Q: DOE provides weatherization grants to states, which in turn provide grants to non-profit sub-grantees. These sub-grantees fall into one of three categories: 1. The sub-grantee uses its own employees to perform all the weatherization services in the home, 2. The sub-grantee uses a combination of its own employees and contractors to perform weatherization services, or 3. The sub-grantee has no employees that perform weatherization services; instead, every service is performed by a hired contractor. Must these sub-grantees be RRP-certified firms?
Beginning April 22, 2010, no firm may perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations covered by the RRP Rule without certification from EPA. Sub-grantees that use their own employees to...
Beginning April 22, 2010, no firm may perform, offer, or claim to perform renovations covered by the RRP Rule without certification from EPA. Sub-grantees that use their own employees to perform any or all of the weatherization services in the home, such as the sub-grantees in the first two categories, must be RRP certified firms.
As to the sub-grantee in the third category, the need for certification depends on whether the sub-grantee offers, through the grant proposal, to renovate the property of a specific homeowner or other third-party. In this case, the sub-grantee is an offeror and grant money is “compensation” for RRP purposes. Once the offer is accepted (i.e., the grant is issued) a contract is formed under which the sub-grantee is obligated to perform the renovation. Even if the sub-grantee chooses to fulfill its obligation to perform the renovation by contracting out the work, the sub-grantee is “offering to perform a renovation” for purposes of the RRP rule. Accordingly, the sub-grantee must be a certified firm and comply with all other applicable RRP requirements.
Conversely, if the sub-grantee does not “perform, offer, or claim to perform” a renovation - through a grant proposal or otherwise - the sub-grantee need not be certified. For example, a grant proposal would not constitute an “offer” if the issuance of the grant would not obligate the sub-grantee to renovate the property of a specific third-party. If the grant proposal is not a legally binding offer, the sub-grantee becomes a mere purchaser of renovation services when it uses the grant money to hire a renovation firm. In such a case, only the renovation firm – the offeror - must be certified