Mid-Atlantic Recipient Ensures Fair Wages for Workers

clock September 10, 2011 15:50 by author Bulletin Board
Effective communication and documentation helps EERE grant recipients comply with Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) requirements, as exhibited in the practices of one hard-working Recipient. Like many others, this Recipient excels not only in technical areas, but also in the administration of their EERE award, including ensuring that DBA requirements are being met.

DBA requires that each contract over $2,000 to which the United States or the District of Columbia is a party for the construction of public buildings contain a clause requiring contractors to pay the prevailing wages as determined by the Secretary of Labor to laborers and mechanics employed upon site of work. Laborers and Mechanics are defined as the various types of skilled workers employed under the contract. [More]

Real-Time Recordkeeping Increases Transparency and Speeds Compliance

clock September 2, 2011 13:51 by author Bulletin Board
For one Northwestern city, efforts to encourage transparency and compliance with Federal requirements have improved recordkeeping to provide EERE Project Officers direct access to an internal information system that contains key compliance information. This system is expected to yield easily accessible records for future audits and ensure efficient and accurate notification of compliance with Federal labor regulations.

By engaging workers and providing real-time recordkeeping, the Recipient is ensuring that the project continues to provide the local community with good jobs at fair wages, while working to restore habitat and power American homes and businesses. [More]

DOE Works with Other Agencies to Ensure that Resources Are Used Wisely

clock August 28, 2011 17:23 by author Bulletin Board
When a project is considered for an EERE award, one might assume that DOE is the only Federal agency that will review it, but this is not always the case. In order to assure that taxpayer dollars are being spent on safe, effective projects that meet all Federal regulations, EERE frequently collaborates with other Federal departments during the approval process. A great example of this can be found in one Western U.S. state where a private company was awarded an EERE grant through its state energy office for an innovative hydropower project. [More]

Sizing Renewable Energy Projects to meet Categorical Exclusions Leads to Quicker Energy Savings

clock August 19, 2011 20:09 by author Bulletin Board
Recovery Act funding through EERE enabled a New England state energy office to greatly expand its renewable energy incentive program. The program provides residential and commercial consumers with partial installation costs for small-scale wind, solar, and hydropower systems as well as rebates once the systems are up and running.

Close coordination between the DOE EERE Project Officers and DOE EERE National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Specialists allowed Project Officers to aid recipients in defining proposed renewable energy projects that would not have a potential for significant environmental impact and would qualify for a categorical exclusion determination under DOE’s NEPA regulations. [More]

EERE’s Recovery Act Projects Prepare America’s Next Generation of Skilled Workers

clock August 15, 2011 16:33 by author Bulletin Board
Among the key goals of EERE’s Recovery Act programs is the creation of American jobs through energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This goal brings to mind images of physicists or biochemists working in labs to develop new technologies, or architects and mechanical engineers designing high-performance or green buildings. While Recovery Act projects do require the work of scientists and engineers, they also employ people working in the skilled trades, such as electricians and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanics. Workers in the skilled trades perform vital work in building, installing, renovating, and repairing energy efficient building systems and renewable energy equipment. [More]

Analysis of Audits Paves the Way for Improvements at DOE

clock July 29, 2011 16:03 by author Bulletin Board
Implementation of the Recovery Act is not only creating jobs while advancing science and technology; it is also giving us at EERE an opportunity to improve our own efficiency and effectiveness. To make the most of this opportunity, EERE’s Office of Field Operations (FO) conducted a comprehensive analysis of audit findings related to programs that EERE sponsored or implemented under the Recovery Act. The analysis covers [more than/almost] sixty audits undertaken between February 2009 and May 2011 by the Department’s Office of the Inspector General and the US Government Accountability Office, as well as by outside auditors that reviewed recipients’ use of EERE financial assistance. The audits cover both EERE as a whole and individual EERE programs, spanning projects in every state, the District of Columbia, and several US territories and Native American tribal lands. [More]

Working with Stakeholders to Keep Projects on Track

clock July 8, 2011 15:00 by author Bulletin Board
In 2009, Recovery Act funding enabled 16 cities to scale up their most promising urban solar energy projects and overcome key barriers. DOE will share the lessons learned and best practices from these projects with local governments throughout the nation. One particular Solar America Cities Special Project is focused on integrating a solar electric power system into the city’s disaster preparedness plans. [More]

Revolving Loan Fund Creates Cycle of Energy Savings and Job Creation

clock July 1, 2011 14:19 by author Bulletin Board
Sometimes energy efficiency and renewable energy projects are about creating cutting edge technologies. In other cases the focus is instead on breaking down financial barriers that would otherwise prevent people from making cost-effective use of clean energy technologies. Energy revolving loan funds are one way to jumpstart the use of these technologies.

An energy revolving loan fund can be an attractive option for financial assistance awards. In a revolving loan fund, loans are awarded for an initial round of eligible projects, then energy savings from those projects go toward repayment of the loan. The repayment replenishes the fund, allowing for another round of energy efficiency loans for eligible projects. The energy savings from those loans will follow the same cycle as the first round and so on. In this way, the revolving loan fund can create continual upgrades within a jurisdiction with only one initial investment. [More]

Have You Ever Wondered What a “Cooperative Agreement” Is?

clock June 24, 2011 08:07 by author Bulletin Board
You can find out a lot of interesting information about EERE’s work by looking at the projects EERE is funding in communities across the country. You can find out who received an award, how much they received, what work is to be completed, and the type of financial instrument is being used for the award. In most cases, the financial instrument is either “grant” or “cooperative agreement.” Most people are familiar with the concept of grants and how they work, but may have never heard of a cooperative agreement. [More]

Why Does EERE Monitor Financial Assistance Awards?

clock June 17, 2011 13:47 by author Bulletin Board
You wouldn’t drive a car without a dashboard, right? The dashboard- with all of its displays, gauges, and lights- gives the driver all kinds of information he or she needs to drive safely and maintain the car. Likewise, it would be a bad idea to drive the car without ever tuning it up or fixing problems that arise. EERE’s oversight monitoring for financial assistance projects is like a dashboard and responsible maintenance for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Monitoring provides the decision makers with key information about the project, helps prevent problems, and helps to solve them when they arise. [More]