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.

Option 1: Request an Exemption Online

DOE strongly encourages fleets pursuing exemptions to request an exemption online. This tool saves fleets time and helps DOE deliver decisions sooner. The tool loads information automatically from annual report records and creates electronic exemption requests that fleets save, print, and send to DOE.

Option 2: Submit an Exemption Spreadsheet

Although DOE strongly encourages fleets pursuing exemptions to request an exemption online, you may submit the exemption spreadsheet by email at regulatory.info@nrel.gov.

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
  • Important policies relevant for filing exemption requests.

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