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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).

November 30, 2010
DOE Solicits Views on the Implementation of Large-Capacity Clothes Washer Waivers

The Department of Energy has recently granted several requests for waivers establishing an alternative test procedure for certain large-capacity residential clothes washer models.  We have now received follow-up questions about the proper application of these waivers.  Since these questions affect multiple manufacturers and the public, we have decided the proper course is to invite interested parties to submit views on the proper application of these waivers to existing clothes washer models and units by Tuesday, December 7th.

November 23, 2010
Air-Con Agrees to Pay Civil Penalty to Resolve Enforcement Action

The Department of Energy has settled the civil penalty action it initiated against Air-Con International for Air-Con’s sale of air conditioners in the United States that used more energy than allowed by federal law.  On September 20, 2010, based on Air-Con’s responses to a DOE subpoena, DOE ordered Air-Con to stop selling noncompliant air conditioners in the United States and proposed civil penalties for the noncompliant units sold by the company.

November 17, 2010
Department of Energy to Host Spectrum Policy Seminar for the Utility Sector on December 8, 2010

On October 5, 2010, after an extensive public notice and comment process, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a report entitled, "Communications Requirements of Smart Grid Technologies". The complete text of the report, and of a second report addressing data access and privacy issues arising from the deployment of smart grid technologies, can be found here.