|3, 2011 Volume 3, Issue 4|
The Weatherization PLUS Newsletter
Economic Opportunity Studies, Inc. | www.weatherizationplus.org
Special Post-Conference Edition
NASCSP Mid-Winter Training Conference
DOE Monitoring and Inspection Evolves
New requirements for states will affect local agency reviews. – The DOE’s headquarters team introduced the new federal monitoring protocols; they show how "feds" will validate whether state monitors are reviewing all documentation local agencies should provide regarding both fiscal and service delivery quality. Intended result: a single, predictable set of federal monitoring standards and practices. Issues emphasized in recent Inspector General (IG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports are addressed. The full presentation is at the WAPTAC website in the 2011 NASCSP Mid-Winter WAP Conference Materials Presentations under the "Monitoring Update" section.
The impending federal home inspection initiative was later outlined by Erica Burrin, Energy Project Specialist, of NETL and DOE headquarters. Federally-contracted home inspectors will be deployed to validate the States’ worksite monitoring process and will visit about 30,000 completed homes.
Local agencies: what to expect in all monitoring. – There is a uniform list of state and sub-grantee documents that will be expected for all monitoring, whether fiscal or home inspections. The DOE has extracted them into a checklist along with supporting best practices (see slide 20). Have them ready! Coming soon to weatherizationplus.org: a model local job file with notes to help you produce your own.
A federal ‘Quality Assurance’ visit means inspecting of homes and their related files. – When the contracted inspectors from the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) have been trained, they will visit a representative sample of 5% of ARRA homes and examine the client work files related to those homes. These inspectors report to the federal Project Officer for the state who is responsible for taking any official action. Unfortunately, this means that local agencies will not have the inspectors’ reports and guidance. Exception: where hazards are found, the inspectors will act quickly to be sure the right parties take corrective action immediately.
DOE Health and Safety Guidance
The DOE has recently issued revised Health and Safety (H&S) Guidance, Weatherization Program Notice (WPN) 11-6, to provide clarity and consistency in how H&S issues are approached by grantees. The notice requires many states to make a different kind of H&S plan and change some policies.
Goals – The Guidance stresses that the primary goal of the program remains "energy efficiency." The Guidance concerns "energy-related health & safety measures [which] are those actions necessary to maintain the physical well-being of both the occupants and/or weatherization workers where:
What to expect – New H&S plans have been, or will be, put in place. The DOE has told states to budget Health and Safety costs as a separate category so as to exclude the costs from the overall average per-unit costs and avoid energy-savings cost justification.
NCAF Energy Symposium
A two-day Washington DC meeting of more than 100 CAA energy leaders showcased issues in the future of the Weatherization Program and offered training to support innovations.
Developing sustainable community investments – Michael Karp, of Michael Karp and Associates, Inc. led an inspired session: "Imagining and Designing a Sustainable Community Investment Strategy". Dozens of CAA leaders participated in visioning exercises, worked through basic business plans, and learned that connecting stakeholders early is important for strategic partnerships and establishing funding sources. Case studies of innovative CAA projects that inspired participants’ alternatives are online at ncaf.org under "Energy".
Setting up a fee-for-service venture for your non-profit – Susan White of ACKCO and Ken Robinette, Director of South Central CAP, Twin Falls, ID, delivered two days of training on the financial and legal requirements for such enterprises as well as the process of creating a sound business plan.
New energy products and materials were presented by experts, including:
The Newsletter of Economic Opportunity Studies’ Weatherization PLUS Leveraging Partnership Project brings timely information about developments that expand the Weatherization Assistance Program to help your organization take advantage of emerging opportunities. Visit the Weatherization PLUS portal for more information.
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