As Illinois Shines Program Administrator, Energy Solutions remains committed to providing frequent updates and details on application processing progress. For the third consecutive week, total actual project application review volumes for the week exceeded our overall forecast processing volume. Actual review exceeded forecasts in all but one sub-category, as is detailed below. To radically improve our processing rate and shorten the review time for submitted applications, the Program Administrator has continued taking strategic measures in staffing, training cohorts, and automation. These measures have continued to deliver higher and more predictable application throughput, including week-over-week gains in processing volume, toward bringing application processing to within two months of submission by mid-May, as shared in the April 4, 2023 announcement.
This announcement provides the following application processing updates:
- Updated application processing tables through the week of April 17, 2023 (including Actuals on application submission and review data)
- Details on progress in hiring, training and mentoring, monitoring, process improvement, and automation to accelerate application reviews
- Response to market recommendations of Need Info requests
Application Processing Updates
The Program Administrator is forecasting improving review turnaround time to two weeks by the end of Summer 2023, earlier than its initial Fall 2023 goal. For the visibility and benefit of Approved Vendors, and to reflect the further turnaround goals, the Program Administrator will soon extend the calendar on the below forecasts through June 2023. There are no changes by the Program Administrator to the most recently shared application processing forecasts. The Program Administrator updates application processing data on the Program website on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and this weekly announcement reflects application processing throughput, and any variances in submitted applications.
Updated Application Processing Tables
Updated data by application project category and type is provided below. For the week of April 17, 2023, the Program received fewer new project applications than projected, but the Program Administrator remains prepared for higher volumes as experienced in prior weeks and will continue monitoring the total End of Week Queue for each category.
Applications are reviewed in order of submission date by Part I/Part II groups, regardless of project category reflected in forecasted review dates. For example, older Part I Small DG applications are processed before more recently submitted Part I Large DG applications.
|Project Category||Applications In "Need Info" this week**|
|Small Distributed Generation||Part I||630||713||184|
|Small Distributed Generation||Part II||128||198||37|
|Large Distributed Generation||Part I||0||11||0|
|Large Distributed Generation||Part II||3||2||4|
|Traditional Community Solar - Waitlist Reallocation||Part I||0||9||0|
|Traditional Community Solar - Waitlist Reallocation||Part II||0||0||0|
|Traditional Community Solar - November 2022*||Part I||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Traditional Community Solar - November 2022||Part II||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Community-Driven Community Solar||Part I||0||0||0|
|Community-Driven Community Solar||Part II||0||0||0|
|Public Schools||Part I||0||0||0|
|Public Schools||Part II||0||0||0|
|Equity Eligible Contractor||Part I||0||0||0|
|Equity Eligible Contractor||Part II||0||0||0|
|Project Category||Application Type|
|Small Distributed Generation||Part I||February 6th, 2023||4347||692|
|Small Distributed Generation||Part II||January 20th, 2023||3790||404|
|Large Distributed Generation||Part I||February 6th, 2023||94||2|
|Large Distributed Generation||Part II||January 18th, 2023||39||1|
|Traditional Community Solar - Waitlist Reallocation||Part I||None submitted at this time||4||0|
|Traditional Community Solar - Waitlist Reallocation||Part II||December 19th, 2022||4||0|
|Traditional Community Solar - November 2022*||Part I||Scores announced||262||0|
|Traditional Community Solar - November 2022||Part II||None submitted at this time due to Part I applications in scoring process||0||0|
|Community-Driven Community Solar||Part I||In scoring period||67||0|
|Community-Driven Community Solar||Part II||None submitted at this time due to Part I applications in scoring process||0||0|
|Public Schools||Part I||February 8th, 2023||5||0|
|Public Schools||Part II||None submitted at this time||0||0|
|Equity Eligible Contractor||Part I||February 3rd, 2023||87||0|
|Equity Eligible Contractor||Part II||None submitted at this time||0||0|
|Equity Eligible Contractor – Adjusting EEC Criteria||Public Comment Deadline|
|Eligibility Criteria for EECs and the EEC Category||May 5, 2023|
Barnes & Thornburg
ICJC Jobs & EJ Subcommittee
IL IBEW Renewable Energy Fund
Windfree Wind and Solar Energy Design Company
|Part I |
|New Applications Submitted||Actual Applications Batched and Paid||New Applications Reviewed||End of Week Queue*||Reviewing Apps Submitted Week of|
|Part II |
|New Applications Submitted||New Applications Reviewed||End of Week Queue*||Reviewing Apps Submitted Week of|
*End of Week Queue column includes the total number of applications batched and paid which have not been reviewed. Due to project cancellations, the current queue may not exactly equal the previous week’s queue plus submitted less reviewed application volumes.
Staffing and Training Enhancements
- Staffing Increases – The Program Administrator has continued hiring beyond mid-April target of 44 full-time application processing staff and through the week of April 17, 2023, there are 50 full-time equivalent employees on the application team (not including management) across Part I and Part II review, Need Info coordination, verifications, quality assurance, and other essential application review measures.
- Productivity and Quality Gains – As a result of both increased team review experience and the success of training cohorts, application processing productivity and quality continue improving; 16% more applications were reviewed the week of April 17-23.
- Monitoring and Resourcing – The Program Administrator’s senior leadership continues to actively monitor the team’s performance, to adjust resources as needed to address the highest priority categories by date submitted and volume in queue.
Need Info Guidance – In its April 18, 2023 Weekly Detail on Application Processing Progress, the Program Administrator shared information with AVs on the most common errors resulting in Part I Need Info requests and invited vendors to utilize Program Administrator support as needed. The guidance covered missing customer information, deficient demographic information, data discrepancies, incomplete Disclosure Forms, and how to respond to Need Info requests.
In addition, the Program Administrator is currently evaluating market recommendations on application reviews with the IPA, with consideration of Program requirements, and to determine the potential for added processing efficiency without compromise to accuracy and completeness of applications. Additionally, training staff and revising documentation to avoid erroneous Need Info flags continues to reduce requests made to AVs.
Portal Development and Processing
- Portal Tools and Assembly-Line Review – The Program Administrator’s application processing team continues utilizing an “assembly line” model and automation tool to accelerate Part II application review. After testing the tool and making needed adjustments last week, the team will begin piloting automation for Part I application review this week. The Program Administrator is committed to continuous improvement of this automation and identifying additional efficiencies that can enable increased review and verification throughput toward meeting and exceeding greater processing volumes.
- Monitoring Throughput and Application Guidance – Reporting and monitoring of individual processors’ throughput against goals has supported continued productivity, and individual and team coaching.
The Program Administrator thanks stakeholders for their patience and feedback as we continue to aggressively work to improve operations and meet expectations in application review. Stakeholders are invited to contact the Program Administrator at any time regarding specific applications or overall application processing, by contacting: [email protected] or (877) 783-1820.
Illinois Adjustable Block Program