personnel be eased. The regional offices are the only direct link between laboratory development and field deployment. Without such travel, ITP managers are deprived of important feedback that could be useful for determining program direction and growth. The regional offices are the frontline for reaching industry at large so that energy saving technologies made possible by ITP research can be applied.
Regional offices are the best operational link to state and local authorities that provide revenue bonding, tax relief, energy credits, and other incentives to suppliers and users of ITP innovations. State and local authorities have become the main source of these types of incentives by default. Unless the economic and social benefits of the ITP’s programs are convincingly and consistently communicated, it may be difficult to obtain such incentives.
Since the EERE and ITP 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. This makes the regional offices a crucial link between laboratory development of new energy efficiency technologies and deployment to U.S. industry. The committee finds that the regional offices have a proper sense of their post-reorganization mission. However, it has some concerns about the ability of ITP to disseminate program information at current levels of funding and staffing. To increase effectiveness, the committee recommends that:
Regional offices be fully integrated into the project management loop;
Unless issues of intellectual property exist, industry communications and outreach to other industrial partners and the public be made a condition of contract;
The restrictions on travel by ITP headquarters staff be eased; and
The restrictions on travel by regional office personnel be eased.