Environmental Justice: making a difference through stakeholder engagement

clock October 12, 2012 15:26 by author Bulletin Board
Environmental Justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.[1]  Fair treatment means that no group of people bears a disproportionate share of negative environmental consequences resulting from the execution of Federal, state and local laws regulations, and policies.  EJ seeks to empower people from all walks of life to protect human health and the environment through participation in env... [More]

Root Cause Analysis: Identifying Common Issues

clock September 4, 2012 10:51 by author Bulletin Board
Whether mandated by law or simply to address topics of interest, numerous audits are performed each year both internally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and externally by other agencies or organizations. Internal DOE audits are typically carried out by the Office of Inspection General (OIG) while external ones are done by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) or independent auditing organizations. Regardless of who conducts the audits, the Office of Program Management and Evaluation (PME) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) works closely as an au... [More]

EERE Mission into Action: Project Planning

clock August 22, 2012 13:40 by author Bulletin Board
EERE’s mission is supporting clean energy technology that strengthen the economy, protects the environment, and reduces dependence on foreign oil, and do so across 10 technology areas: Solar; Geothermal; Biomass; Fuel Cells; Wind/Water; Manufacturing; Vehicles Homes; Buildings; and Government. How does EERE translate this mission into action? The answer: a planning process that disseminates broad-reaching strategies from general multi-year planning documents to detailed annual plans. The project planning process is the first step in the EERE Project Life Cycle, described in a previous blog post: Turning Ideas into Action. This process relies on gathering input from industry stakeholders and examining current market conditions. [More]

Turning Ideas into Action: The EERE Project Life Cycle

clock July 10, 2012 15:35 by author Bulletin Board
All projects begin with an idea. Within EERE, these ideas are often born out of a strategic goal or technology-specific research and development objective. Each year, EERE partners with stakeholders from large and small companies, non-profits, universities, state and local governments, and other public agencies to develop and advance these new energy ideas and goals. These partnerships result in billions of dollars of active projects working towards building a clean energy economy. [More]

What’s the difference between an EERE financial assistance award and a contract?

clock November 10, 2011 15:13 by author Bulletin Board
Contracts and financial assistance awards help EERE to fulfill its mission of investing in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Contracts and financial assistance awards are mechanisms that EERE can use to fund projects, among other purposes. But, while they both connect EERE with other organizations- whether those are private companies, universities, nonprofit organizations, or state and local governments- contracts and financial assistance awards are governed by different rules and have different functions. [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]