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Projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) were required to follow the Buy American Provision.

This guidance only applied to Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) associated with the Recovery Act. If the FOA received another source of funding—not from the Recovery Act—then the Buy America provision did not apply.

The Buy America guidance documents listed on this page are no longer updated and are preserved as legacy content.

The Buy American provision in the Recovery Act (section 1605 of Title XVI), stated that unless a waiver was granted or one of three exceptions applied (non-availability, unreasonable cost, and inconsistent with the public interest), no appropriated funds or other funding made available by the Act could be used for a project to construct, alter, maintain, or repair a public building or public work unless all the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used were produced in the United States.

Guidance Documents

The links below are to Buy America guidance documents:

Frequently Asked Questions

These documents answer the most frequently asked questions about the Buy American Provision.

Status of Waivers Issued under the Recovery Act

This list includes all Buy American waivers issued to Recovery Act funded projects that administered by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

Please contact your Contracting Officer before applying any waiver.

Non-Availability Waivers

DateItemDescription
June 14, 2013
Non-Availability Waiver
Expires June 14, 2014
Small horsepower vertical hollow shaft electric motorsLess than 40 HP
November 20, 2012
Non-Availability Waiver
Piping systems made of "polypropylene random" materialThat meets the ASTM standard F2389.
4.5 Ton air-to water outdoor split-type heat pumps 
100 ton absorption chillers (using oil) 
Engine block replacement for an existing Mitsubishi 52/55B or 40/54A diesel generator engineProject specific.
July 18, 2012
Non-Availability Waiver
Energy-efficient impellers (N-impeller)To retrofit existing Flygt pumps.
Expansion module assemblies to repair existing Johnson Controls lab and hood fume interface with Phoenix Controls hoodWhere utilization of an American made module assembly would require replacement of the existing system.
Magnetic ballasts for HID retrofitsExcludes electronic ballasts.
LED architectural lightingDirect line voltage, color-changing architectural LED flood lighting fixtures, color-changing architectural LED cove lighting products, white LED line voltage architectural cove lighting fixtures, exterior, LED color-changing direct view lighting fixtures, and multicolor DMX-512 LED wash and array lights for architectural lighting.
March 27, 2012
Non-Availability Waiver (12)
Withdrawn: Expires on
October 31, 2012
Pre-insulated district heating pipe systemConsisting of thin wall thickness steel pipe meeting the EN13941 standard, bonded to polyurethane foam insulation, bonded to an HDPE jacket, such that all the components operate as a single pipe (including two 1.5 mm squared area copper wires embedded in the insulation for leak detection and location); pre-insulated steel fittings with the same characteristics as the pre-insulated pipe; and pre-insulated maintenance free ball valves with an all welded valve body and a stainless steel valve ball in a spring loaded teflon seat, having the same insulation and jacket characteristics as the pipe.
Jan. 23, 2012
Non-Availability Waiver (11)
400amp Dual Element Time-Delay Fuses for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) charging stationThese are used in the installation of EV charging stations
Video imaging card rack mounted boards for vehicle presence and data detectionThese card racks are installed into existing traffic systems and are not manufactured domestically
20-ton split system heat pump that meets a minimum static pressure requirement of 3.0 inches of water column. (only where the 3.0 water column is a requirement of the system)This waiver is limited to systems that require compatibility with this extremely high water column
Network manager for conversion of proprietary protocol- Staefa brand system to a non-proprietary open source protocolFor use where a Staefa system was installed previously, and where utilizing a domestic control module would mean that the existing energy management controls would have to be removed and a new energy management controls system would have to replace the existing Staefa system
Jan. 10, 2012
Non-Availability Waiver (10)
Expired May 1, 2012
5-25 Watt LED Candelabra Bulbs (includes Flame tip, bent tip, A19, S11, G16.5 or G25 clear bulb enclosure)LED Candelabra or medium base, outdoor use, dimmable, mercury free, 2700 and/or 3000 Kelvin Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), 80+ Color Rendering Index (CRI), 5-25watt Flame tip, bent tip, A19, S11, G16.5 or G25 clear bulb enclosure. This waiver expired on May 1, 2012.
140 Watt LED fixtures with 10-degree beams capable of illuminating from 100feet, UL certified; and 27 Watt round LED fixtures, producing 1 foot-candle at 242 feet distance, UL certifiedThis waiver expired on May 1, 2012.
October 24, 2011
Non-Availability Waiver (9)
Absorption chillersRated at 205 and 250 tons
Thermostatic Regulator ValvesRegulate the flow of hot water or low pressure steam through free-standing radiators, baseboards, or convectors in hot water and two-pipe steam systems. Includes the valves and actuators. These valves provide fast acting modulating control of the space temperature through a vapor charge, ensuring the highest level of comfort control.
28 and 30 W 180 degree LED replacement bulbs for HID street lightsOnly for these unique wattages where no other bulbs will fit.
100% Oil free rotary screw variable speed drive water cooled air compressor with a factory installed dryer capable of supplying air at <-20 degree dew point temperature.For applications where compressed air needs to be oil free and supplied with no humidity because it will damage the process equipment connected to the system
Parts for Mitsubishi 52/55B or 40/54A diesel generator engineHigh speed electronic governors with actuators to replace existing mechanical UG8 and UG40 engine governors; upgraded fuel injectors and regulators; and replacement engine pistons and cylinder liners; for energy efficiency upgrades in an existing Mitsubishi 52/55B or 40/54A diesel generator engine
Universal control modules for use with Novar proprietary communication protocolsFor use where a Novar system was installed previously, and where utilizing a domestic control module would mean that the existing energy management controls would have to be removed and a new energy management controls system would have to replace the existing Novar system.
September 12, 2011
Non-Availability Waiver (8)
LED decorative mini-bulb light strandsMulti-colored full waver rectified strands of 5mm, conical-shaped LED mini bulbs in molded sockets with 4" spacing between bulbs
Ancillary items for a T-12 to T-8 retrofitIncludes ballast disconnects, ancillary wiring and welding materials where needed and the spacing clip to accommodate T-8 Bulbs into a T-12 fixture
Roof-integrated flat plate collectors producing 1250 btu/sq ft. or greaterOnly where the installation requires a roof integrated solar collector—for instance to meet historic preservation or local building standards
August 2, 2011
Non-Availability Waiver (7)
Ball valvesClass 125 Iron (6", 8" and 12") Ball Valves (Standard: Mss SP-72, CWP Rating: 200 psig, Ends: Flanged, Seats: PTFE or TFE)
Low-Temperature ThermostatsRange of 15 – 55 Fahrenheit, automatic reset (a prior waiver includes manual reset, see below)
Two-stage, steam heated absorption chillersRated at 450 tons (a prior waiver includes other sizes, see below)
4 Watt 325 lumen dock lamp LED replacement bulbs 
July 8, 2011
Non-Availability Waiver (6)
5 kW and 50kW wind turbinesMay only be applied as consistent with the Guidance to Accompany Non-Availability Waiver of the Recovery Act Buy American Provisions for 5kW and 50kW Wind Turbines
July 8, 2011
Non-Availability Waiver (5)
2-10 horsepower, self contained, sensorless, variable speed pumpsThis pump does not require costly pressure and flow transmitters to maintain a constant pressure in a city water system at flow rates from almost zero to about 60 gpm. The pump to be used in the requesting project is a low horsepower (5 hp), sensorless, constant pressure pump with an integrated variable speed motor controller.
Bidirectional bicycle countersThe basic needs for a bicycle counter are: weatherproofing, battery operation, capability to detect and store time in a 24 hour period, store one year of data and store data on the counter after retrieval, provision of directional data, modem connectivity and download, no speed restrictions on capturing data.
28W, 30W, and 60W 360 degree LED bulbs for retrofits of HPS streetlightsThese bulbs provide 360 degrees of illumination, and are used in the retrofit of 360 illuminating street, walkway, carriage and parking lot fixtures. This waiver does not include the retrofit of cobrahead streetlights, for which there are domestic manufacturers
Bathroom ventilation fans with built in occupancy sensorsThese fans provide continual low discharge exhaust ventilation, and upon occupancy or motion in the bathroom area, the discharge exhaust ventilation increases automatically, returning to continuous low exhaust when motion is no longer present
Solar thermosiphon water heating systems certified by FSECThis waiver for solar thermosiphon water heaters applies only to projects in the State of Florida
40 ton absorption chillersFactory-assembled, indirect-fired
Premium efficiency electric drive submersible pump motors (15-30hp)These pumps must be heavy duty wet wound of NEMA design, capable of continuous operation under water at the conditions specified in the project design and suitable for use on a three phase, 60 cycle electrical service.
Flush-to-handrail electric LED lighting systems 
March 31, 2011
Memorandum of Decision
400 to 750 watt micro hydro-turbinesMeeting the following specifications: Available head: 15 feet; available flow: 230 gpm-450 gpm; allows a stand-alone application not tied into the grid.
Oil-fired direct vent space heatersFor use in buildings that do not have ducts or piping for boiler heating systems.
ENERGY STAR rated electric heat pump water heaters

ENERGY STAR rated through the wall air conditioners
See the ENERGY STAR website.
Grid tied solar inverters of 800W or lessWhere the following specifications are required: the panels must generate 139VDC or less, there are physical space constraints (this waiver does not include micro-inverters).
50 hp TEFC inverter duty motors for use in an existing Marley cooling towerThis motor is unique to the design of the cooling tower manufacturer and not a commercially available off the shelf item.
Geothermal heat pumps for a demonstration scale waste heat geothermal systemAllows the direct use of untreated wastewater to heat and cool commercial buildings.
Point to point/point to multi-point electronic broadband microwave radio systems.With an alignment tone and IE browser interface.
LED luminaires for roadway illumination with customized filter application to meet specific lighting requirements of Mauna Kea observatoryPlease note, this is a waiver designed for the Mauna Kea observatory's needs and will only apply at the discretion of the Assistant Secretary to other projects.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) compressors and shut down controls for small fleetsMust be able to provide 3600 psi (248 bar) temperature compensated CNG supply to fast fill storage and fueling dispensers, efficient and adaptable to a small fleet (approximately 5 vehicles), as well as the wireless remote shut down control (transmitters and receivers) for those CNG systems.

EERE specifically notes that there are domestic manufacturers of larger scale CNG fueling systems, and the use of a foreign manufactured system will not be permitted where a domestic manufacturer is willing and able to build the system.
8000W solar inverters for use with US manufactured 315W panelsThis is application specific, and only for projects utilizing US made 315W panels.
ECM inline pumpsElectronically Commutated Motor (ECM) type inline pumps.
Inverters that permit optimal output of four (4) or more types of modules per array connected to inverterFor applications that require the use of at least 4 different types of solar panels with a variety of outputs.
January 12, 2011
Non-Availability Waiver (4)
Two-stage, steam heated absorption chillersRated at 500-1500 tons.
Single wall evacuated tube collectors for solar thermal systemsOnly when used in an educational context for the purposes of comparing relative efficiency of solar thermal technologies
2-ton adsorption chillers

This is an extremely small unit, for educational purposes, or where alternative technologies are not serviceable.

LED lamp and controller for studio lights in a television broadcast studio

Where the following specifications are required:
A CRI (Color Rendition Index) sufficient to render accurate flesh tones and natural colors.
A precise color tuning control to dial in exact color temperature for accurate colors under multiple lighting setups.

Global Positioning System (GPS) time source modules

For direct communication link between a city or county's Traffic Management System (TMS) and the Caltrans Traffic Signal Management and Surveillance System (CTNET).

Elongated wall-hung rear spud toilets.Includes bowl and hardware.
November 4, 2010
Non-Availability Waiver (3)
Surface mounting time switch24-hour program dial and a single-pole-double-throw switch
HVAC units with 8.375' W x 9.5' H x 2.72' DOnly when the application require an HVAC unit with a height of 10' or less due to documented space constraints

Low temperature thermostat

Temperature range of 15-55 Fahrenheit, manual reset.
Programmable DDC controllers for LON protocolWhere an existing LON system exists that will not interface with other protocols without the input of extensive time and expense equal to or greater than the cost of the controllers themselves.
Hardware necessary for implementation of Honeywell Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) software for integration of water management and HVAC systemsIncluding:Customized Dell PowerEdge T610 Computer Server; Honeywell XL50UMMIPC-CBLON; Echelon LPR-10 #42100R; Sloan – MCR231-D; Sloan – MCR140A.
September 30, 2010
Nationwide Non-Availability Waiver for 5 Additional Items
Motorized automatic two (2) wing revolving doorsMust: 1) open via the motor upon a fire alarm to accommodate smoke evacuation; retract to full open position under Fire Alarm status and remain in the open position until the alarm is cleared
2) be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant
3) Possess both sliding and swinging door that allows entry/exit through the sliding doors while the revolving section is being serviced
Self‐contained photovoltaic LED area lighting systemMust have: Non‐corrosive, stainless steel, powder‐coated anti‐weathering shell; Free from sail effect; Flat plate lens optics with directional lamp lens; Dark sky capability; Full cutoff conformity
Parking Guidance System ControllersUltrasonic directional sensors and DC300 facility controllers for a parking guidance system which integrates with American designed intelligent parking guidance system software allowing real‐time updates to a central location and via the internet
Load Management Ripple Control Receiver for an existing load management systemOnly when upgrading an existing system manufactured by Landis + Gyr (formerly Enermet AG)
LED tube lights to replace T8/ other 4 foot fluorescents
Withdrawn: Expires November 30, 2012
 
August 11, 2010
Non-Availability Waiver (2)
24-leaf, motorized DMX iris unitsThese items are used in conjunction with a Source 4 lighting instrument in the theatrical lighting business.
Induction lamps and ballastsThe lamps (bulbs) and ballasts for induction lighting systems. This waiver does not include fixtures for induction lighting, which are readily available from domestic manufacturers.
Enphase Micro-inverters for solar photovoltaic systems
Withdrawn: Expires on
October 31, 2012
Micro-inverters shift DC to AC power conversion from a large, centralized inverter to a series of compact units attached directly to each solar module. Micro-inverters allow for higher efficiency energy conversion and increased reliability as compared to traditional inverter systems.
Commercial-scale high efficiency condensing boilers with indirect water heatersGas or propane, high efficiency condensing wall hung boiler with indirect water heater, 94% or greater efficiency and a BTU output below 350,000, constructed with SA240-316 Ti stainless steel.
Large-format solar thermal collectors for integrated district heating systemsIncludes only high-performance flat plate solar collectors that possess three technical characteristics:
1) Limit the convective heat loss from the absorber plate to the cover glass, effectively minimizing heat losses to less than 2.6 W/m2K; 2) Capable of sustaining output temperatures of 195 degrees F; 3) Gross collector area of greater than 150 ft2
Turbocharger for Mitsubishi/Man 52/55B diesel generator engineTo replace an existing MAN/NA48T turbocharger
May 24, 2010
Non-Availability Waiver
Programmable ThermostatsIncludes devices that permit adjustment of heating or air‐conditioning operations according to a pre‐set schedule. Applies only to non­residential programmable thermostat units.
Commercial Scale Fully‐Automatic Wood Pellet Boiler SystemIncludes wood pellet boilers featuring a pneumatic conveyance system to transport wood pellets to the boiler, an automatic ignition system, continuously monitored and optimized combustion, ash removal/management system and the ability to control and integrate with other existing heat systems.
Facility and Small District Wood Pellet and Chip Boiler FurnacesIncludes high efficiency, ultra‐low emission biomass boilers for facility and small district heating, ranging from 35,000 Btu – 15,000,000 Btu.
Variable Refrigerant Flow Zoning HVAC Systems and Inverter‐Driven Ductless Mini‐Split HVAC SystemsIncludes variable refrigerant flow (VRF) multi‐split heat pump (with or without heat recovery) and air conditioning systems; and inverter‐driven ductless mini‐split heat pump and air conditioner systems. This Waive includes the main condensor and heat pump units, wall and fan coil units, zone controllers, remote controls, and any other component of the larger HVAC system.
Electrical "Smart" Strips/Surge ProtectorsIncludes power strips that detect activity in the attached equipment and cut power during periods of inactivity.
Gas or Propane Tankless Water Heaters up to 200,000 BTUsDoes not apply to electric tankless water heaters, which are widely manufactured in the United States.
Fully‐Enclosed Continuous Composting SystemsIncludes multi‐zone, continuous loading, odor and moisture controlled composter with leachate recirculation and in‐situ mixing capabilities.
February 11, 2010
Nationwide Categorical Waiver
Electronic Ballasts for Fluorescent Lamps

Modified March 31, 2013.
Memorandum of Decision: Withdrawal of Waiver for Fluorescent Electronic Ballasts Capable of Dimming.
Electronic ballasts for Fluorescent lamps

March 31, 2013 — All ballasts capable of dimming are no longer covered by the waiver, and must be compliant with the Buy American Provisions
Plug-in CFLs of 10 inches or lessWith the exception of CFLs greater than 10 inches in length have a 4-pin base and are rated from 18 to 27 watts. They are available in a range of color temperatures and are used, for example, in facilities, offices, warehouses and display cases. Lengths range from 10.5 in (266.7 mm) to 22.5 in (571.5 mm), and rated life ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 hours.
Traffic Light Fixtures (LED)

Withdrawn as of December 1, 2010
Memorandum of Decision: Withdrawal of LED Lighting Waiver
Includes LED lights and any adjacent wires and electronic parts necessary for the functionality of LED traffic lights, arrows and crosswalk signals — but excludes the metal or plastic fixtures (also referred to as the "housing" or "shell")

Project Specific Non-Availability Waivers

DateItemDescription
February 15, 2013
Non-Availability Waiver
Expired May 1, 2013
Par 20, Par 30 and Par 38 replacement lamps (Only Applies to San Antonio)Par 20, Par 30 and Par 38 replacement lamps, that are both rated for outdoor open fixtures exposed to water and closed fixtures with heat concern, are dimmable are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality.

Public Interest Waivers

DateItemDescription
December 6, 2011
Waiver for Donated items
Donated means manufactured goods provided to the project at zero cost. These goods must not hold a caveat, expectation, or quid-pro-quo of any sort, nor may their donation bind the grant recipient in any way. The recipient, for example, may not agree to pay more for one item, so as to have another item donated, nor may they promise more business in the future in exchange for a donated item. The Project Officer or the Contracting Officer will be consulted to determine whether the goods qualify as donated; this will serve to prevent abuse of this waiver. This waiver applies only to the donated manufactured goods themselves. All funds used in the project are still subject to the Buy American requirements and other contract requirements.Use of this Waiver requires approval of Project and Contracting Officers.
Guidance will be released January 2012
August 1, 2011
Project Specific Waiver for Heartland Community College
Project Specific WaiverProject Specific Waiver for Heartland Community College in Normal, IL, funded in part under a sub-award (09-462013) from Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), sub-recipient of SEP Award DE-EE0000119 to the Illinois State Energy Office.
April 15, 2011
Project Specific Waiver from the Mississippi State Energy Office
Project Specific WaiverProject Specific Waiver for sub-award (AR060-GT11-0111-0001) from the Mississippi State Energy Office, recipient of EECBG Award EE0000763.
Solar Public Interest Waiver

Public Interest Waiver for Solar Projects

Includes: 1) Domestically-manufactured modules containing foreign-manufactured cells, 2) Foreign-manufactured modules, when comprised completely of domestically-manufactured cells, and 3) Any ancillary items and equipment (including, but not limited to, charge controllers, combiners and disconnect boxes, breakers and fuses, racks, trackers, lugs, wires, cables and all otherwise incidental equipment with the exception of inverters and batteries) when utilized in a solar installation involving a U.S. manufactured PV module, or a module manufactured abroad but comprised exclusively of domestically-manufactured cells.
The new waiver, issued August 1, 2011 This determination replaces and supersedes the Solar Public Interest Waiver issued August 6, 2010, amended September 30, 2010 and extended February 4, 2011. Although the waiver extension issued February 4, 2011 was slated to be a one-time extension coinciding with the ramp-down of EERE Recovery Act-funded projects, EERE has determined that enough projects remain active to justify a new Public Interest waiver determination. This determination does not have an expiration date, and is valid until such time as the Assistant Secretary chooses to modify or revoke the waiver. The Assistant Secretary reserves the right to revisit and amend this determination based on new information or new developments.
May 24, 2010
De Minimis Waiver
De MinimisIncidental items that comprise in total a de minimis amount of the total cost of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in a project; that is, any such incidental items up to a limit of no more than 5 percent of the total cost of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in and incorporated into a project.
March 19, 2010
Nationwide Limited Public Interest Waiver for LED and HVAC Units

Expired March 31, 2010
(No longer in effect)
Limited Public Interest Waiver for LED lights and HVAC units
ONLY applicable from February 17,2009 until March 31, 2010.

Unreasonable Cost Waivers

DateItemDescription
September 12, 2012
Unreasonable Cost Waiver
HVAC Replacement Project (Only Applies to La Cañada)The installation of a domestically manufactured heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, including eight (8) package rooftop units (gas heat / electric cool) at the City of La Cañada Flintridge City Hall building would increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent, and thus this domestically manufactured system would qualify for the "unreasonable cost" waiver determination.
October 24, 2011
Project Specific Waiver for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands CUC
Engine radiators for two 13.0MW- 18V 52/55B and three 7.2MW- 18V 40/54A diesel engines- project specific waiverDetermination of inapplicability (unreasonable cost waiver) of section 1605 of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (Recovery Act Buy American provisions) to the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation's (CUC) located in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), recipient of the EECBG grant DE-EE0000762, for 5 diesel engine radiators to be installed at the CUC's main power plant located at Saipan, CNMI
April 15, 2011
Project Specific Waiver for the Texas State Energy Office
Clay Tiles – Project Specific WaiverDetermination of inapplicability (unreasonable cost waiver) of section 1605 of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (Recovery Act Buy American provisions) to the Texas State Energy Office, recipient of EECBG grant EE0000893, for 6300 Spanish Red Clay Tiles to be used on the Eagle Pass Library roof.