• Looking for opportunities to create new or modify existing software programs aimed at designing for energy efficiency.

REGIONAL OFFICES

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) maintains six regional offices throughout the United States: Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia; Northeast Regional Office in Boston, Massachusetts; Midwest Regional Office in Chicago, Illinois; Central Regional Office in Golden, Colorado; Mid-Atlantic Regional Office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Western Regional Office in Seattle, Washington.6 These regional offices have approximately 120 employees and represent approximately 25 percent of the EERE workforce.7 Regional office employees are responsible for implementing 15 EERE programs at the regional, state, and local levels, including the Industrial Technologies Program (ITP).8 Only the Southeast and Western Regional Offices have an employee dedicated full-time to ITP.9

As a result of the reorganization of EERE in 2002, the role of the regional offices in implementing the ITP at the regional, state, and local levels changed. Previously, regional offices were primarily responsible for implementing the Industries of the Future program at the state level, for conducting outreach to develop state vision documents and roadmaps, and for developing regional partnerships for coalition building. Since the reorganization, the regional offices have been tasked with ITP technology delivery, outreach to target the top energy-use plants, and the development of regional partnerships for the deployment and replication of technologies.10

The EERE reorganization involved a reduction in ITP headquarters staff; part of the rationale for that change was a greater reliance on the regional offices, field offices, and industrial/academic research partners for technology delivery. The field offices, however, have remained principally focused on project management, so the national burden of technology delivery at the regional, state, and local levels has fallen primarily on the regional offices.11

The committee has some concerns about the ability of the ITP to increase effectiveness in disseminating program information at the current level of funding and staffing. The committee recommends that the field offices be tasked with getting information to the regional offices about projects that are underway. The regional offices may lack real-time knowledge about the ITP’s research programs if they are not fully integrated into the project management loop. Such information would enable the regional offices to provide more depth in their public outreach mission.

Academics, suppliers (developers of innovations), and users (companies that have discovered how to apply them) are key nongovernment means of ITP technology transfer. It is unrealistic, however, to expect that suppliers and users benefiting from the sale and use of new technologies will readily share detailed knowledge about important breakthroughs with competitors. The committee recommends that, unless issues of intellectual property exist, industry communications and outreach to other industrial partners and the public be made a condition of contract. Making this function a condition of contract will ensure a broader dissemination of ITP program breakthroughs.

With reduced travel by ITP managers as well as regional and field office personnel, no effective way remains to reach the public by direct contact. The ITP’s electronic information delivery system, though comprehensive, is no substitute for direct personal contact in the dissemination of information. The committee recommends that the restrictions on travel by ITP headquarters staff and regional office

6  

Regional Offices Fact Sheet, August 2004, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Washington, D.C.

7  

D.Godfrey, DOE, 2004, “DOE Regional Offices: Delivering and Managing the ITP Program at the State/Local Level, Mississippi Program Review,” Presentation to the Committee, Washington, D.C., May 20.

8  

D.Godfrey, DOE, 2004, “DOE Regional Offices: Delivering and Managing the ITP Program at the State/Local Level, Mississippi Program Review,” Presentation to the Committee, Washington, D.C., May 20.

9  

D.Godfrey, DOE, 2004, personal communication to the committee, on or about May 20.

10  

D.Godfrey, DOE, 2004, “DOE Regional Offices: Delivering and Managing the ITP Program at the State/Local Level, Mississippi Program Review,” Presentation to the Committee, Washington, D.C., May 20.

11  

D.Godfrey, DOE, 2004, personal communication to the committee, on or about May 20.



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