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: Our organization is interested in learning more about the possibility of including CHP in a proposed 2.5 acre greenhouse project slated for construction in 2014. Please include us in further communication about this program.
Answer 1:

Please register in to receive automatic updates when Amendments to this FOA are posted. Please monitor and for future Advanced Manufacturing Office FOAs.

Question 2: My company goal is the production of Cellulosic Ethanol produce from Agricultural waste. Cellulosic ethanol can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, help reduce gas prices, and cut Greenhouse gases production. Can this Funding Opportunity Announcement assist me with applying and development of new technology? Thank you For your time.
Answer 2:

The objective of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to seek applications to establish regional Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnerships (CHP TAPs).  Please read the FULL TEXT of the Funding Opportunity Announcement to determine if your organization is interested in applying for an award.

Question 3: Our company is interested in exploring partnership opportunities with other grant applicants. Could you direct me as to how we might obtain information regarding other grant applicants who may be looking for partners?
Answer 3:

DOE does not openly release information regarding grant applicants.  

Question 4: I clicked on the application page and there was not an application there. Can you help me access the location of the application?
Answer 4:

To apply for this FOA you must first create a registration with the EERE Exchange website. After clicking the “Apply” button, please follow all the steps prompted by the Exchange system to complete an application.  

Question 5: I was looking at the Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnerships Funding Opportunity and wanted some clarification as to which industries were included in (E) other energy-intensive industries, as determined by the Secretary. Is there a list living somewhere?
Answer 5:

Please reference Section III.A of the FOA for a definition of “energy-intensive industry.” There is not a specific list regarding (E).

Question 6: This question is in regard to eligibility. The FOA states that a non-profit is eligible but must apply on behalf of one or more energy intensive industries. Our concern is that this puts us in a position where we must work for a specific industry which may compromise our ability to provide services to all potential stakeholders. Can you help us understand the intent and expectation regarding eligibility? One thought we had was to partner with a university. Universities can be major energy users and are adopters of relatively large CHP systems?
Answer 6: The eligibility criteria under this Funding Opportunity requires applicants to apply as or on behalf of one or more energy intensive industries. This does not limit an applicant to apply on behalf of only one industry or organization, thus applicants may address additional stakeholders within their applications. The intent of the eligibility criteria is to allow unrestricted eligibility to all organization types, while maintaining that they represent one or more energy intensive industries. Under this FOA, university and non-profit applicants must include a statement in the Full Application to establish how the entity is acting on behalf of one or more energy intensive industries. The term "energy-intensive  industry" means an industry that uses significant quantities of energy as part of its primary economic activities. A list of energy intensive economic activities is included on page 9 of the FOA document. Applicants should refer to the energy intensive industry definition and list on page 9 of the FOA to determine if they are applying as or on behalf of an energy intensive industry.
Question 7: Does solicitation DE-FOA0000876 cover CHP and district systems for multifamily housing?
Answer 7:

The FOA does cover district energy with CHP, which could include district systems for multifamily housing as long as CHP is utilized.  Note that eligible applicants must represent or act on behalf of an “energy intensive industry” as defined in Section III of the FOA. 

Question 8: For purposes of responding to DE-FOA0000876, we have a question about the 50%+ level of project work required for the prime contractor. Our organization has previously been structured as a partnership between two University partners at different campuses. Since these campuses are part of the same university system and can distribute funds without a formal sub award (per campus agreement) can the two lead universities jointly be considered the "prime contractor" for purposes of meeting this requirement?
Answer 8:

The lead applicant must be one entity. The situation as described above would be acceptable if both campuses operate under the same Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), and System for Award Management (SAM) registration.

Question 9: Would a proposal from an industry not on the list be considered? Would a proposal from the gaming or medical facilities or airports sector be considered?
Answer 9: The FOA is seeking CHP TAPs that will help develop a market for CHP on a regional basis and must work on behalf of energy intensive industries in the region.  The list of energy intensive industries in Section III.A. is not inclusive and the CHP TAP may also work with other industries or sectors as long as the focus is on energy intensive industries as defined in Section III.A. of the FOA.  We encourage all applicants to clearly address the Merit Review Criteria shown in Section V.A.2 in their application where the objectives and goals of the CHP TAPs are laid out.  DOE will be evaluating the applications against these criteria. 
Question 10: I have tried to apply for Grant Funding Number DE-FOA-0000876 through I have been unable to complete the application because the Golden Field Office has not released this FOA to How do I apply under this funding number, or can you guide me in applying under another number? Thank you for any help.
Answer 10:

The full Funding Opportunity Announcement is posted on the EERE eXCHANGE website at Applications must be submitted through the EERE eXCHANGE website to be considered for award. The applicant must first register and create an account on the EERE eXCHANGE website. A User Guide for the EERE eXCHANGE can be found on the EERE website at after logging in to the system. Information on where to submit questions regarding the content of the announcement and where to submit questions regarding submission of applications is found in the full FOA posted on the EERE Exchange website.

Question 11: Do we need a letter from an organization stating that we are filing on behalf of that organization or do we just need to state in the narrative that we are filing on behalf of an organization?
Answer 11:

Eligible entities acting on behalf of one or more energy intensive industries must include a statement in the Full Application to establish how the entity is acting on behalf of one or more energy intensive industries. No letters of support from such industries or organizations are required.

Question 12: Section II. B (pg. 7) of the FOA states that approximately $1,500,000 is expected for new awards in FY2013 and an additional $9,500,000 is expected for awards in years FY2014 through FY2016. Section V. C (pg. 26) states that DOE anticipates making awards by the end of August 2013. Does this mean that $1,500,000 will be available for awards between August 2013 and September 2013, and that the remaining $9,500,000 is expected to be available for awards for the following 3 years? In order to respond appropriately, how should the Applicant define the project period? Should this be August 2013 through FY 2016?
Answer 12:

Initial Federal funding in FY2013 is anticipated to be $1,500,000 to be distributed among all selectees to begin the projects.  DOE anticipates additional funding of $9,500,000 to be distributed among the selected awards in years FY2014 through FY2016 (Note that Funding for all awards and future budget periods are contingent upon the availability of funds appropriated by Congress for the purpose of this program and the availability of future-year budget authority).  Since DOE anticipates making awards that will run for up to 4 years, the project period should propose to start August 2013 (to match when funding will likely be awarded) and end in August 2017.  

Question 13: Can institutional CHP installations qualify or is limited to purely industrial end users?
Answer 13: CHP installations are NOT limited to purely industrial end users.  Applications shall identify a strategy to provide CHP technical assistance to end-users (industrial manufacturers, institutions, commercial building owners, etc.) to support the national goal of deploying 40 gigawatts of new, cost-effective CHP in the US. Note that eligible applicants must represent or act on behalf of an “energy intensive industry” as defined in Section III of the FOA. 
Question 14: 1. Once we submit our letter of intent will that be publicly available? 2. On page 7 of the FOA it states that $1.5M is available for new awards in FY2013. The FOA states that awards will not be made until the end of August, 2013, which is only one month from the end of the FY2013 funding cycle. Should applicants assume that Year 1 begins with FY2013 and is just one month long and with an average budget of $187,000 per region?
Answer 14:

1.   Letters of Intent will remain internal to DOE. However, please note that all applicant submissions to DOE are subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

2.   The Year 1 budget period for this award will begin when the award is formalized between DOE and the Applicant.  Since DOE anticipates making awards in August 2013, applicants should anticipate that the Year 1 budget period will start August 2013 and end August 2014.  Subsequent budget periods will  follow this same schedule, so if an applicant proposes a four year project with four one-year-long budget periods, the entire Project would begin August 2013  (to match when funding will likely be awarded) and end in August 2017.  Applicants should propose their budget based on the funding amounts identified on page 7 as well as this clarification about budget periods lasting a full year (and not shortened to align them with the Federal fiscal year.)

Question 15: On page 12 of the FOA, the Letter of Intent section indicates applicants need to include the amount of funds requested. Does the amount of funds listed in our Letter of Intent need to be exactly the same as the final budget totals we will submit as part of the final application?
Answer 15:

The funding amounts stated in the Letter of Intent should be as accurate as possible at the time of submittal, however these amounts are not required to remain the same in the Full Application submission.

Question 16: What impact will the sequestration have on the this FOA either in terms of budgets or timing?
Answer 16:

At the current time this FOA is moving forward without any indication that sequestration will affect the planned timing or funding amount.  As always, all funding is contingent upon the availability of future appropriations.

Question 17: As we prepare the Letter of Intent ahead of the March 8 deadline for the CHP TAP application, we would appreciate your direction on a small item. Can you please clarify that the Concept Paper referenced in the DE-FOA-0000876 refers to the one-page abstract that is requested or if something additional needs to be submitted with the Letter of Intent?
Answer 17: A Concept Paper is neither required nor requested under this FOA. Applicants are requested to submit a Letter of Intent.  This letter should include the name of the applicant, the title of the project, the name of the Project Director/Principal Investigator(s), the amount of funds requested, and a one-page abstract. Failure to submit such letters will not negatively affect a responsive application submitted in a timely fashion. The Letter of Intent should be sent by E-mail to Please reference Section IV.B.1 of the FOA regarding the submission of a Letter of Intent. 
Question 18: Will the Clean Application Centers have a role in the implementation of the Technical Assistance Partnerships?
Answer 18:

The CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships are intended to be the successors to the Clean Energy Application Centers for providing technical assistance for increasing deployment of new CHP in the US. 



Question 19: We are a private for profit business. We have an experimental CHP plant installed in a state facility in New Hampshire, our technology is in the Beta prototype stage and uses a biomass boiler to produce steam for a uniflow engine that incorporates a number of innovations. We are trying to determine if we are eligible.
Answer 19:

Private for-profit businesses are eligible to apply as long as they are an energy intensive industry, a national trade organization representing an energy intensive industry, or acting on behalf of one or more energy intensive industries (See Section III of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for additional information).  We encourage you to review the objectives of the FOA (Section I) and the criteria by which your application will be reviewed (Section V) if you decide to prepare and submit an application.



Question 20: We understand that Letters of Commitment are to be attached to the Project Narrative. Are they to be attached as a separate file or included as part of the Project Narrative document? If they are to be included as a separate file how should that file be named?
Answer 20: Letters of Commitment should be attached as a separate file and saved as a single file titled “ControlNumber_LeadOrganization_LettersofCommitment” as shown in Section IV.C.7 and the “Summary of Required Forms/Files” chart on page 19 in the FOA document.

Question 21: As a result of submitting this Letter of Intent, should we be receiving a Control Number for our full proposal submission?
Answer 21:

Applicants will receive a control number when they begin the application process in the EERE Exchange system. The EERE Exchange system issues the control number.   

Question 22: We are interested in submitting a response to EERE Opportunity DE-FOA-0000876: Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnerships. We did not submit a Letter of Intent for this Announcement. Section IV, B of the Announcement, entitled “Letter of Intent, Pre-Application, and Concept Paper,” states that “Failure to submit such letters will not negatively affect a responsive application, submitted in a timely fashion.” We interpret this to indicate the LOI is not necessarily a prerequisite for submitting a Full Application, and that we are still eligible to submit the Full Application. Is this the case?
Answer 22:

Yes, a Letter of Intent is requested but not required to submit a Full Application.

Question 23: With regards to the FOA referenced in the Subject line could you please provide some guidance on the exact budget reporting requirements? More specifically it appears that there are two spreadsheets that are required for reporting SF 424A and PMC 123.1. Reading those documents it’s unclear to me if both are needed for this FOA. Furthermore if I am using a project management software like Microsoft Project can I report the budget per task and subtask using this program?
Answer 23: Both the Budget File (SF-424A) and Budget Justification File (PMC 123.1) are required forms for a compliant application submission. Please use the Microsoft Excel templates for both the SF-424A and PMC 123.1 that are provided on the EERE Exchange website. The PMC 123.1 will allow you to break out costs by the tasks and subtasks proposed. See Section IV.C.5 and Section IV.C.6 to reference a summary of these requirements. Additionally, see pg. 19 to reference the “Summary of Required Forms/Files.” Failure to submit the required forms with the provided templates may result in an application being deemed non-compliant and eliminated from further review. Other submission formats will not be accepted in lieu of required documents.  
Question 24: We are looking at doing a poultry litter burner in {Information removed}. CHP are there any grants for a feasibility study?
Answer 24:

Thank you for your interest in DOE funding opportunities.  Unfortunately, the only information we can provide to you is that which is already publicly available.  DOE representatives are not able to disclose future Funding Opportunities or plans.  Please check the websites below periodically for new Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). 

The Department of Energy’s Golden Field Office posts funding opportunity announcements on EERE eXCHANGE at and on at,. 

Question 25: 1. On page 27 of the FOA, Item 3 National Environmental Policy Act Information, describes to activities categorically excluded from NEPA review. The first sentence, however, references DE-FOA-0000794. Should this refer to this FOA, DE-FOA-0000876? If this is true, it is understood that Market Assessments are an activity that may be funded under the FOA. Are Market Assessments an activity that DOE intends for the CHP TAPs to carry out if deemed necessary to meet the project objectives? We request clarification on this item, as Market Assessments are not specifically called out as a CHP TAPs function in the Objectives write up in Section I of the FOA. 2. The CHP TAPs are directed through this project to meet Education and Outreach objectives, which include providing information on CHP policies to states. Are funds awarded under this FOA allowed to be expended to support effort by State agents, including energy offices, utility regulators or policy decision makers to implement state best practice policies or should other sources of funds be used for these purposes?
Answer 25:

1.       The FOA reference of DE-FOA-0000794 in Section IV, Part B, Item 3, is incorrect.  The correct reference should simply say “this FOA.”  Regarding whether Market Assessments are an activity that DOE intends for the CHP TAPs to carry out if deemed necessary to meet the project objectives—DOE does not specifically call for applicants to conduct Market Assessments, but that is an allowable activity which applicants can propose as part of their overall approach to provide essential support to continue to develop the market for CHP in their proposed region.

2.      Yes, funds awarded under this FOA are allowed to be expended to support effort by State agents, including energy offices, utility regulators or policy decision makers to implement state best practice policies.  Be aware that performance of activities relating to education and assistance of state decision makers must be performed in accordance with the lobbying restrictions outlined the National Policy Assurances to be incorporated as Award Terms, located at:

Question 26: Does the organization need to make payment for a SAM registration in order to submit an application or can that process be complete if and when the grant is awarded?
Answer 26:

Some registration requirements listed on page 2 of the FOA may take several weeks to process and all are necessary in order for a potential applicant to receive an award under this announcement. Therefore, although not required in order to submit an Application through the EERE Exchange site, all potential applicants lacking a DUNS number, or not yet registered with SAM or FedConnect should complete those registrations as soon as possible.

Question 27: We would like some additional clarification on completing Budget Form SF424-A: If we have more than 4 tasks listed in our SOPO do we add additional rows to section A: Budget Summary
Answer 27:

Section A should be broken down by Budget Period, not task.  In this case there would be 4 one-year budget periods that use the four rows.



Question 28: We would like some additional clarification on completing Budget Form SF424-A: What are Estimated Unobligated Funds and what is included in these columns? There is no definition of unobligated funds included in the budget instructions at the bottom of the worksheet.
Answer 28:

Estimated Unobligated Funds are used to delineate between obligated and unobligated funds during a budget revision.  As this is the initial budget, these columns should be left blank.



Question 29: We would like some additional clarification on completing Budget Form SF424-A: Section C: Non-Federal Resources: Indicates we are to list non-federal sources of funds. Does this include match or cost share contributions?
Answer 29:

Section C should list any non-federal source of funding for the project which would be match or cost share funds and it should define whether the funds are from the applicant, a State or another source.  Additional details on the Non-Federal cost share are to be provided in the PMC 123.1 form.  Note that the Applicant is responsible for providing the cost share negotiated in the award, regardless of the source. 



Question 30: We would like some additional clarification on completing Budget Form SF424-A: The Federal non/federal column titles are confusing for the New or Revised budget columns. We understand we are to use the New columns. Does the cost share/match go under non-federal and our requested grant amount get included in the federal column?
Answer 30:

Section A New or Revised Budget: Column F (Federal) is the requested amount from DOE per budget period in each row.  Column G (Non-Federal) would be any non-federal cost share or matching funds for the same budget period.  Note that the negotiated budget will be combination of the proposed total of Federal and Non-Federal amounts in Section A column (g). 



Question 31: If you check the box that indicates you don’t have a federally approved rate available for fringe and indirect there seems to be a discrepancy between the example on the Fringe tab on the PMC XLS (see ‘b. Fringe’ worksheet) versus the Sample rate proposal which is referenced: In the Fringe tab on PMCXLS, the Rate (cell C6) % is applied against the Personnel costs, which is the direct rate. Yet, on the Sample rate proposal, the denominator for the fringe is the direct + indirect. Can you clarify which formula is correct to calculate fringe and also to calculate indirect if you don’t have a federally approved rate for these two items?
Answer 31:

DOE does designate any preferred method of fringe or indirect rate calculations. Organizations should formulate these costs based on their standard and consistent organizational practices. The sample indirect rate proposal is an example only. The PMC 123.1 Budget Justification lists a personnel and fringe rate column with no preferred method of calculation. Please use your organizations standard and consistent methods to formulate your fringe and indirect costs.

An indirect rate proposal is not a required submission document during the application stage of the FOA. If selected and DOE is your cognizant Federal agency, these costs and methods are then proposed to DOE with an indirect cost proposal of your organizations formulation. If selected, all costs proposed to DOE will be reviewed for reasonableness, allocability, and allowability.    

Question 32: This email is sent in consideration for the Letter of Intent that was to be submitted on or before March 8, 2013 for DE-FOA-0000876: Combined Heat and Technical Assistance Partnerships. (Applicant name removed) wishes to submit an application for grant funds to install heating and cooling units in (applicant name removed). (Applicant name removed) is on the national register of historic places.
Answer 32:

Failure to submit a Letter of Intent will not negatively affect a responsive application submitted by March 22, 2013 at 5:00pm Eastern Time.

Question 33: In the instructions for PMC 123.1 it says to add rows as needed but doesn’t say anything about adding columns. If we are proposing more than 3 budget periods in this FOA, can we just we add columns to the spreadsheet as appropriate or should we use multiple pages?
Answer 33: Applicants may add columns to the Budget Justification (PMC 123.1) as needed.
Question 34: Where do you submit or include documentation indicating approved federal rates? Form PMC 123.1xls indicates you are to include a copy of the latest rate agreement but you can’t attach that to an .xls file. Where and how do you submit that documentation?
Answer 34:

An indirect rate proposal is not a required submission document during the application stage of the FOA. If selected, DOE will request this information during the negotiation phase of your award.

Question 35: On the Application for Federal Assistance: a. What gets entered in Section 5a and 5b for the Federal Entity Identifier and the Federal Award Identifier? b. Section 11: Is the CFDA title the same as the Funding Opportunity Notice Title in Section 12? c. Section 13: What gets entered in the title box for the Competition ID Number?
Answer 35:

a.       Applicants may leave both Section 5a and 5b blank.

b.      No. In Section 11, the CFDA title for CFDA number 81.117 is Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Information Dissemination, Outreach, Training and Technical Analysis/Assistance.

c.       You may leave Section 13 blank.




Question 36: A letter of intent was not submitted by our organization, however, we plan on responding to the FOA. How can we proceed now that a control number was not issued to us?
Answer 36:

Applicants will receive a control number when they begin the application process in the EERE Exchange system. The EERE Exchange system issues the control number.  

Question 37: While the Fringe & Personnel worksheet allows us to enter rates by labor category, the Indirect worksheet does not include costs by labor category, but is an aggregate. Is this an error? Without having labor category specific entries in the Indirect worksheet, we must perform external calculations to arrive at an ‘aggregate’ indirect cost and indirect cost %. Should we create entries on the Indirect worksheet for each labor category or list the labor specific %’s in the “Additional explanation” section (with calculations performed externally)? Also, note, because the respective hours by each labor category change over the budget periods, the aggregate % of indirect costs, as function of the total personnel costs will change from budget period to budget period, EVEN THOUGH the indirect cost % remains constant over budget periods for a single labor category. Is this a problem?
Answer 37:

There is not an error in the format of the Budget Justification (PMC 123.1). Applicants may perform external calculations to arrive at their Indirect costs.  Applicants are not required to identify the labor categories used to calculate their Indirect costs. If selected for Award, an Indirect Rate Agreement/Proposal will  be requested to ensure that Indirect rate(s) and costs listed in this tab are applied accordingly. DOE may request additional clarifications during award negotiations to review indirect costs for calculation accuracy. Applicants may provide additional clarifications in the “Explanation of BASE”  or “Additional Explanations/Comments.” Additionally, applicants may  embed formulas in the appropriate cells to better reflect how their Indirect costs are calculated.  Indirect costs fluctuating over Budget Periods as a function of rate calculations is not an issue.  

Question 38: We have not yet received a control number. We sent a letter of intent on the 8th, yet have received no response. Please advise.
Answer 38:

Applicants will receive a control number when they begin the application process in the EERE Exchange system. The EERE Exchange system issues the control number.


Question 39: We have an additional question relating to FOA DE-FOA-0000876 TAPCHP and following up on Question 37. Please refer to Question 37. Given that it is NOT necessary to breakout the indirect costs by labor category, is it OKAY if an applicant has already added the features & rows to include the indirect costs by % by labor category? This is a more transparent calculation compared to having the calculations done externally. Please confirm ASAP if the detail must be removed.
Answer 39:

Yes, incorporating additional features (including rows, columns and/or a breakdown by labor categories) is acceptable.