In recognition of New York’s staggering number of job losses in the clean energy industry and the great eagerness to reopen, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) collaborated with its energy partners to develop guidance and information that will assist non-essential energy and clean energy businesses and activities plan for a safe return to work.

For the clean energy sector, it was recognized that many firms that participate in NYSERDA programs would restart as part of a region’s Phase I reopening, falling within the “Construction” category and sub-categories. Clean energy construction activities are subject to the Construction Guidelines for Employers and Employees and Interim Guidance for Construction Activities promulgated by the Department of Health (DOH) and must also abide by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) information and guidance included in their FAQ on NY Forward and Business Reopening.

Each business is required to develop a Business Safety Plan using the State’s template or develop their own safety plan.

In addition to this available guidance, NYSERDA has prepared a webinar and PowerPoint specific to clean energy sector which is available on its COVID-19 website under contractor and construction guidance. The webinar provides an overview of the re-opening and a walk through of the DOH guidance on safe construction activities, which must be reviewed and distributed to employees. Most importantly, for every company or firm participating in State or investor-owned utility clean energy programs, an authorized representative must, as a prerequisite to undertaking any clean energy construction work, attest that they have reviewed the DOH construction guidance and shared its contents with all company staff. A link to the attestation is embedded within the DOH guidance, and it is recommended a print copy be maintained for company records.

Further, each business is required to develop a Business Safety Plan using the State’s template or develop their own safety plan. These plans, however, do not need to be submitted to NYSERDA or any other State agency for approval, but must be retained on premises and made available to the DOH or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.

Cuddy & Feder’s experienced Energy + Environmental attorneys are available to address all your re-opening, energy and environmental law concerns. For more information contact

The following materials, and all other materials on this website, are intended for informational purposes only, are not to be construed as either legal advice or as advertising by Cuddy & Feder LLP or any of its attorneys, and do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Cuddy & Feder LLP. Please seek the advice of an attorney before relying on any information contained herein.


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