Partnership websites are managed by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and any external entity, such as another Department of Energy (DOE) office, a state or federal agency, or a private organization. The guidelines in the table below will help determine hosting, domain names, privacy and security, branding, and technical requirements. 

See the quality assurance checklist below for partnership websites requirements. If your team seeks to create a partnership website, first contact the Web Governance Team (WGT). DrupalExternally Hosted, Federally MaintainedExternally Hosted, Privately Maintained
URL Options



(See the Domains and URLs page.)

Check with the WGT

Check with the WGT (Drupal Content Management System)

EERE centralized web hosting environment (ECWHE)


Check with WGT

Check with the WGT, especially  for a .com, .org or .gov. Need  DOE Public Affairs for any exceptions to hosting

Security RequirementsNo additional scans needed Additional security scans requiredSecurity requirements are the private organization's responsibility, but the website may need a disclaimer statement.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)Must follow PII guidelines.Must follow PII guidelines. WGT may need to approve a privacy impact assessmentPII guidelines are the private organization's responsibility, but the website may need a disclaimer statement.
TemplateStandard templateEERE application template or variation approved by WGTUnique, but check with WGT on what DOE branding may be required on site.
NavigationEERE navigation requirementsEERE's navigation is recommended, not requiredNavigation is up to the organization.
Needs U.S. Department of Energy in logoYesYesCase by case. Depending on funding arrangement, the website may require a DOE logo.
Needs DOE or EERE identifierIncluded by default in the templateYesCase by case
Needs "Sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy" statementNoYes, if there is no EERE or DOE logoYes, if there is no EERE or DOE logo
Social MediaMust follow social media requirements for EERE websitesMust follow social media requirements for EERE websites

We can ask that they link back to DOE/EERE social media accounts, but would like to review first.

DOE Public Affairs must approve any official DOE social media channels.

Technical QA checklistMust follow the Partnership QA checklist.Funding arrangement may dictate if our technical requirements apply.
StatisticsEERE Google AnalyticsCan use EERE Google AnalyticsUse separate search tag SearchEERE doesn't have a common/required search tool (Recommended: own search tool

Before You Begin

Contact the Web Governance Team. Present your charter to the team. During your Web Governance Team meeting, discuss:

  • Whether your website meets the requirements to be hosted outside the environment
  • Where your website will be hosted
  • How the website will be designed
  • Whether you will need a subdomain of or a marketing URL
  • Whether this design will need to incorporate DOE branding or messaging
  • What you will use for search and statistics
  • Whether your site is collecting PII
  • How your site will adhere to Section 508 requirements
  • Whether you need social media accounts.

Funding Mechanisms

If you are awarding funding to another organization via a Funding Opportunity Announcement to create a website and that entity is receiving 100% of its funding from DOE, then the award recipient is required to identify DOE as a sponsor. Depending on the project type, DOE/EERE branding may need to be displayed in a prominent place.

If the funding mechanism is a support services contract, then the website should look as if it is a DOE/EERE product—the work should be transparent to the public and it should be branded to DOE/EERE.

If there is a Memorandum of Understanding, a Cooperative Agreement, or some other funding mechanism and the other entity is considered a partner and has received partial DOE funding, then the Web Governance Team will evaluate each on a case-by-case basis to determine co-branding, if required. Competitions and initiatives that are managed by third parties should include DOE/EERE branding if they are receiving 100% funding from DOE. If they have received partial funding, DOE/EERE should be mentioned in an acknowledgement statement and the identifiers should appear along with the other funding partners.


Partnership sites can be hosted in three places:'s Drupal Environment, an approved EERE hosting environment, or an external hosting environment with Web Governance Team and Public Affairs' approval. This decision affects the template you can use. Drupal

Partnership websites can be hosted at Because they are hosted on's website, they must be DOE owned and maintained.

Websites hosted in Drupal will:

  • Use's template
  • Be hosted in the Drupal environment
  • Follow EERE's Web standards.
External Hosting

There are two options for external hosting:

  • Federally-owned partnership websites must be hosted in a secure hosting environment.
  • Privately-owned partnership websites can be hosted anywhere.

Criteria for when a site may be hosted externally are any of the following scenarios:

  1. It is a White House or congressionally mandated initiative calling for external hosting and/or branding.
  2. The site's functionality is too complex for and that functionality has to be implemented in order to meet the website's purpose.
  3. The funding mechanism allows for hosting outside or EERE centralized web hosting environment (ECWHE) as long as the hosting site includes a disclaimer noting that it is not a government site.
  4. DOE Public Affairs grants written approval for the exception.

Once it's determined if you have unique hosting, then we determine DOE vs non-DOE branding.

Federally-Owned Hosting Options

These websites can be branded to the U.S. Department of Energy or they can have a unique website design.

All partnership sites need to be hosted in a secure hosting environment. This may include the ECHWE, another federal agency's hosting environment, or an environment that meets DOE's requirements for certification and accreditation. Ask the Web Governance Team about hosting environment requirements for federal websites before you look into hosting on a non-federal Web server.


Branding refers to whether a partnership website has the DOE or EERE identifier integrated in its design, or whether it mentions the U.S. Department of Energy in its logo.  All logos must include the words U.S. Department of Energy somewhere in the graphic.

Criteria for when a site has to be branded to DOE are:

  1. DOE is providing 100% of the funding for the partnership effort.
  2. DOE is a major sponsor of the event/initiative.
  3. The website designer/owner should be transparent to the public if the work is being done exclusively for DOE for a DOE event/competition or initiative.


Messaging refers to whether a website must use disclaimers, the presence and wording of which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Depending on high-level presence of the event or initiative and whether it is being branded as a DOE event will determine where the DOE branding will go on the site or if the entire site is branded to DOE.

Privately-owned, DOE-funded websites must disclaim somewhere on their website that they received funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. Usually this involves putting this text in the website footer:

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy

Domains and URLs

If you host your website in's Drupal environment, it will have a standard URL on or, depending on whether it is positioned as a DOE or EERE website.

Partnership sites hosted outside of may be eligible for unique domains. See the Domains and URLs page for guidance on how to request, .gov, and .org domains. Websites hosted on should use URLs and marketing URLs.

Privately-owned partnership websites cannot use a .gov domain, as they are not considered federal websites.

The WGT must determine competitions and initiatives on a case-by-case basis regarding the use of a .com or an .org domain. The WGT will guide the team in what type of URL it may use in coordination with DOE Public Affairs.

If an entity has received partial funding from DOE to develop a website, we will require that entity to include a disclaimer absolving DOE of responsibility in case of a security breach.


Partnership websites have the option to use their own unique website design.

  • If your website is hosted in's Drupal environment, it will use's standard website template.
  • If your website is hosted externally, but is federally maintained, the template coordinator will guide you in the use of the EERE application template. You will also need to follow EERE's guidelines for websites hosted outside of the template. Then bring your proposed design to the Web Governance Team. The team must approve the design before you start coding.
  • If your website is hosted externally and privately maintained, it may use any design. The WGT would need to review the placement of any identifiers, if applicable.


How your site's navigation is handled depends on where your website is hosted.

Social Media

All partnership websites seeking to have an EERE-branded social media website should contact the Web Governance Team and the appropriate social media contact before creating their own social media sites. Additionally, DOE Public Affairs must approve any official DOE social media channels.

Standards and Requirements

The requirements and standards for partnerships websites are determined by where it's hosted.

  • If your website is hosted in's Drupal Environment, it must follow the QA checklist.
  • If your website is hosted externally and federally maintained, it must follow the Partnership Website QA checklist.
  • If your website is hosted externally and privately maintained, your partnership website is not required to meet website requirements for federal websites.

Statistics and Search

If your website is hosted in's Drupal environment, you can use Drupal's search engine and EERE's Google Analytics account. Contact the Template Coordinator for more information. All websites on use its built-in search engine.

If your website is hosted externally, contact the Template Coordinator for options for website statistics and search.