Contractor and Construction Guidance

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is providing guidance on our clean energy construction programs as it relates to the State’s response to COVID-19. We understand this situation is rapidly changing, and our teams are here to help you navigate our programs during this unprecedented time. We urge you to check back often for the latest updates, and to also view the other State resources highlighted below for all relevant updates.

Beginning in March of 2020, Governor Cuomo issued a series of Executive Orders Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. allowing essential businesses to remain open and certain construction activities to continue as defined by Empire State Development (ESD) pursuant to its Essential Business Guidance Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Activities Allowed Statewide:

In accordance with the ESD’s current Essential Business Guidance and subject to all relevant health and safety requirements as will be set forth below, NYSERDA is hereby allowing its contractors performing program work pursuant to a NYSERDA contract or program to continue or start the following activities on a statewide basis:

  • Electric power generation and storage-related development, construction, operation or maintenance, except with respect to new solar projects on residential sites (which residential projects must continue to follow the regional reopening as set forth below);
  • Electric vehicle (EV) charging station installation, operation and maintenance at commercial and government sites; and
  • Activity by a single worker who is the sole worker on a project site.

Activities Allowed Pursuant to Regional Reopening:

For all activities not included in the above, NYSERDA directs that such activities continue to adhere to Governor Cuomo’s phased reopening plan. Pursuant to Executive Order 202.31 Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. and “NY Forward Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.,” New York will reopen on a regional basis as each region meets the criteria necessary to protect public health. Phase I of reopening does include all construction activity Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.. Please note that construction activity includes the following sub-sectors, and applies to energy-related construction in these sub-sectors:

  • Building Equipment Contractors
  • Building Finishing Contractors
  • Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors
  • Highway, Street and Bridge Construction
  • Land Subdivision
  • Nonresidential Building Construction
  • Residential Building Construction
  • Utility System Construction

Activities That Are Not Allowed:

For New York State regions and activities that remain on PAUSE, NYSERDA’s current directive to pause work continues, and will follow any forthcoming reopening of additional regions as well as transitioning beyond Phase I to subsequent Phases.

Requirements For Performing Work:

For all activities approved in accordance with the above Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., NYSERDA hereby directs and requires that NYSERDA contractors, and sub-contractors, performing construction program activity pursuant to a NYSERDA contract or program to comply with Executive Order 202.31 Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. and all other State, Federal or local rules and guidance, including, without limitation, adhering to and attesting to the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) Interim Guidance for Construction Activities During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency [PDF] prior to commencing work on NYSERDA projects. Please note, in accordance with ESD’s NY-Forward FAQs Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., the requirement to follow the DOH Guidance applies whether you are an essential business operating statewide or are allowed to re-open pursuant to the regional phased reopening plan.

As included in the DOH Construction Guidance, for all contractors, and sub-contractors, performing construction activities, completed safety plans must be conspicuously posted on a project site. The State has made available a safety plan template [PDF] Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. as well as summary guidelines [PDF] to guide business owners and operators in developing plans to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Compliance And Enforcement:

Please note, this guidance supersedes all previously issued guidance, and shall be deemed to modify any applicable provisions in any NYSERDA contract, program rule, guideline, manual, solicitation or other applicable document or agreement. NYSERDA takes health and safety issues of the public, its contractors and program participants very seriously and will strictly enforce compliance with Executive Order 202.31 Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. and this guidance. Accordingly, non-compliance may give rise to disciplinary action, which may include, without limitation, orders to stop work or ineligibility to participate in programs. Note also, that the NY Forward website includes an online complaint submission form, which will result in investigation and, if credible, enforcement. Please take every precaution to follow this guidance.

New York Forward Return to Work - Guidance for New York’s Clean Energy Workforce Webinar

The webinar highlights the new protocols and requirements outlined in Governor Cuomo’s NY Forward, a phased regional reopening strategy, and includes a walk-through of the NYS Department of Health’s construction guidance for Phase 1 reopening.

We recognize the significant and difficult challenges businesses are facing right now, and NYSERDA stands ready to assist.