Prevailing Wage and Buy American Requirements
Here are some important points about prevailing wages:
Participants must pay prevailing wages and submit certified payroll reports to comply with requirements for program financed projects.
- The Recovery Act requires that a signed, hard copy of certified payroll forms be submitted weekly for the duration of the project as proof that prevailing wages are being paid. The easiest way to do this is to use the U.S Department of Labor’s Form WH-347. Click here for step by step instructions for completing this form. Other forms are also acceptable. View this completed sample certified payroll report as a submission guide.
Prevailing wages must be paid if the total value of the project (labor and materials) exceeds $2,000. Projects cannot be arbitrarily broken into smaller parts to avoid compliance.
Prevailing wages must be paid to workers for the complete duration they are engaged in performing the project’s prescribed work.
Prevailing wages must be paid regardless of employer. Contractors’ employees, as well as employees of the facility owner must be paid prevailing wages if they are working on a Recovery Act-funded project. If a facility owner chooses to use internal maintenance or other staff, they must be paid at the prevailing wage rate for an Electrician, Plumber, Pipefitter or other appropriate building professional or apprentice. You can check for prevailing wage determinations on the Department of Labor website.
- There are only two exceptions to the prevailing wage requirement for projects that receive program financing:
- Professional Service Providers who are not performing installation work, such as energy auditors, technical support, and administrative personnel, do not have to be paid at the prevailing wage rate. This determination should first be verified by the applicant with Energize Delaware.
- When installation work is performed by employees of local or state governments, prevailing wages are not required.
- Completed Certified Payroll forms should be sent to:
Delaware Divisionof Energy & Climate (DE&C)
1203 College Park Dr. Suite 101
Dover, DE 19904
Prevailing Wage and Certified Payroll Requirements
Prevailing wages are specific minimum hourly wages (including benefits) that must be paid to workers on Recovery Act -funded projects. Prevailing wages are established by the U.S. Department of Labor for each county in Delaware, and for specific job classifications. For the Efficiency Plus Business Program the prevailing wage rate classification for Electrician, Plumber, Pipefitter or other appropriate building professional will be used for all projects. Apprentices may be used to work on projects but must be paid in accordance to prevailing wage requirements and guidelines for Apprentices. Copies of Apprentice Cards and documentation must be provided with the weekly cerified payrolls for all apprenticies listed on the payroll documents. Prevailing wages for Delaware counties can be found on the Department of Labor's website.
Efficiency Plus Program participants must pay prevailing wages and must submit weekly certified payroll reports to comply with requirements. View this sample certified payroll report as a submission guide.
In addition, the following posters are required by the US Department of Energy and the Office of the Inspector General and should be prominently posted in the workplace:
- Employee Rights Under the Davis-Bacon Act
- Office of Inspector General Hotline
- Whistleblower Protections
Buy American Requirements
The Recovery Act also has certain Buy American requirements. Recovery Act Buy American requirements are complex, but only apply to projects in the public sector. This means that if your project does not involve the construction, repair, upgrade or maintenance of, or owned by, a federal, State or local government facility, then you do not have to meet the Buy American requirements.
If your project is in the public sector, Buy American requirements apply. Generally, this means that all iron and steel products and manufactured goods must be made in the United States. There are some blanket exceptions to this including electronic ballasts for fluorescent lighting and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Exceptions may apply if it can be shown that the cost impacts would be excessive, or if the products are not manufactured in sufficient quantities in the United States. A listing of Buy American waivers can be found on the Department of Energy's website.