When the pandemic upended the FEMP Utility Program’s major event plans for spring 2020, BGS stepped up to take the lead on another of the client’s key goals for the year: a complete overhaul of the program website. The site needed a brand new homepage as well as extensive updates and reorganization throughout to help visitors more easily find relevant resources. Susan Courtney and Matt Roney, the BGS team members supporting the program, were able to deliver.
The FEMP Utility Program helps build partnerships among federal agencies and their serving utilities, offering training and expert technical assistance from the national laboratories for utility energy service contract (UESC) projects at federal sites. Traditionally, the program also convenes spring and fall Federal Utility Partnership Working Group (FUPWG) Seminars, where stakeholders meet to discuss emerging issues, best practices, and lessons learned from utility-performed federal energy and water efficiency projects. Developing a more compelling, navigable, and useful website to promote these offerings to agency and utility partners, and to better integrate it with other FEMP program websites, was a client priority for 2020.
The initial BGS Scope of Work for the website refresh task called for performing a high-level review of the existing site and recommending updates. National lab support staff would take it from there. But with the flagship Spring FUPWG Seminar in Houston postponed—freeing up support hours that had been earmarked for event planning and execution—the client expanded the BGS role to become the website task lead.
Susan and Matt worked closely with the client to realize her vision for the website: a one-stop shop for UESCs and other agency-utility partnerships that aligned with other FEMP program office websites in style, organization, and content. With Susan’s extensive knowledge of the program and Matt’s writing background, they audited and reorganized the existing site; flagged pages to create, update, or cut; drafted new and revised content; highlighted opportunities to link to other FEMP programs and federal resources; and developed a layout plan incorporating the best design elements from various FEMP websites as identified by the client. They also collaborated with the Utility Team’s national lab experts, integrating their substantial technical content contributions to ensure a comprehensive and cogent final product.
On July 31, 2020, the website refresh went live, a major accomplishment for the Utility Team. It not only achieves the client’s objectives for the new website, but it also reflects broader FEMP priorities, including cross-program integration, workforce development, and energy resilience. In an unpredictable and challenging year, BGS continues to provide exceptional support to our U.S. Department of Energy clients.