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News Archive

January 13, 2011
DOE Launches New Smart Grid Web Portal

Today, the DOE General Counsel’s Office is launching a new Smart Gird web portal.  In October, the General Counsel’s office released two reports exploring technological and legal issues critical for the continued development of the Smart Grid.  Drawing upon significant public participation, the reports recommended several next steps to assist utilities and other stakeholders in the rollout of Smart Grid technologies and applications.  One of these recommendations was to provide a public portal for information on a variety of issues, including data access and privacy, priority of service, w

December 23, 2010
DOE Issues Enforcement Guidance on Large-Capacity Clothes Washer Waivers and the Waiver Process

Today, the Department of Energy issued enforcement guidance on the application of recently granted waivers for large-capacity clothes washers and announced steps to improve the waiver process – and refrain from certain enforcement actions – so that innovative covered products can demonstrate compliance with DOE efficiency requirements and come to market without undue delays.  Based on comments received in response to DOE’s

December 20, 2010
DOE Proposes First Revision to its NEPA Rules in More than a Decade

Today, the Department of Energy issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend its regulations governing compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposals focus primarily on the Department’s categorical exclusion provisions, and reflect the first update to these provisions in thirteen years. The Department sought public input earlier this year to assist in the preparation of the current proposals.

December 17, 2010
DOE Signs Agreement Allowing National Labs to Use the U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals to Resolve Disputes

The Department of Energy announced today that it has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) to enable the Department’s lab and facility management and operation (M&O) contractors to employ the CBCA for mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution services.  Earlier this year, the Department clarified that M&O contractors are permitted to include binding arbitration clauses in their contracts with others, and, indeed, that arbitration may often be a desirable alternative to litigation where disputes

December 14, 2010
DOE Encourages Utility Sector Nominations to Commerce Department's Spectrum Advisory Committee

Because of the role wireless technologies will play in the evolution toward a smarter national grid, one of the recommendations in DOE’s report, The Communications Requirements of Smart Grid Technologies, was that members of the utility sector become more engaged in the federal advisory committees that provide input on key policy issues related to the Smart Grid, including spectrum management and network reliability issues.  Last week, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Adm

December 10, 2010
Department of Energy Hosts Seminar on Spectrum Policy Seminar for Utility Sector

On December 8, 2010, the Department of Energy General Counsel’s office hosted a seminar on the topic of spectrum policy, attended by approximately fifty representatives of the utility industry.  At this spectrum policy seminar, senior officials from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) provided information on spectrum policy issues in light of the role wireless communications will play in the deployment of Smart Grid technologies.  They reviewed the current spectrum management process and

December 8, 2010
DOE Receives Responses on the Implementation of Large-Capacity Clothes Washer Waivers

The Department last week invited interested parties to submit views on the proper application of waivers establishing alternative test procedures for existing large-capacity residential clothes washer models and units. We received responses from several parties, which can be found below. 

December 3, 2010
DOE Publishes Final Rule Regarding Post-Employment Restrictions

The Department of Energy published a final rule establishing procedures under which a former employee of the executive branch may obtain approval to make communications to DOE solely for the purpose of furnishing scientific or technological information during the period the former employee is subject to post-employment restrictions set forth in 18 U.S.C. 207(a), (c), and (d).