When offering products and services to your customers, you’re not just trying to help your clients save energy – you’re also helping them save time and effort. Along with completing energy-saving upgrades, you can help your customers reap the benefits of the Retrofit program by acting as their applicant representative and applying on their behalf. Use this step-by-step guide to understand the Retrofit program incentive process and how you can add value to your customer relationships.
The Save on Energy Retrofit program can help businesses from various industries become more energy efficient and reinvest related cost savings into their operations. Introduce your potential customers to the program, so they can understand how they can shorten the payback period on energy-saving projects, as well as the benefits that come with incorporating energy efficiency into their businesses, including higher reliability and improved competitiveness. As their partner, you can add value by handling the application process for them.
A variety of measures and incentives are available to help businesses undertake energy-efficiency projects. Customers can choose measures from three streams: lighting, HVAC, and manufacturing and other equipment. Incentives are predefined based on the equipment being installed and applications must have a minimum total incentive value of $500 to be eligible.
As you lay out and plan projects with your customers, speak with them about the application process, the program requirements and your role as the applicant representative. Use the available optional program worksheets to choose project measures and to estimate energy savings and available incentives. Share the pre-project application checklist with your customers to help them get started. Resources to help you and your customers at every step of the application process are available online.
Once your customer is ready to begin a project, if you do not have an existing Retrofit portal account, sign up for the Save on Energy Retrofit portal, or log in to your existing account. The portal will centralize all aspects of your customer’s project application, from the details of the upgrade to the approval process.
Applying on behalf of customers means you’ll fill in the project details as an applicant representative. Your customers will also need to register for an applicant account to use the portal for project approvals. Work with them to set up their accounts, while reminding them that you’ll handle the application process.
Create an application in the portal and include project details, such as the estimated project cost, start date and a description of the upgrade. If you’re working on multiple facilities for the same customer, you can fill in details for upgrades at each facility under one application. You will also need to include any relevant documents, such as a quote for the project, spec sheets for the equipment and any other supporting documents required to support project review.
In the portal, you’ll be able to see estimates for energy savings based on the project details you provide. Your customers will be able to review their estimated project incentives as well as the project costs. Review them and ensure you and your customers are aligned on the outcomes.
Forward applications to your customers for their approval through the Retrofit portal. Your customers will need to review their applications and to accept the Retrofit program participant agreement, and then to submit their applications for review and approval by the IESO.
When your customer submits an application to the IESO, you’ll receive an email notification that the application has been received and is under review. During this time, the IESO may request edits. If that’s the case, simply return to the portal to make edits to the project details and then ask your customer to resubmit the application.
Once the review is complete, the IESO will send an email stating that your project has been pre-approved.
In order to be eligible for an incentive, your customer must submit an application before beginning a project.
Your customer can begin work once the application is submitted, or the customer can wait until the application receives pre-approval to ensure it meets program requirements. If a customer chooses to start the project before the application is pre-approved, it is important to know there is a risk that the project may receive a lower than expected incentive amount, or that the project application may not be approved.
Keep your customers up-to-date on their projects’ progress and completion.
After a project is complete, fill in the post-project submission. You will need to return to the pre-approved application in the Retrofit portal to prepare the submission. Add the verified data for the completed project and upload any required supporting documents, such as the customer's invoice for the project, disposal documents for the equipment replaced, and energy-saving calculations or measurements. Share the post-project submission checklist with your customers to ensure they don’t miss a step.
Once this is completed, send the post-project submission to your customer for review. The customer will submit the post-project submission to the IESO for review and approval, similar to the pre-approval process.
After the post-project submission is completed and approved, the IESO will ask your customer for an invoice for the approved incentive amount. Only your customer can submit the invoice through the Retrofit portal. Remind the customer to finish this important task to receive the incentive payment. Please check the invoice guide and template for more guidance on what needs to be included.
The submitted invoice is then reviewed and approved by the IESO. Once the invoice is approved, your customer can expect to receive an incentive cheque in eight to twelve weeks.
As a final step, follow up with your customer to see how the energy-saving upgrades are going and whether the customer is ready to take on another project. By effectively supporting the incentive application process, you can begin a long-term partnership throughout your customer’s energy-efficiency journey.
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