U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines
A video is any file with visual and audio content. This includes most webinars. (Audio-only webinars have different requirements.) All videos must meet Section 508's requirements for accessibility. This page explains the requirements and best practices for posting videos.
The following standards are required for all EERE videos.
Upload Your Video to YouTube
All videos on EERE must be uploaded to the U.S. Department of Energy's YouTube channel. This can be done in two ways:
- If the video is short, casual, and designed for the general public, you can request that Public Affairs upload it to the public YouTube channel. This will make it visible on YouTube and easily searchable.
- If the video is not designed for a general audience, it will be uploaded as unlisted. The video can still be embedded on your website, but it will not be searchable on YouTube.
To post your video:
- Send your transcript to your Lead Contractor. Ask them to create a caption file from it. They should create either an .SCC file or one of the alternative formats outlined in YouTube's caption file documentation. This file will be used to caption your YouTube video.
- Send the following items to Charles Joyner:
- Your video
- The title of the video
- The caption file
- A short description of the video. This will be used as the video's description on YouTube.
- A transcript. This will be used to caption the video.
- The video will be posted on YouTube. You will be told when it is ready.
- Embed the YouTube video on your website using the YouTube embed code.
- Create a new Web page for your text version and link to it beneath the embedded video.
All videos must include both a text version and captions to meet Section 508's requirements. You may post a video with only one of these, but you should plan to add the other as soon as you are able.
Embed Videos on Pages
Your video should be embedded on a page with content about the video or its topic. Do not place videos in popups or link to them directly.
Consider Alternatives to Videos When Necessary
All video files must have captions and transcripts. This includes webinars. If you need a more cost-effective option for posting webinars, consider one of these simpler approaches:
Post as an Audio File
Audio files only require a transcript.
Post the Slides or Transcripts
If you only post the PDFs or PPTs from the presentation, you only need to comply with the native file format requirements.
These standards are not required, but are encouraged for all site owners who would like a higher quality product.
Compression is a process where video files are reduced in size through the removal of unnecessary and redundant audio and video data. While there is a small loss in quality, a compressed video will have a smaller file size and will still be sufficient quality for the Web. When possible, compress your video to no more than 50 MB.
Design for the EERE Identity
Clearly show that DOE, EERE, and/or an EERE office produced your video by attaching a watermark or by making its ownership clear through the content or dialogue.
Don't Start Videos Without User Input
Never have a video play automatically when the page is opened.
When possible, your video should be:
- In the MP4 container format, with the video encoded with the H.264 codec and audio encoded with the AAC codec
- One of these recommended resolutions:
- 1280 x 720 (16:9 HD)
- 640 x 480 (4:3 SD)
- Kept in the original frame rate it was recorded in. The best quality videos are usually 24-30 fps.
Include a Link to Download Your Video
If you want to ensure that your video can be viewed on older browsers and devices, include a link to download your video. This link is generally included beneath the video, in the same line as the text version. You can provide a download link to any format you like.
You can make a video into a downloadable file by uploading it to DOE's Vimeo channel.
Studies show that viewers watching videos online have an attention span of approximately 3-5 minutes. Make short videos or break long videos into shorter segments.