Frequently Asked Questions

Select a FOA to view questions and answers for the specific funding opportunity. Alternatively select "Non-FOA related items" to view system FAQ items.

Question 1: If the leveraging is less than 50% by the applicant will the project be thrown out, or will it just receive a lesser score?
Answer 1:

Per Section III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION C. Cost Leveraging, from the FOA:

Cost Leveraging 50%

The agency requesting financial assistance must provide at least 50% of the total allowable costs for the project (i.e., the sum of the EERE share and the Recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project). Pursuant to the considerations identified in 42 USC 8256 (b) (3) (c)-(d), such cost leveraging may come from either Federal or non-Federal sources. Private sector cost leveraging through an alternative financing mechanism—such as an ESPC or UESC contract—is strongly encouraged.

 

 

Question 2: Please provide a copy of the webinar presentation held on 11/12/2013.
Answer 2:

The presentation slides and transcript are available on the FEMP Training site.

Question 3: If a grant is awarded, what is the deadline for the expenditure of funds?
Answer 3:

Per the FOA, I. FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION, D. PROJECT PERFORMANCE TARGETS. “Project Schedule. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to propose a project schedule that is both challenging and achievable. An overly aggressive and unrealistic schedule should be avoided because funds will not be made available until the Final Deliverable has been accomplished and verified in accordance with the schedule negotiated between EERE and the Recipient. Furthermore, awards may be terminated, cancelled, and/or payments may be withheld if the Final Deliverable is not met in accordance with the project schedule. Conversely, an overly conservative schedule is not desirable because of the potential negative impact for completing the project in a timely manner. The project schedule will be based on the content of the Full Application and finalized during award negotiations.”

Question 4: Do government funded facilities qualify?
Answer 4:

AFFECT is for any US Federal government-owned facility. If an entity is Federal government funded, but not Federal-government owned, it would not be eligible.

Per the FOA, III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

A. ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

Only U.S. Federal Agencies, Sub-Agencies, and National Laboratory Contractors are eligible to apply for funding under this FOA. A domestic or overseas facility (existing or new) must be owned by the U.S. Federal government to be eligible.

 

Question 5: Would new Federal government facilities be eligible to apply?
Answer 5:

Yes, new and existing Federal government owned facilities are eligible.

Question 6: What is the definition of “federal facility”?
Answer 6:

For the purposes of this FOA, a federal facility means any building, structure, or fixture or part thereof which is owned by a United States Federal agency.

Question 7: Can the CHP or renewable project be part of a larger project/effort?
Answer 7:

Yes, Per the FOA, I.  FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION

D.  PROJECT PERFORMANCE TARGETS

Bundled Projects. CHP or renewable energy projects proposed under this FOA may be “bundled” with other energy conservation measures; for example, through an ESPC or agency initiative. Note, however, that funds provided under this FOA may only be used for the CHP or renewable energy portions of these larger efforts. Furthermore, the cost basis for determining the associated cost leverage must be representative of only the CHP (Topic Area 1) and/or renewable energy (Topic Area 2) portions of these larger efforts. For example, if an ESPC includes $10M in energy conservation measures, but only $2M is related to CHP and/or renewables, and $0.5M in EERE funds are being requested, only $1.5M can be counted as cost leverage to be applied to the project proposed under this FOA.

Question 8: How can CHP/renewable project developers work with Federal agencies through AFFECT?
Answer 8:

Only Federal agencies and sub agencies are eligible to apply as the prime applicant to AFFECT. Project developers should work directly with Federal agencies to establish partnerships for potential AFFECT projects.

Question 9: Are state government agencies eligible to apply to AFFECT?
Answer 9:

No, only Federal agencies are eligible to apply to AFFECT.

Question 10: Can I request technical assistance?
Answer 10:

Per the Notice of Intent (DE-FOA-0000898), “FEMP technical assistance related to the objectives of the AFFECT FOA will only be available to Federal agencies up until the release of the FOA, which is tentatively scheduled for release in the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2014.”

Question 11: Can a 30% Federal tax credit count as part of the applicant’s 50% leveraging since it would be part of an ESPC and the ESCO would be getting the 30% leveraged funding from a Federal agency (which slide #19 of the presentation says is allowable)?
Answer 11:

Yes - The tax credit contributes to the agency/ESCO financial contribution and not FEMP’s contribution. As long as the Federal agency and/or ESCO contributes more than 50% of total costs, they have met the AFFECT cost sharing/leveraging requirement for this FOA.

Question 12: Is a military base a federal agency / eligible to apply?
Answer 12:

The Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force are Federal agencies. For National Guard facilities, the facility/building or property has to be Federally owned.

Question 13: The webinar training and guidance docs indicate I need to provide more information than what was transmitted via the exchange. Can you please let me know if additional information is required for the Letter of Intent (LOI)?
Answer 13:

In addition to what is requested on the exchange website:

(Applicant:* / Project Title:* / Abstract:* / Topic:* / Lead Organization:* / Organization Type:* / Lead Organization Percent Effort (1-100):* / Technical Point of Contact:* First Name:* / Last Name: */ Title: / Email:* / Country: / Address: / City: / State: / ZIP: / Phone:* / Fax:) *Required

 

For the 1-page Letter of Intent: Per the FOA," IV.  APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

B.  CONTENT AND FORM OF THE LETTER OF INTENT

To be eligible to submit a Full Application, Applicants must submit a 1-page Letter of Intent by the specified due date. Letters of Intent will be used by EERE to plan for the merit review process. The letters should not contain any proprietary or sensitive business information. The letters will not be used for down-selection purposes and do not commit an applicant to submit a Full Application.

 Each Applicant must provide the following information as part of the 1-page Letter of Intent:

          Project Title;

          Project Location(s);

          Lead Organization;

          Anticipated Project Budget (EERE and Cost Leverage);

          Anticipated Project Duration;

          The Project Team, including:

·                 The Principal Investigator (PI) for the Applicant; and

·                 Key Participants (i.e., individuals who contribute in a substantive, measureable way to the execution of the proposed project);

          Technical Topic or Area; and

          Abstract – The abstract provided must be no longer than 200 words in length, and must provide a truncated explanation of the proposed project.

A control number will be issued when an Applicant submits their Letter of Intent. This control number must be included with the Full Application documents, as described below."

Question 14: Will you be posting how many applicants submitted a Letter of Intent?
Answer 14:

No - FEMP will not be posting/showing the number of applicants that have submitted a letter of Intent.

Question 15: Does a specific (cost-share) partner need to be identified for the LOI?
Answer 15:

No – a specific (cost-share) partner does not need to be identified for the LOI.

Question 16: The period of time between the LOI and the proposal deadline seems short if in that time all contracting details need to be worked out. Can these details be worked out after the proposal is submitted?
Answer 16:

Yes, the applicant should propose a timetable for the details to be worked.  Maximum time is 24 months.

Question 17: Are National Guard sites eligible for AFFECT? Because the ownership and funding arrangements are unique for different National Guard sites, in what cases are these sites eligible for a grant from the AFFECT FOA?
Answer 17:

Because the National Guard is a Federal agency, it meets that criteria of the underlying law.  Further, the eligibility depends upon the ownership of the facility and upon whether the energy usage is reported as Federal Energy.  If the facility is owned by the Federal government and it reports the energy use of that facility as Federal energy use (which is compiled by the Annual Report to Congress), then the facility would be eligible for AFFECT.

 

Case 1:  Land is owned by state; facility is purchased by the Federal government; employees are hired by the State but federally funded;  energy use is reported as federal consumption.  In this case, the key is that the facility is owned by the Feds and energy is reported as federal consumptions.  This case is eligible.  The other details of this case are extraneous.

 

Case 2 (eg. Ft Carson):  Building is federally owned and the energy usage is reported as Federal energy usage.  This facility is eligible.  The following details of this case are extraneous:  the land is federally owned, the State pays a portion of the utility and O&M costs but is reimbursed by Feds.

 

Case 3:  Land is owned by state; facility is owned by state; energy is NOT reported as Federal consumption.  This case is not eligible.  The following detail is extraneous:  the energy manager for this case is funded by the federal government.

Question 18: Is there a list or forum that will be available so that non-federal companies might be able to partner with federal agencies looking for CHP or renewable energy technology?
Answer 18:

FEMP will not be providing a forum for non-federal companies to partner with Federal agencies interested in CHP or renewable technology.

Question 19: From the FOA under B. TOPIC AREAS/TECHNICAL AREAS OF INTEREST, "Funding from this FOA may only be applied to activities related to the development of a CHP or renewable energy system at Federal facilities. Both early and mature projects are encouraged to submit applications to this FOA, as EERE recognizes that each proposal will be at a unique stage of development." Please clarify "early and mature projects". Can they be currently part of an existing/signed task order? Can they be under contract in design phase? Can they be under construction?
Answer 19:

No - they cannot be currently part of an existing/signed task order. 

Not if the contract is design and build.  It could be allowed if they are simply under contract for design.

No – they cannot be under construction.

Question 20: Please provide guidance on submitting the “1-page Letter of Intent” described in the FOA.
Answer 20:

After filling in the initial blanks for the "Letter of Intent", proceed to the "Full Application" page to upload your "1-page Letter of Intent" described in the FOA.  Please note do not click "Submit" after uploading you "1-page Letter of Intent".  Once the letter of intent has been uploaded, there will be no confirmation. However, EERE Exchange will be alerted that a LOI has been uploaded.  You will be able to upload the remaining application documents from this page before submitting the full application package.

 

Question 21: For the life cycle cost analysis, does the project need to be LCC effective prior to inclusion of the AFFECT grant money?
Answer 21:

No, the project does not need to be LCC effective prior to the inclusion of AFFECT funds, but it must be LCC effective once the AFFECT funds are included. It is acceptable for the AFFECT funds to be used to move a project from non-LCC effective to LCC effective.

Question 22: Who would need to provide the Project Partner Letter of Commitment for the full application?
Answer 22:

Per the FOA, the “Team and Resources” section of the Project Narrative should include “A description of the Project Team, including Letters of Commitment for any project partners if available.” If a project partner is selected by the time of the full application, a letter of commitment from that partner should be included in the application. However, if a project partner is not selected by the time of the full application, the project partner letter of commitment is not required. Regardless, the application package should include an organizational letter of commitment from the applying organization.

Question 23: Will DOE provide feedback on the LOIs?
Answer 23:

No – DOE will not be providing any feedback on the LOIs.

Question 24: Please provide further guidance on what to include in letter of commitment? Referring to page 16 of the FOA it lists the following in the requirements table “Cost Leverage Verification (1-page maximum per letter)”. What is section IV.C.1 referring to? Is the separate file the Cost Leverage Verification letter or another file?
Answer 24:

• An organization letterhead.

• Signed by someone with the appropriate authority.

• A brief description of the organization and its proposed role in the project.

• A statement that if the application is selected for funding, the organization is authorized and committed to participating in the project as described in the application.

• A cost leverage verification would include all of the above elements, plus a statement of the amount of financial contribution the organization is committed to providing to the project.

The reference to section IV.C.1 in the webinar was for the Cost Leverage Verification, therefore yes, the “separate file" is the Cost Leverage Verification letter.

Question 25: Please provide an address for the Letter of Commitment.
Answer 25:

The letter of commitment can be addressed to the following:

 

U.S. Department of Energy

Federal Energy Management Program

1000 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20585

Question 26: Please clarify what is required for the following documents: • Life Cycle Cost Analysis Calculation - Are you looking for just the calculation or the full analysis? • Organizational Letter of Commitment - Please explain what needs to be contained in this letter. • Project Partner Letters of Commitment – if we do not have a partner ESCO is it acceptable not to submit this letter? • Cost Leverage Verification - Are you just looking for an explanation of where the leveraged funds will come from?
Answer 26:

The core features of a letter of commitment include:

          On organization letterhead.

          Signed by someone with the appropriate authority.

          A brief description of the organization and its proposed role in the project.

          A statement that if the application is selected for funding, the organization is authorized and committed to participating in the project as described in the application.

          A cost leverage verification would include all of the above elements, plus a statement of the amount of financial contribution the organization is committed to providing to the project.

The Organizational Letter of Commitment and LCCA calculation are required. The Project Partner Letter of Commitment and Cost Leverage Verification should be included if available.

The amount of information to include in the LCCA analysis is at the discretion of the Applicant; however, enough information should be included so as to make it clear how the cost-effectiveness of the project was determined.

Question 27: May the grant be used for scoping/planning purposes? At this point, we are not prepared for installation. Do you foresee it being offered again next year?
Answer 27:

Per the FOA, “To apply to this FOA, an application must at minimum provide an identification and preliminary analysis of a technically and economically viable capital project or set of projects at a specific Federally-owned site or set of sites that implements a CHP (Topic Area 1) or renewable energy (Topic Area 2) technology… For more information on what a preliminary analysis may entail, please reference http://www.midwestcleanenergy.org/support/feasibility.aspx and https://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/technologies/distributed-scalere.html#res.”

 

Also per the FOA, “Funding from this FOA may only be applied to activities related to the development of a CHP or renewable energy system at Federal facilities. Both early and mature projects are encouraged to submit applications to this FOA, as EERE recognizes that each proposal will be at a unique stage of development. Ancillary activities that facilitate the successful installation and operation of a CHP or renewable energy system (e.g. site infrastructure upgrades) may also qualify if an Applicant can clearly demonstrate to EERE’s satisfaction that the proposed activities are necessary for the successful implementation of a CHP or renewable energy project.”

 

If you have not performed any preliminary analysis, they likely do not meet the minimum requirements. However, if you have performed some preliminary analysis, early projects are encouraged to apply. Funds may be used for scoping/planning purposes, but they may have to request an exception to the final deliverable-based payment schedule.

 

Future funding for AFFECT is contingent upon budget appropriations, but we currently anticipate releasing AFFECT on an annual basis. However, please note that the technology emphasis may change from one release to the next.

Question 28: In the Full Application it is a requirement to define the percent effort for the lead organization and other organizations. Can you explain what is meant by “effort”? For example, if the Government is completing a renewable project at their facility, and procuring the entire installation of the project from an ESCO through an ESPC or PPA, how would the percent of effort be defined in that scenario? Also, when defining the cost share for the project, is the applicant supposed to assume a funding level from DOE? Does this assumption represent the applicant’s request for a specific amount of money from DOE? Similarly, on the SF-424 form there is a requirement to identify the funding provided by each of the following: a. Federal * b. Applicant * c. State * d. Local * e. Other * f. Program Income * g. TOTAL For a project being implemented via an ESPC or PPA, how would the funding be represented on this form? For the applicant information I’m assuming that we can submit the application on behalf of, and with the permission of, a Federal Government customer. Under this scenario are we (applicant) the applicant on the SF-424 form or is the Federal Government?
Answer 28:

The “percent effort” can be correlated to the estimated number of man-hours each organization is planning to contribute towards the project.

 

Per the FOA, “For the purposes of this FOA, cost leverage is essentially the total cost of developing and implementing the CHP or renewable energy project minus the EERE share.” Yes, the cost leverage for the project should take into account the amount requested from FEMP. For more information, please reference Appendix B in the FOA.

 

On the SF424, please list the amount requested from FEMP under “Federal” and the amount of cost leverage under “Applicant.”

 

Per the FOA, “Only U.S. Federal Agencies, Sub-Agencies, and National Laboratory Contractors are eligible to apply for funding under this FOA. A domestic or overseas facility (existing or new) must be owned by the U.S. Federal government to be eligible.” The Applicant must be a Federal entity, not a project partner. Any application submitted by a non-Federal entity may be deemed non-compliant and may not be reviewed. Please ensure that the Federal entity is listed as the prime applicant on the SF424 and that the Federal entity submits the application.

Question 29: What is the CFDA Number (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance) for the SF-424?
Answer 29:

81.117 - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Information Dissemination, Outreach, Training and Technical Analysis/Assistance

Question 30: I am filling out the SF 424. Is this Application subject to EO12372 Review Process?
Answer 30:

AFFECT falls under 81.117: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Information Dissemination, Outreach, Training and Technical Analysis/Assistance. As such, it is excluded from coverage under EO 12372. For more information, please reference: https://www.cfda.gov/index?s=program&mode=form&tab=step1&id=cd1688989e4b8ba7fbfdc8888cbf0577

Question 31: Understanding that the Federal Government is the applicant, the applicant authorized a project partner to register in DOE exchange and submit the LOI for the project. Please describe how the Federal applicant can submit the final application in Exchange when the LOI was originally submitted by a project partner.
Answer 31:

Please use the share permissions feature in the EERE Exchange system to provide full edit and submission access for your Full Application to other EERE Exchange users.  The Federal applicant will have to register for an account in EERE Exchange.  You can find guidance on how to use the share permissions feature in section 6 of EERE Exchange Applicant User Guide.  The guide can be viewed or downloaded from the Manuals section of the Exchange web site.

In your full application you can change the Lead organization to be the Federal Applicant and the team member (partner) to be your organization.  Once the Federal applicant has an Exchange account and shared permissions they can complete the submission in EERE Exchange.

Question 32: I’m having issues submitting the full application. Can you provide any assistance?
Answer 32:

An exchange user guide can be found here: https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/Manuals.aspx

For questions about the Exchange System or submitting an application through Exchange please contact: EERE-ExchangeSupport@hq.doe.gov  

Question 33: Will DOE move the submission deadline back to account for the federal government closure on 2/13/2014?
Answer 33: At this time, DOE is not considering extending the closing date for this FOA.
Question 34: In the SF 424, section 8, applicant information seems to only apply to contractors and not federal entities, however a DUNS number and employer/taxpayer ID is a required field. Should we leave this blank or are we required to register with the CCR and get a DUNS #?
Answer 34:
It is our recommendation that you check with your procurement and/or accounting department regarding this question.  They should be able to provide you with the information needed to complete the SF424 Application. For more information, call Duns and Bradstreet using the toll-free number, 1-866-705-5711 and indicate that you are a Federal grant applicant/prospective applicant.   
Question 35: Regarding the authorized representative - should this be the principal investigator or a senior level person at the agency? If so, at what level?
Answer 35:
An Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) submits a grant on behalf of a company, organization, institution, or government. Only an AOR has the authority to sign and submit grant applications. The AOR is the individual who is authorized to sign on behalf of the proposing organization. It is the organization’s responsibility to determine which individual(s) will have the authority to electronically sign the proposal and provide the required proposal certifications.