Exemptions from Standard Compliance

Covered state and alternative fuel provider fleets have two options to request an exemption from their Energy Policy Act (EPAct) requirements—request an exemption online or submit an exemption spreadsheet.

Exemptions are administrative relief of the last resort. Fleets may apply for exemptions only if they are unable to meet their requirements through the Standard Compliance options: acquiring creditable non-alternative fuel electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), making certain investments, purchasing biodiesel, applying banked credits, and buying credits from other fleets. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reviews exemption requests on a case-by-case basis. Approval is based on an existing lack of available alternative fuels and/or AFVs. State fleets also may request exemptions based on unreasonable financial hardship.

Fleets must complete and submit their standard compliance report before requesting an exemption. An exemption request may be submitted no earlier than September 1 and no later than January 31 following the model year for which the exemption is sought.

Submitting an Exemption Request

The Exemption Request Tool is available for submitted and DOE-approved (Status = Filed) annual reports from September 1 through January 31 following the reporting model year. Sign in to the reporting section and click on the highlighted "Request an Exemption" text next to the annual report in the fleet's Annual Reporting – Standard Method section. The tool uses a set of forms to ensure requests include all necessary information and attachments. The in-progress exemption request will be saved automatically for continued editing at a later date. However, once the exemption has been submitted, it can no longer be edited. The tool creates a PDF copy of each submitted request that is saved in the fleet's Reports section, where it can be viewed or downloaded.

Although DOE accepts manually assembled exemption requests, DOE strongly encourages fleets pursuing exemptions to request an exemption online. However, fleets may submit a manually assembled exemption request by email at regulatory.info@nrel.gov. Use the checklists in the exemption request guidance to ensure that all the required information is included.

Exemption Resources

The EPAct Exemption Request Guidance provides additional information about exemptions from AFV-acquisition requirements, including:

  • How to file a request for an exemption
  • What information and documentation DOE needs to process an exemption request.

The DOE Regulatory Information Line can help state and alternative fuel provider fleets understand and meet Energy Policy Act requirements.