SEAC Operating Guidelines
Adopted June 26, 2020 | Amended December 10, 2020 and July 8, 2021
1. Mission and Purpose
The Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC) provides the forum for all stakeholders (including, but not limited to, AHJs, designers, engineers, contractors, first responders, manufacturers, suppliers, utilities, and testing labs) to collaboratively identify and find solutions for issues that affect the installation and use of solar energy systems, energy storage systems, demand response, and energy efficiency. The purpose is to facilitate the deployment and use of affordable, clean and renewable energy in a safe, efficient, and sustainable manner.
2. Goals and Objectives
SEAC’s objective is to produce reasonable and practical solutions to safely and efficiently facilitate and expand the use of solar energy in our communities, and facilitate the efficient use of clean, sustainable energy.
Successful outcomes of SEAC deliberations will be:
2.1 Develop and maintain active and strong collaborative relationships with all stakeholders, associations and organizations
2.2 Support, assist, communicate, and continually improve the content and application of codes, standards, guidelines, and best practices.
2.3 Facilitate the exchange and use of information and knowledge for the clean energy and code enforcement community
2.4 Provide leadership and development on selected solar and other clean energy-related initiatives
2.5 Research, review, comment, receive, identify, and/or determine potential subject matter of benefit to any stakeholder.
2.6 Evaluate, approve, and endorse solar and other clean-energy-related initiatives and subject matter.
2.7 Develop, publish and disseminate recommendations and other work products to all stakeholders.
3. Principles of Operation
The Guiding Principles of SEAC shall include the following:
3.1 Inclusivity – SEAC will be an organization where all members of the clean energy community are invited to share knowledge, including but not limited to academia, Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), associations, certification bodies, testing laboratories, consultants, distributors, designers, installers, fire service, manufacturers, utilities and vendors.
3.2 Collaboration – SEAC will actively pursue opportunities to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate events of mutual interest with other regional and national organizations with similar vision, mission, and activities.
3.3 Accessibility – SEAC serves the clean energy community and will strive to coordinate with all stakeholders of the clean energy community to deliver on its mission within as many geographical regions as possible and practical.
3.4 Encouragement – SEAC will actively encourage involvement in knowledge sharing, and leadership and operation in general at all levels of the clean energy community.
3.5 Performance – All activities of SEAC will be performed in an ethical, professional, and respectful manner.
3.6 Public good for all stakeholders, respect for other’s positions.
4. Steering Committee
4.1 Role of Steering Committee
The Steering Committee shall:
4.1.1 Set SEAC priorities, direction, and strategies.
4.1.2 Oversee the management of activities identified by the participating members.
4.1.3 Provide guidance to the SEAC administrator.
4.1.4 Appoint additional members of the Steering Committee.
4.1.5 Appoint Assembly members, who approve SEAC recommendations
4.1.6 Appoint Working Groups to investigate and develop recommendations on identified issues
4.1.7 Vote final approval of all Assembly votes to ensure that the procedures in these Guidelines and the SEAC objectives were followed.
4.1.8 Modify, with due cause, an Assembly decision. This action must be communicated to all SEAC participants and the issue must return to the Assembly for a new vote within 60 days.
4.1.9 Receive and rule on any appeal of any SEAC process
4.1.10 Maintain and update these Operating Guidelines
4.2 Steering Committee Members
The Steering Committee shall include one representative of the following organizations: International Code Council, International Association of Electrical Inspectors, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Association of State Fire Marshals, Solar Energy Industries Association, Energy Storage Association, California Solar and Storage Association, UL LLC, and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, plus an at-large AHJ representative and an at-large industry representative. Each organization has one vote on the Steering Committee, except that the Interstate Renewable Energy Council does not have a vote. Each organization can also designate an alternate representative who can participate in all meetings, but can only vote if the primary representative is not in attendance.
The Steering Committee can vote to add additional Steering Committee members to provide balance or the views of additional stakeholders. The Steering Committee shall not exceed 15 voting members.
One person may only represent a single organization within the steering committee.
The Steering Committee may add or remove Steering Committee Members.
4.3 Steering Committee Officers
The Steering Committee shall have two officers, a Chair and a Vice Chair. The officers shall be elected by the Steering Committee at the beginning of each year for a one-year term. If an officer resigns mid-term, the Steering Committee shall elect a replacement for the remainder of the term. Officers may be re-elected. The duties of the officers are:
Chair: The Chair shall set the agenda in consultation with the Administrator and chair the Steering Committee meetings and the general meetings.
Vice-Chair: The Vice-Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair when the Chair is not able to perform those duties.
4.4 Steering Committee Decisions
A simple majority of Steering Committee voting members shall constitute a quorum in order to conduct business under these Guidelines.
The goal is to work by unanimous consensus of Steering Committee Members. When such consensus is not possible, approval of any action requires a 2/3 vote of the voting members in attendance.
4.5 Responsibilities of Steering Committee Members
4.5.1 Attend Steering Committee Meetings; if an organization misses three consecutive meetings, they are removed from the Steering Committee unless the Steering Committee votes to retain their membership.
4.5.2 Keep informed about SEAC projects and topics.
4.5.3 Join and participate in Working Groups relating to projects of special interest to themselves and their organization.
4.5.4 Work toward the positive resolution of disputes within the Steering Committee.
4.6 Communication of SEAC Decisions
Decisions attributed to SEAC shall be approved by the Steering Committee. Only the Steering Committee has the authority to make statements/decisions on behalf of SEAC. SEAC decisions may not reflect the decisions or policy of Steering Committee members and the organizations they represent and should not be communicated as such. Steering Committee members reserve the right to set their own policies which may or may not align with SEAC decisions.
5.1 The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) shall be the administrator of SEAC. IREC will designate a staff member to be the primary contact between SEAC, the SEAC Steering Committee and IREC.
5.2 The Administrator will be responsible for the operation of SEAC.
The duties of the Administrator will:
5.2.1 Implement decisions of the Steering Committee with available resources.
5.2.2 Serve as the primary point of contact to stakeholders wanting to participate in the activities of the SEAC.
5.2.3 Manage all grants and deliver grant deliverables.
5.2.4 Coordinate gap analyses.
5.2.5 Facilitate meeting logistics for SEAC meetings.
5.2.6 Maintain the SEAC website.
5.2.7 Maintain collaboration tools for development of SEAC recommendations (such as Google docs) .
5.2.8 Prepare and distribute meeting summaries.
5.2.9 Coordinate and facilitate SEAC responses to media and other external inquiries.
5.2.10 Track SEAC action items.
5.2.11 Maintain a stakeholder distribution list and distribute SEAC information to appropriate stakeholders.
5.2.12 Assist Working Groups to complete their tasks, ensure that tasks are completed on time, and facilitate the resolution of any conflicts.
5.2.13 Archive formal documentation relating to the SEAC.
5.2.14 Prepare reports required by the Steering Committee.
5.2.15 Speak on behalf of SEAC.
6. SEAC Assembly
6.1 Role of the Assembly. Vote on all SEAC recommendations, positions, best practices and publications. After an affirmative vote of the Assembly the Steering Committee shall give the final approval to ensure that the procedures in these Guidelines and the SEAC objectives were followed.
6.2 Responsibilities of Assembly Members
6.2.1 Cast ballots on each issue submitted to the Assembly.
6.2.2 Represent your interest category and be respectful of other perspectives.
6.2.3 Educate themselves on the issues under consideration.
6.3 The Assembly shall include between 15 and 40 members.
6.3.1 Balance of Interests. Balance is achieved when no single interest category constitutes more than a third of the voting members. If the desired balance cannot be achieved despite reasonable attempts to recruit a more balanced membership, then the voting membership can proceed to function as a consensus body, while efforts to recruit new members continue. In no case may the voting body function with more than 50 percent of the voting members in one interest category. If a voting member resigns and that resignation causes one interest category to have more than 50 percent, then the Steering Committee shall take immediate action to bring the voting members within the balance range. If an interest category is over the one-third of the total membership total, the Steering Committee reserves the right to deny additional membership to that membership category.
6.4 Interest Categories. Each voting member will have experience with solar energy systems, energy storage systems, demand response or energy efficiency and be associated with one of the following interest categories. A consultant or agent who represents companies, organizations, or individuals in an interest category is considered part of that interest category.
6.4.1 Designer/Installer/Service Provider. A representative of a company that is engaged in the design, installation, and/or servicing, including end of life management, of products.
6.4.2 Supplier. A representative of a company that supplies components to producers, distributors, retailers, resellers, and installers.
6.4.3 Manufacturer. A representative of a company that manufactures products related to the mission of SEAC.
6.4.4 AHJ. Those involved in the regulation or enforcement of the requirements of codes and standards at the state, territorial and/or local level. Examples of AHJs include fire chief, fire marshal, chief of a fire prevention bureau, state department of insurance official, health department, building official, electrical inspector or others having statutory authority.
6.4.5 Government. A representative of a federal, state or local government agencies that does not fall under the category of AHJ.
6.4.6 Testing and Standards Organizations. A representative of organizations that test and/or certify products, services, or systems, or that develop standards or codes.
6.4.7 Consumer. A representative of a consumer organization, consumer department at a university, or an individual who uses the product as part of their livelihood and is not eligible to be a voting member under another interest category. This also includes an owner or user of products related to the mission SEAC.
6.4.8 Insurance. A representative of an entity, including an association of such entities, that insures products or installations within SEAC’s mission, including insurance-related inspection agencies.
6.4.9 Utility. A representative of an electric utility.
6.4.10 General Interest. Consultants (see 126.96.36.199), academia, scientists, etc. that are not covered by another category, such as professional societies, attorney experts, safety experts, and trade associations. This includes all others not otherwise categorized.
6.5 Appointment of Assembly Members. The Steering Committee will appoint Assembly Voting Members each year based on individual applications submitted or their service on the Assembly.
6.5.1 Applications. Candidates for Assembly Members shall submit an application that includes their affiliation, contact information, interest category they represent, and a statement of the knowledge or expertise they will bring to the Assembly.
6.6 Process before the Assembly votes on recommendations.
6.6.1 The proposed recommendation will be discussed at a General SEAC Meeting and distributed for comment to all SEAC participants.
6.6.2 The Working Group will respond to any comments and, if necessary, prepare a revised proposal.
6.6.3 The Working Group will submit proposed recommendations to the Assembly for a vote.
6.7.1 Each assembly member has one vote. The vote will occur at an Assembly meeting. No votes must include a comment indicating why the assembly member is voting no.
6.7.2 The Working Group shall respond to all no votes and then all Assembly members shall be given an opportunity to revote. The revote must occur within 14 days of the original vote. The revote can be either at an Assembly meeting or by e-mail to the Administrator.
6.7.3 After the revote, the Assembly adopts a recommendation when at least 50% of the voting members cast a ballot and at least 67% of the voting members vote yes.
6.7.4 If an Assembly member does not vote in 3 consecutive Assembly meetings, then they are removed from the Assembly, unless the Steering Committee votes to retain them as an Assembly member.
7. Working Groups
7.1 Role of the Working Groups. Working groups shall develop draft recommendations and resolutions on identified issues.
7.1.1 The Steering Committee creates Working Groups and appoints the Chair.
7.1.2 Anyone may participate on any Working Group.
7.1.3 Working Groups shall report at General SEAC Meetings to ensure transparency and that their efforts are in accordance with the identified tasks.
7.1.4 Draft documents shall be publicly posted and a notice sent to interested parties to provide the opportunity to review and comment.
7.1.5 The Working Group submits draft recommendations to the Assembly for approval.
7.1.6 After the initial vote, the Working Group will prepare responses to all comments and negative votes. They can modify the proposal.
8. SEAC Participants
8.1 Anyone may become a SEAC participant. SEAC participants receive notices of General SEAC meetings, other SEAC meetings, and draft recommendations. Participants may apply to be Assembly Voting Members and volunteer for Working Groups. All members of the Steering Committee, Working Groups and Assembly are SEAC participants. Only members of the Steering Committee or the Assembly may vote as described in Sections 4 and 6.
9. General SEAC Meetings
9.1 SEAC shall conduct a monthly meeting at a time set by the Steering Committee.
9.2 The Steering Committee Chair will set the agenda for the meetings in consultation with the Administrator.
9.3 The meeting date, time, location, and agenda shall be posted on SEAC’s website and a meeting announcement shall be sent to all SEAC participants in advance of the meeting.
9.4 SEAC meetings will be open to the public. Anyone may participate in the meeting discussion.
Amendments to these Operating Guidelines may be proposed in writing to the SEAC Steering Committee. Amendments proposed shall be duly considered at the next meeting of the Steering Committee. Amendments will be approved by a 2/3 vote of the Steering Committee.
This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Solar Energy and Technologies Office Award Number DE-DE-EE0009002.0001. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.