Thursday, June 3, 2010

Buy American Waivers Issued

The US Department of Energy has provided two Memorandum of Decision that establish blanket waivers of the Buy American Provision of the EE&CBG Program. The first provides a waiver for incidental items used in a project up to an aggregated limit of no more than 5 percent of the total cost of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in a project. This waiver should simplify record keeping and tracking without substantially impacting the intent of the Buy American Provision. The second Memorandum establishes a blanket waiver for seven categories of manufactured items that US DOE has made a determination of inapplicability because the item is not manufactured in sufficient and reasonably available quantities or of a satisfactory quality. The items covered by the blanket waivers include non-residential programmable thermostats and variable refrigerant flow zoning and inverter-driven ductless mini-split HVAC systems. You may obtain a copy of the waivers by contacting Ken Dyche at (304)257-1221 or (304)813-7619 or

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Proposed Evaluation System

The Region 8 PDC is seeking comments on a proposed evaluation system for EE&CBG projects. You may obtain a copy of the rating system at: The PDC is providing this information to give applicants some idea of the rating system that the PDC will use to evaluate projects. Hopefully, the information will allow local governments to better shape their projects. The rating system is far from cast in stone and your comments, suggestions, and alternatives will help the Council better shape the final rating system. Prompt attention to the rating system is urged as the Council hopes to release the final rating system in early June.

Lighting Projects Now Eligible

The West Virginia Division of Energy has determined that lighting projects are eligible Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant projects. While Courthouse and City Hall projects remain the EE&CBG program's priority, local government lighting projects may seek funding provided that:

The local government applicant owns the existing lighting system.

The new lighting is more efficient that the existing lighting. The application must document the energy savings for the new lighting.

EE&CBG funds are used to pay for the actual cost of lighting and related labor. Costs related to light poles and related labor are not eligible for EE&CBG funding.

Please contact me if you have any questions or interest in pursuing funding for a lighting project. You may reach me at (304)813-7619 outside of my normal office hours.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Window Issues

Significant issues have developed in obtaining favorable SHPO comments for projects that include window replacement in buildings eligible for historic preservation. The SHPO and WV DOE have developed a protocol for handling the more difficult window replacement projects. However, this will add nonproductive cost to the project and creates a certain level of uncertainty. WV DOE has suggested that applicants consider avoiding window replacement in buildings of interest to the SHPO or consider window treatments more acceptable to SHPO. Please contact the PDC if you need additional information.

EE&CBG Update

A little more than six weeks remain before the deadline for submission of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant applications to the Region 8 PDC. Local governments planning to seek funds should have identified a project and be in the process of obtaining cost estimates and technical data. The Regional Council is available to help local governments prepare applications. Please contact Ken Dyche, (304)257-1221 or (304)813-7619, immediately if you need assistance.

The WV Division of Energy (DOE) has slightly modified the EE&CBG program to allow it and the regional councils to accelerate the award of grants. This is especially good news to those concerned about potentially losing all of the 2010 construction season. While June 30 remains the deadline for submission of applications, PDCs may submit projects to the WV DOE before that date. DOE has indicated that it will accelerate its review. The Region 8 PDC encourages the early submission of applications to it as this will allow it to accelerate the submission of a project package to WV DOE.

Review by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) remains a critical element in the EE&CBG program. While the PDC will accept an application without SHPO comments if it has been submitted for SHPO review, the PDC cannot forward an application to the WV DOE for funding consideration without favorable SHPO comments. The ability to accelerate grant awards and project construction will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for the PDC to hold its entire project package for one or two projects that lack SHPO comments. Obviously, if you have not requested comments, it is now time to seek SHPO comments. The PDC can assist with obtaining comments.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Eligible Activities Update

After some reflection the WV Division of Energy has recognized that the purchase of Energy Star appliances does not sufficiently support the EE&CBG's program goal of reducing energy consumption in West Virginia's public buildings. WV DOE will not recognize the purchase of Energy Star appliances as a stand alone eligible activity. While WV DOE will not allow EE&CBG participation where purchase of Energy Star appliances is the sole activity, products identified as Energy Star may be used as part of other activities to achieve better energy efficiency and conservation. This allows the use of Energy Star products in HVAC and lighting upgrades, window/door replacement, and installation of insulation. Using a somewhat different rationale WV DOE has determined that roof replacement and installation of energy efficient toilets do not qualify as eligible activities. Please contact me if you have any questions about eligible activities.

Advice to Project Estimators

Local governments must use appropriate consultants or contractors to provide the technical and cost data that is central to the EE&CBG application. The quality of this information will directly impact a project's competitiveness when the PDC evaluates applications to recommend for funding. The PDC encourages local governments serious about seeking EE&CBG funds to engage qualified consultants (architects, engineers, or energy service companies) or very experienced contractors to provide the required information. An investment in these services will be rewarded with a more competitive application. It is important that these consultants/contractors provide more than a cost estimate. Applications that lack documentation of the project's energy impact will not fair well in the evaluation process. The The PDC has prepared a fact sheet titled Advice to Individuals and Firms Providing Estimates that is meant to give a better understanding of the EE&CBG features that will impact cost. You will find a link to the fact sheet in the right hand column. We urge you to provide this information to those working on your project.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Region 8 PDC Technical Assistance

Slightly more than two months remain before local governments must submit applications seeking funds to make energy efficiency and conservation improvements to their buildings. While the EE&CBG application is fairly simple, the program requires technical data to document energy impacts and accurate cost estimates. Local governments must seek comments from the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) before submitting applications to the Region 8 PDC. It will take time to obtain SHPO comments and to develop technical data and cost estimates. Local governments must start their applications very soon if they are to have competitive applications.

If requested, the Region 8 PDC will provide assistance to local governments seeking EE&CBG funds. The PDC's staff will complete application forms using technical and cost information provided by consultants/contractors. The PDC can also seek comments from the SHPO. The Region 8 PDC anticipates that several local governments will need assistance. Local governments needing the PDC's assistance should immediately request help by contacting Delaying this request will adversely impact the PDC's ability to provide assistance and may even preclude meaningful help. Local governments not needing help from the PDC are encouraged to contact the PDC so that all projects can be tracked by the PDC. This will allow the PDC to provide accurate information to the WV DOE and will insure that all governments have the most current program information.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Building Assessment Webinar April 23

WVU's Industrial Assessment Center will hold a webinar on the EE&CBG Building Assessment Questionnaire on April 23 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The Region 8 PDC will host a viewing site for the webinar at its office in Petersburg. You may register for the PDC site by sending an email to: Please note that access sites are very limited and the Region 8 PDC will host the only viewing site in the Potomac Highlands. The Building Assessment Questionnaire is designed to assist local governments in analyzing their project options and assuring that the most energy efficient and cost effective activities are selected. The questionnaire is not a required part of the EE&CBG application and if a local government is certain of its project, the questionnaire is not needed to complete the application. Because of the great demand for WVU IAC assistance, DOE is only encouraging local governments that are still determining their energy project priorities to use the checklist. Please contact me if you have questions.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Notification of Funding Available

The Region 8 PDC has released a Notice of Funding Available (NOFA) for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. The PDC distributed the NOFA to all eligible local governments in West Virginia's Potomac Highlands on April 1. The NOFA provides the official notice that the PDC will accept applications for grant assistance until June 30, 2010. The PDC hopes that the NOFA will spur interest in the program by local governments needing to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. You can obtain the NOFA at:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Conference Call Agenda - April 6

Please check back before the conference call for the most recent agenda.

Region 8 PDC
April 6, 2010

Purpose of Call


Next Call

General Questions

EE&CBG Application

Historic Preservation Checklist

Building Assessment Questionnaire

Web Sites


Potential Projects

Next Steps

Wrap Up

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WV State Historic Preservation Office Review

Complying with the requirement that all projects obtain comments from the WV State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) through a Section 106 Review will be one of the most time consuming steps in successfully developing an EE&CBG project. SHPO comments may force an applicant to alter plans or to completely forgo an activity. Applicants should not assume that it can quickly comply with the requirement. Local governments are encouraged to begin the Section 106 review process very early in the development of a project. The WV SHPO has developed a Section 106 Review Checklist that applicants can use to start the review process. The Region 8 PDC will help local governments submit the WV SHPO checklist. Interested local governments can download the checklist from:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Application & Building Questionnaire

The WV Division of Energy has released the EE&CBG application. Interested individuals can obtain a copy of the application by visiting the PDC's web site: or by contacting the PDC. The application is in a fillable PDF format. Local governments must submit completed applications through the Region 8 PDC. I urge individuals participating in the April 6 conference call to review the EE&CBG application before the call.

Local governments can also access WVU- IAC's Building Assessment Questionnaire at the PDC web site: As with the application, the PDC will provide you a copy if you cannot access the from on the Internet. The Building Questionnaire serves as the entry point for WVU - IAC technical assistance and may be useful in structuring your application. I urge all local governments interested in EE&CBG funding to complete the questionnaire.

The PDC will provide technical assistance to local governments.

Conference Call April 6

The Region 8 PDC will host a conference call on Tuesday April 6 at 2:00 pm to continue the discussion of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant in the Potomac Highlands. The call will focus on EE&CBG application issues and the planning of PDC technical assistance. You may access the conference call by dialing 1-888-850-4523 and entering pass code 868000. The PDC will post an agenda for the conference call on the morning of April 6. Please contact me if you wish to add an item to the agenda.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Agenda for March 23 Conference Call

Individuals planning to participate in the 2:00 pm March 23 EE&CBG Program Conference call will find an agenda at the Region 8 PDC web site. The call will focus solely on the implementation of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program in West Virginia's Potomac Highlands. Please contact Stacey at (304)257-1221 for assistance in accessing the conference call.

Friday, March 19, 2010

EE&CBG Conference Call

On March 18 the Region 8 PDC formally agreed to participate in the West Virginia Division of Energy's (WV DOE) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EE&CBG) Program. The WV DOE has allocated $682,430.97 to the Region 8 PDC to allow it to fund energy efficiency retrofit projects to city and county government buildings in Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, and Pendleton Counties. The program design requires that the PDC assign priority to County Courthouses and City/Town Halls and limits funding for any one project to a maximum of $200,000.

The PDC has scheduled a conference call for 2:00 pm on Tuesday March 23 as a kick off for this exciting opportunity to improve local government facilities in the Potomac Highlands. The call will allow the PDC to review program parameters, outline application procedures, and to begin to identify potential projects. The PDC hopes that local government will participate in this conference by dialing 1-888-757-2790 and entering the pass code 985988. Interested individuals can obtain the fact sheet "Advice to Local Governments Interested in the EE&CBG Program" at the Region 8 PDC's web site