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 Project Monitoring - An Overview

clock August 29, 2012 15:55 by author Bulletin Board
While project monitoring has always been an important part of EERE’s work, the Recovery Act highlighted a need for greater consistency across programs and sites, as well as a clear delineation of roles and responsibilities. In August 2010, EERE rolled out its Monitoring Plan for Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RDD&D) projects. The plan details the processes involved in the monitoring of all RDD&D awards. [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]

“On the Ground” Project Monitoring - Site Visits

clock August 10, 2012 07:10 by author Bulletin Board
Ensuring project success requires effective monitoring of what’s actually happening “on the ground.” While a Technical Project Officer (TPO) can evaluate a great deal of important project information from his or her home office, known as “desktop monitoring,” this cannot replace the increased level of communication and goodwill built from an onsite visit with the recipient. TPOs utilize site visits as an opportunity for face-to-face meetings to foster an improved relationship with the Recipient, review new and/or complicated grant requirements, and discuss progr... [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]

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]

NEPA: Lessons Learned Under the Recovery Act

clock July 5, 2012 17:01 by author Bulletin Board
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resulted in more than 3,000 Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) projects that required review for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This demanded a previously unparalleled level of effort from the EERE NEPA team and provided the team with the unique opportunity to study the NEPA process applied on a very broad scale. What would be the NEPA “lessons learned” of the Recovery Act? [More]

Monitoring EERE's Recovery Act Portfolio of RDD&D Awards

clock June 21, 2012 11:11 by author Bulletin Board
As the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Recovery Act-funded projects were quickly initiated to provide an economic stimulus, EERE needed tools and processes to ensure uniform oversight across the portfolio of programs and technologies. As of the fall of 2010, an EERE-wide central repository had not been established for storing and analyzing project performance data for Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RDD&D) awards. In addition to this lack of a central monitoring and reporting system, a reference hub where Technical Project Officers (TPOs) located in multiple offices could view guidance documents, access forms, or retrieve other relevant data did not exist. [More]

Improving the NEPA Review Process

clock June 8, 2012 15:35 by author Bulletin Board
How does the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) process more than 3,000 new projects ­­- many with subawards - generated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) to meet the compliance standards of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)? How can this be done quickly and efficiently so that projects can get underway and Recovery Act funds can be put into the economy as soon as possible? How is project status reported across various offices in a timely manner? These were just some of the challenges facing the EERE NEPA team as they began this herculean effort in 2009. [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]