Quality Work Plan


Section 1: Standard Work Specifications Requirement

Section 2: Inspections

Section 3: Workforce Training

Section 4: Exemptions

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program's (WAP) comprehensive Quality Work Plan establishes a benchmark for quality home energy upgrades. 

In this section, you will learn more about the Section 1: Standard Work Specifications requirement as it is outlined in Weatherization Program Notice (WPN) 22-4: Quality Work Plan Requirement Updates. Resources are listed at the bottom of this page to help you meet this obligation in the field.

Section 1: Standard Work Specifications

The Standard Work Specifications (SWS) define the minimum acceptable outcomes for home energy upgrades installed on single-family, multifamily, and manufactured housing. These specifications provide objective-based outcomes for energy efficiency measures installed by the home performance industry. The SWS is maintained by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and since 2014 has provided the WAP with a consistent definition of work quality to assist in meeting the goal of increased WAP effectiveness by increasing standardization of installations and technical monitoring outcomes.

SWS-Aligned Field Guides

  • Field guides provide Grantee-specific comprehensive field standards outlining expectations of work quality and the installation of WAP measures. Field guides shall be maintained by the Grantee and must be approved by DOE prior to implementation.
  • Grantees must update their field guides on a five-year cycle. Grantees must submit their revised field guide to their respective DOE Project Officer for review and approval at least 6 months prior to the expiration date.
    • Installation standards contained in Grantee field guides must meet or exceed the minimum standards outlined in the current SWS and when submitted, reference or include a companion document which identifies/crosswalks the appropriate SWS for the procedure being described for review and approval. Tasks that are not listed in the SWS are not subject to this requirement.
    • A request for a variance from individual specifications may be processed by submitting the request via the online SWS Variance Request Form or by utilizing the downloadable version and submitting the request to your respective Project Officer. All variances, even those previously approved, must be resubmitted each approval cycle for review and approval.
    • Grantees are encouraged to engage Subgrantees and relevant stakeholders in the revision of a technical policy including the field guide.
    • Within a Grantee's five-year approval cycle, editorial changes are allowed without further approval unless the changes lead to a variance from the SWS. At that time Grantees would need to re-submit their field guide for review and re-approval and/or submit a variance request.
    • Grantees shall have approved field guide(s) for each building type they have an approved energy audit for.
  • Grantees must provide Subgrantees and/or contractors with all technical requirements (e.g., field guide(s), building diagnostic and combustion safety procedures) for field work. The Grantee must confirm receipt of those requirements and provide follow-up and clarification upon request. A signature on a contract acknowledging receipt can serve as proof.
    • Crew and Contractor work orders need to demonstrate the performance requirements (e.g., R-value, U-values, equipment efficiency values, etc.) from the energy audit.


The following resources are provided by WAP to assist you with this section of the Quality Work Plan requirement. 

Learn More About the SWS

SWS website—This online tool should be used as an industry guide to ensure work performed during home energy upgrades is effective, durable, and safe.

SWS Field Guide Photos—This Flickr photo gallery provides images that may be used in the creation of field guides. 

SWS Variance Request Form—For weatherization measures that are not possible to install, a Grantee must submit a Variance Request Form. This form is available online or, you may download the form.

SWS Variance Request Review Process (Video)—The Variance Request Review Process video explains why WAP has variance requests and includes tips for getting variance requests approved the first time.

Field Guide Review Process (Video)—The Field Guide Review Process video reviews the purpose of the SWS, and how the field guide submittal and review process works.

Additional DOE Resources

WAP Grantee Manager's Training Toolkit—This toolkit provides WAP programmatic materials and resources organized by topic.

WAP Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Planning and Reporting Template (Video)—This video describes the optional T&TA Planning and Reporting Template, and how it can be helpful when filling out the annual WAP application. See the annual Application Instructions for additional detail and T&TA Plan requirements. Download the template.