Program Information Sheets
Few circumstances are more likely to draw the ire of a program manager than seeing the status of a custom rebate project floundering in the purgatory of “Waiting for Information.” Such situations can lead to delays in rebates, resulting in unhappy customers. Cost overruns resulting from multiple customer information exchanges also impact the overall effectiveness of an energy program. Much of this can be avoided by collecting relevant project details with Program Information Sheets.
These sheets are designed to extract meaningful details from a rebate applicant. Ideally, this document would be completed at the time an application is signed. The idea is not to ask for the moon, but some basic parameters such as motor sizes and quantities, along with a brief project description.
Custom rebate programs can cover just about any kind of equipment or technology under the sun – from fans to pumps to air compressors. Therefore, a series of worksheets should be developed and tailored to specific technologies. For example, a VFD sheet would include the number of operating hours at each motor speed.
Such documentation can go a long way in developing a sound technical analysis. At the very least, presenting this information can eliminate the initial email or phone call to the customer asking, “What are you doing?”
By completing a project sheet, the expected level of involvement is made clear to the customer. After all, this is information that would eventually be collected anyway. It is also possible that such an exercise will assist the customer’s own understanding of the project scope.
And from a program evaluation perspective, such documentation can provide a clean record of exactly what kind of information was used to develop a project’s energy savings estimate.
From an implementer’s perspective, it will take time and resources to develop a series of information sheets to cover most of the technologies involved in a typical custom rebate program. Training of utility representatives is also needed to ensure appropriate instructions are communicated to the customer.
Moral of the Story
Requiring the completion of another form can discourage the customer from future participation in utility programs But a series of emails from a pesky engineer can easily do the same. So, go ahead and create Program Information Sheets for your customer to make everyone’s life easier.