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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1710Subpart H → §1710.408

Title 7: Agriculture
Subpart H—Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program

§1710.408   Quality assurance plan.

An eligible EE program must have a quality assurance plan as part of the program. The quality assurance plan is expected to have a global perspective on the borrower's energy efficiency plan. Therefore, energy efficiency upgrades should be identified in aggregate. Every effort is made to fund only EE programs that are administered in accordance with quality assurance plans meeting standards designed to achieve the purposes of this subpart. However, RUS and its employees assume no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information, product, service, or process funded directly or indirectly with financial assistance provided under this subpart. Nothing in the loan documents between RUS and the energy efficiency borrower shall confer upon any other person any right, benefit or remedy of any nature whatsoever. Neither RUS nor its employees makes any warranty, express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to any information, product, service, or process available from an energy efficiency borrower. The approval by RUS and its employees of an energy efficiency borrower's quality assurance plan is solely for the benefit of RUS. Approval of the quality assurance plan does not constitute an RUS endorsement. The quality assurance plan must have the following elements:

(a) Quality assurance assessments shall include the use of qualified energy managers or professional engineers to evaluate program activities and investments;

(b) Where applicable, program evaluation activities should use the protocols for determining energy savings as developed by the U.S. Department of Energy in the Uniform Methods Project.

(c) Energy audits shall be performed for energy efficiency investments involving the building envelope at an Ultimate Recipient premises;

(d) Energy audits must be performed by certified energy auditors; and

(e) Follow up audits shall be performed within one year after installation on a sample of investments made to confirm whether efficiency improvement expectations are being met.

(f) In cases involving energy efficiency upgrades to a single system (such as a ground source heat pump) the new system must be designed and installed by certified and insured professionals acceptable to the utility.

(g) Industry or manufacturer standard performance tests, as applicable, shall be required on any system upgraded as a result of an EE Program. This testing shall indicate the installed system is meeting its designed performance parameters.

(h) In some programs the utility may elect to recommend independent contractors who can perform energy efficiency related work for their customers. In these cases utilities shall monitor the work done by the contractors and confirm that the contractors are performing quality work. Utilities should remove substandard contractors from their recommended lists if the subcontractors fail to perform at a satisfactory level. RUS does not endorse or recommend any particular independent contractors.

(i) Contractors not hired by the utility may not act as agents of the utility in performing work financed under this subpart.

(j) The borrowers are strongly encouraged to follow a bulletin or other publication that RUS deems appropriate and contains and describes best practices for energy efficiency quality assurance plans. RUS will make this bulletin or publication publicly available and revise it from time-to-time as RUS deems it necessary.

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