investment in and access to clean, affordable energy services and develop solutions that enhance the quality of life for all, in California and beyond.
  • Our campus facilities and operations can provide a living laboratory for the world.


Realizing change requires a comprehensive approach to education.

  • We view each project as a chance to provide experiential learning for our faculty, staff, and students.
  • The classroom extends beyond UC Davis’ walls. We seek ways to advance life-long learning (K-12, trades, leadership training, etc.) and to partner with sister educational institutions to leverage resources and reach audiences of all learning levels.
  • The Institute strives to export the best ideas California has to offer globally and import innovations from around the world.