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]

TPO Creates Tracking Tool to Keep a Close Eye on Project Performance

clock August 3, 2012 16:53 by author Bulletin Board
The Recovery Act brought many new grants to the EERE, which greatly expanded the project portfolios of Technical Project Officers (TPOs).  To help manage his workload, a TPO overseeing a suite of hydroelectric projects has developed a straightforward, Excel-based spreadsheet to track monthly financial data in both numerical and graphical forms. The value of this tool is that it helps the TPO identify monthly variances between actual and budgeted amounts, thus providing a near real-time picture of a project’s financial performance.  Additionally, a quick analysis of the trends... [More]

Finding the Resources to Assist EERE’s Diverse Range of Grantees

clock July 20, 2012 15:43 by author Bulletin Board
Government regulations for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) grants can be overwhelming for new grantees, and this problem can be magnified when there is a language barrier involved. This was the case in a Spanish speaking U.S. territory. Although the Technical Project Officer (TPO) was well qualified to monitor the project, it became clear during a site visit that something was getting lost in translation. [More]

Optimizing the TPO Onsite Visit Experience: A Real-World Example

clock May 22, 2012 10:09 by author Bulletin Board
EERE’s Technical Project Officers (TPOs) conduct periodic onsite visits (or onsite reviews) for projects to monitor progress and assess recipient performance. The TPO determines whether a site visit is needed based on conversations with the recipients, reporting information, and monitoring requirements. These visits provide the opportunity to obtain firsthand information and meet the key players in person.

Given the large number of projects in EERE’s financial assistance award portfolio, TPOs have developed methods to make the best use of limited time during the visits. [More]

Public-Facing Dashboard Helps to Ensure Accountability

clock May 14, 2012 10:11 by author Bulletin Board
One way to ensure accountability is to show the public how well a project is meeting its stated Recovery Act goals. A large municipal government in the western United States developed a website dedicated to showing its citizens the progress it made on its building retrofit program. The public-facing dashboard provides both financial information and a range of statistics showing the number of retrofits completed by category. Categories include single and multi-family homes, small businesses, larger commercial entities, hospitals, and city-owned buildings. Summary statistics show both energy assessments conducted and retrofits completed. [More]

The Project Management Plan: A Recipient’s Stellar Example

clock May 4, 2012 11:35 by author Bulletin Board
Thanks to the Recovery Act, the EERE portfolio of financial assistance grew eight-fold, resulting in a broad range of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology projects. Regardless of the type of the Recipient or the technology focus, DOE expects all Recipients to meet basic requirements of accountability, oversight, monitoring, and reporting.

Good planning at the outset of a project helps ensure strong performance during implementation. One tool in particular that DOE believes is particularly useful is known as the Project Management Plan (PMP). [More]

Not Reinventing the Wheel: Using Information from Past Projects

clock April 20, 2012 14:40 by author Bulletin Board
Leveraging past work enables DOE to save time and money. For example, one Recipient used data collected from a previous residential solar photovoltaic (PV) project to advance new efforts to integrate these distributed energy systems into the regional power grid.

This Recipient, a publicly-owned utility company in the Western United States, is using Recovery Act funds to determine the best configuration for integrating small PV systems into the power grid, including an analysis of storage and transmission needs. Two types of configurations are being tested, using a select group of residential customers with grid-connected solar PV systems. The project involves collaboration with a half dozen other entities, including companies in the construction, engineering, and solar power industries. [More]

Enhancing Project Management with Effective Project Communication

clock April 13, 2012 16:14 by author Bulletin Board
Well-run projects generally have effective communications occurring among project participants. This is even more critical when the Recipient is a consortium consisting of multiple members and different teams from academia, industry, and government. One such complex Recipient is utilizing a web-based communications tool that identifies ongoing research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities in order to communicate with its various members as well as the interested public. [More]

Recipient’s Facebook Project Page Helping to Inform and Update the Public

clock February 13, 2012 16:32 by author Bulletin Board
Mention Facebook, Twitter, or other social media websites and most people will assume these are online ways of staying in touch with friends and family or getting updates on the latest celebrity gossip. But many EERE Recipients use Facebook as a communications tool to improve transparency by enhancing public awareness of projects in real time. One particular Recipient is using a Facebook account to give a general overview of the project and to provide updates on progress towards meeting project goals. [More]