We're in an unprecedented time in our lives with the spread of the coronavirus changing how we work, do business, and go about our daily lives. Every segment of the economy is affected, each in a different way whether it's remote working, increased safety precautions, or temporary shutdown of business activities. As we all struggle to deal with the implications of the past few weeks, we wanted to provide insight into how the rebate programs are being affected by the pandemic.
Most programs are still taking applications and issuing checks
We've received a lot of emails from utilities with updates on their programs over the past few weeks. A vast majority of the programs are still taking pre-approval and final rebate applications and issuing checks for projects. Because most companies have either implemented remote-working or reduced staff, pre-approvals and final applications may take longer than usual. If you are currently working on a project or considering one for this year, give yourself additional time for the approval process. Policies largely vary by area, so make sure to check with your local program.
Inspection requirements changed in many programs
Some rebate programs regularly conduct pre- or post- inspections as part of their process. In light of the federal guidelines for social distancing, many rebate programs have changed how they do these inspections. Some programs are now asking for photos of the equipment to verify rather than send out an inspector. Other programs are trying to conduct video calls to verify projects and approve them. For the most part, we see that programs are trying to limit all in-person activity, so if you're working on a project, be ready to provide more documentation than usual.
Program deadlines still in effect
At this point, we have not seen many announcements changing program end dates or offering automatic extensions for projects that have been pre-approved. For program end dates, we recommend you assume these will not change and plan accordingly. If you have a pre-approved project that needs an extension, most rebate programs have been flexible, but be sure to keep program administrators in the loop.
Don't forget about your projects
With everything going on, it's easy to overlook something like a rebate application. If you've been pre-approved and finished the project, don't forget to submit the final rebate paperwork and invoices. If you don't think you'll finish in time, make sure to file for an extension if possible.
We're here to help
For our clients, we're working remotely and are still making sure to keep track of all your projects. We'll stay on top of deadlines, approvals, and make sure the rebate process is still going smoothly. We'll reach out to you if extensions need to be filed and we'll work with the utility if your project has to be delayed.
If you have a new project that you would like to consider doing sometime this year, we suggest starting the approval process earlier than usual. Pre-approvals can always be canceled in the event plans have to change, so it's better to start early. If you need help with a project, just contact us for assistance.