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Dec 28, 2022 -- The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, invites public comment to OMB by July 6, 2023 regarding the proposed reporting metrics for the State Energy Program Formula and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Awards. [Comments due 30 days after submission to OMB on June 6, 2023.]

The purpose of this ICR is to collect information on the status of grantee activities related to SEP Annual Appropriations and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, including total activities funded with grant funds, expenditures, and results, to ensure that program funds are being used appropriately, effectively, and expeditiously. The 60-day Federal Register Notice was published on October 19, 2022 and expired December 19, 2022.

The SEP Quarterly Performance Report (DOE F 540.6) is an existing approved form. The SEP Annual File (DOE F 540.1) and the SEP Master File (DOE F 540.8) are existing forms that have not previously been included in previous ICRs and are being added to this ICR. The SEP Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Quarterly Performance Report (DOE F 540.7) is a new form. The SEP forms that make up this collection are:

-- SEP Annual File (DOE F 540.1)
-- SEP Quarterly Performance Report (DOE F 540.6)
-- SEP Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Quarterly Performance Report (DOE F 540.7)
-- SEP Master File (DOE F 540.8)
 
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) requires the revision of a previously approved collection of information for the State Energy Program (SEP), authorized in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), Public Law 110-140, and in the State Energy Program, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6321-6327, to continue collecting information required to respond to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), congressional and consumer requests, budget preparation, and grant and financial administration.
 
DOE provides Federal financial assistance and technical support to states and local governments under the EISA. Reports are used to monitor and ensure that Grantees are following statutory requirements as stated in 42 U.S.C. §§ 6321-6327, as well as regulations set forth in 10 CFR 420. Under State Energy Program Notice 22-2 (SEPN 22-02), Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds will be going toward the SEP Formula activities and thus incorporated into this Information Collection Request (SEP 22-2: All grant awards made under this program shall comply with applicable law and regulations including the SEP Regulations contained in 10 CFR Part 420).

The SEP allocates annually over $50 million in order to adequately monitor, report, and ensure transparency and accountability. SEP requires quarterly reporting for this program. Under State Energy Program Notice (SEPN) 22-01 – for Program Year (PY) 2022, $56.5 million has been appropriated to allocate awards to the 50 States, District of Columbia, and 5 territories.

Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA): In addition to the reporting documents for the SEP’s annual appropriations, this collection also includes reporting for the $790 million delivered by IIJA. IIJA was passed by Congress on November 6, 2021 “to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes.” The State Energy Program is listed as an IIJA recipient under Title 1: Grid Infrastructure and Resiliency within Division D- Energy.

SEP Annual Appropriations: On March 15, 2022, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which appropriated $56,500,000 to the SEP. As noted in the SEPN 10-006E and SEPN 22-01, SEP Grantees will be required to report metrics related to the expenditure of these funds.  
 
Below are the DOE forms the agency plans to use under this collection.

-- SEP Annual File (DOE F 540.1): The Annual File (DOE F 540.1) provides a format designed to gather specific detail related to the grant recipients’ plans for how they will fulfill obligations related to the SEP formula grant and SEP IIJA grant, such as Technology/Topic Area, Program Year Descriptions, including Energy Savings, DOE-Funded Leveraging Activities, and Activity Milestones. The Annual File (DOE F 540.1) is a portion of the Grantees plan that typically changes from year to year based on funding.

 -- SEP Quarterly Performance Report (DOE F 540.6): The SEP Quarterly Performance Report (QPR) (DOE F 540.6) is designed to gather outcome and expenditure data to provide metrics showing how the grant recipient is implementing their respective DOE-funded state plans. This information is used to track outcomes and to respond to congressional and other inquiries regarding progress on grantees’ SEP activities.

 -- SEP Revolving Loan Funds Quarterly Performance Report (RLF QPR) (DOE F 540.7): The RLF QPR (DOE F 540.7) includes financial metrics in addition to those of the SEP Quarterly Performance Report (DOE F 540.6) that are needed for tracking and administering the RLF program.

 -- SEP Master File (DOE F 540.8): The SEP Master File (DOE F 540.8) provides the grantee with a location to describe, via narratives, multiple aspects of the Energy Program. This includes strategy, reporting, and monitoring initiatives.

SEP https://www.energy.gov/scep/state-energy-program
EERE submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202305-1910-003 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-28230

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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