This page outlines the policies and government standards related to our public websites.

NREL Policies

A website is a publication. Creating a website, or posting an electronic version of an NREL publication on a website, constitutes worldwide publishing of that information. NREL's Publication Policy includes information on the necessary reviews and approvals for web publishing.

NREL policies also cover Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer. Because NREL employees are obligated to protect proprietary information, these policies define limitations to disclosing laboratory inventions or other categories of proprietary data. These policies apply to publishing NREL information or publications on the web. For more information, contact Paul White in the NREL Office of General Counsel.

Government Standards

21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act

The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (or 21st Century IDEA) aims to improve the digital experience for government customers and reinforces requirements for public websites.

It requires that public-facing websites and digital services be:

  • Accessible – to individuals with disabilities, in accordance with Section 508
  • Consistent – have a consistent appearance
  • Authoritative – not overlap with or duplicate existing websites
  • Searchable – contain a search function
  • Secure – provided through a secure connection
  • User-centered – designed around user needs with data-driven analysis
  • Customizable – provide an option for a more customized digital experience
  • Mobile-friendly – functional and usable on mobile devices.


Accessibility standards for electronic and information technology are covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 and required for federal agency sites. In adherence to these requirements, the NREL site is accessible. For more information, view the Web Accessibility Testing Checklist and WebAIM: Web Accessibility in Mind. 


Copyright is a property right whereby authors obtain, for a limited time, certain exclusive rights to their works. In the United States, most copyright protection is exclusively granted by the federal government, which provides Congress with the power "to promote science and the useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors the exclusive right to their writings."

If information can be viewed on the internet, it can be copied. Anyone posting information on a website is responsible for ensuring that appropriate legal clearance and permission are obtained before using someone's work on the internet.

If content on a website or within a document is copyrighted material:

  • Get written authorization from the copyright owner to post the information
  • Display a standard copyright notice (required).

The copyright owner is solely responsible for policing how the copyrighted material is used.


Web developers will not copyright websites or any portions therein. NREL websites will not contain language or graphics that link to or give credit to contracting firms that design or maintain the site. This includes comments in the HTML code. Credits can be seen as endorsement and are not allowed.

Privacy Notices

NREL sites are required to use the standard NREL footer, which links to NREL's Security and Privacy Notices.

Web Measurement and Customization Technologies

In June 2010, the White House Office of Management and Budget issued a memo that outlined the authorized use of web measurement and customization technologies on federal agency websites.

The central goal is to respect and safeguard the privacy of the American public while  increasing the federal government's ability to serve the public by improving and modernizing its activities online. Any use of such technologies must be respectful of privacy, open and transparent, and solely for the purposes of improving the federal government's services and activities online. See the memo for specific guidance.