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.
Each year, EERE is allocated money to invest in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. These financial assistance awards are a means for turning agency goals and priorities into real-world changes in communities, businesses, and labs across the country. Monitoring these agreements is a way to ensure that tax dollars are being spent efficiently, effectively, and in accordance with the law. Monitoring is also vital to identifying problems and solving them to help keep projects on track.
While Recipients of financial assistance awards are responsible for their own projects and results, they don’t work in isolation. DOE Project Officers work with Recipients to articulate and understand the objectives, schedule, costs, and other parameters associated with a financial assistance award project. In this collaboration, regular reports on progress, finances, and achievement of technical objectives, plus site visits and regular communication, provide the information necessary to keep the project moving forward. And, if the project should encounter a bump in the road, the PO is available to provide direction and technical assistance.
Ultimately, EERE’s monitoring efforts help to realize the maximum benefit from public dollars by informing decision makers, and connecting Recipients with solutions to problems.