Six things you should know as an Alliance member
Tips for new and experienced members, plus refresher sessions in April
We've asked three members of the Alliance marketing team for some tips in getting the most out of your Alliance membership. Keep an eye out for invitations to upcoming refresher sessions in early April.
The BC Hydro Alliance of Energy Professionals is a network of contractors, distributors, and consulting engineers registered with BC Hydro. Members help business customers find opportunities to save energy install energy-efficient products and solutions and access BC Hydro conservation and energy management programs.
As a reminder, Alliance members get:
- Program support and updates
- Commercial and industrial customer referrals from BC Hydro
- Opportunities to attend educational and networking events
Here are six things to keep top of mind as an Alliance member.
1. Tweaking an application? Let us know ASAP
Near the top of Tanya Perewernycky's wish list as an Alliance program delivery specialist is that all members understand how to avoid delays in project approval. One of the surest ways to guarantee a delay – or worse, to see a project application rejected – is to not check if you're making revisions to an application.
"If you have any changes to an application or to a project's scope, let us know in advance," says Perewernycky. "Don't try and change it at the end, just let us know ASAP before you begin work."
If you switch your work to a different retrofit than the one that's in the application, it will be disqualified. The same goes for adding fixtures to an existing application. Even if they're eligible, if the numbers installed don't match the application, they won't be covered under the incentive.
2. Before you start work, get pre-approval
When you assume that a project will be approved by BC Hydro, it's tempting to get a jump on that work (or to purchase products) without waiting for pre-approval. Don't do it, or you risk leaving your customer on the hook for the extra costs of a lost incentive.
"Pre-approval is required for product incentives (BESI) and self-serve incentives (SIP), and as a general rule, all commercial and industrial incentives," said Malcolm Wheeler, product specialist with the Alliance. "Nothing can be purchased or installed before receiving pre-approval from BC Hydro."
If, in reviewing invoices, BC Hydro discovers that some products were purchased before the pre-approval date, they'll be disqualified.
3. Don't hesitate to ask for help, especially for new members
"I think my biggest piece of advice is to reach out for help with your early projects," says Sarah Fielding, a product specialist with the Alliance. "No one expects new members to be experts at understanding our programs and their applications. Learning how important all the details are to having an application approved and an incentive paid takes time, and the Business Help Desk and Alliance Team are happy to help."
Check in whenever you're unclear of anything related to an application. It can take some of the potential bumps out of the road as you proceed with the project.
When you need help, e-mail email@example.com, or call 604 522 4713 in the Lower Mainland or 1 866 522 4713 elsewhere in B.C.
4. Confirm that products are eligible for your retrofit
BC Hydro only pays for product upgrades that deliver on qualified energy savings specified by the program. It's all about the right product in the right configuration, and each upgrade must match the specifics of the application.
"Confirm products you're interested in are eligible for the retrofit configuration you're applying for," says BC Hydro's Perewernycky. "Get acquainted with the e.Catalog and always check it."
Eligibility for incentives is specifically linked to the technology being replaced and which upgrades and products qualify. It's very specific to a retrofit based on what the customer has existing, what they can upgrade to, and which products they can use.
5. Learn what project inspections are all about
The majority of projects go ahead – with incentives paid out – without pre- and post-inspections. But projects are selected for inspection by an algorithm randomly.
With smaller businesses, the site visit and inspection can take as little as 30 minutes, depending on the size of the business and the number of products specified in the application. Most inspections are done in under an hour.
6. Make sure invoices are complete and clear
The final stage of an incentive application, after project declaration, is an invoice review. Your invoice will need to include the model numbers of the products installed – check that they match what was indicated in the customer's declaration – and the quantities of each product as well as the cost to install.
If the information is unclear on the invoices submitted, follow-up is required, and that causes a delay in the customer receiving their incentive.