Question: What action is necessary for a State to demonstrate that it has obligated SEP funds for a revolving loan fund?
Answer: As stated in section 9.10 of the program guidance that accompanied the SEP funding opportunity announcement, when a state proposes to use funds for an established revolving loan fund, they are treated as obligated or encumbered. DOE further addressed the obligation issue in GUIDANCE FOR STATE ENERGY PROGRAM RECIPIENTS ON FINANCING PROGRAMS (SEP Program Notice 10-8). In addition, if the State is establishing an RLF that is to be operated by the State, funds would be considered obligated by the State submitting a letter to the project officer as discussed below.
SEP Program Notice 10-8 states that program monies being used for a loan fund are considered obligated by the recipient once they have been used to capitalize a loan fund. A loan fund may be capitalized in any of the following circumstances:
- Receipt of a loan application from potential borrowers
- State or local requirements (regulatory, statutory, or constitutional) dictate
- The distribution account is operated by a third party
In addition to obligating funds through capitalization of a loan fund, if the State is establishing an RLF that is to be operated by the State, funds would be considered obligated by the State submitting a letter to the DOE project officer. The letter must provide the strategy for the RLF, and identify the scope and size of the loan program.