Weekly Detail on Application Processing Progress & TCS Audit Update

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Energy Solutions remains committed to providing frequent updates and details on application processing progress for Illinois Shines. For the fourth consecutive week, total project application review volumes for the week exceeded our overall forecasted processing volume, continuing progress toward the Program Administrator’s forecast to bring application processing to within two months of submission by mid-May, as shared in the April 4, 2023 announcement. The Program Administrator continues to strategically allocate staff across application types to meet the increasing volumes of applications to be reviewed each week, and to implement automation solutions toward its further goal of bringing processing to within two-week turnaround by the end of Summer 2023.

In May the Program supported AV invoicing of almost $10 million with about $9.7 million related to new Part II verifications.  With the review of more than 2,600 Part I project applications as well as accelerated Part II reviews, participating vendors will experience significantly faster invoicing moving forward. The Program Administrator will continue efforts to ensure this progress.

This announcement provides the following application processing updates:

  • Updated application processing tables through the week of April 24, 2023 (including Actuals on application submission and review data)
  • Extended forecast of application processing through June projecting achieving a two-week turnaround review of submitted applications
  • Details on progress in hiring, training and mentoring, monitoring, process improvement, and automation to accelerate application reviews

Application Processing Updates
The Program Administrator continues to forecast improving review turnaround time to two weeks by Summer 2023, earlier than its initial Fall 2023 goal. The Program Administrator continues to update application processing data on the Program website on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  This weekly announcement reflects application processing throughput and any variances in submitted applications.

Updated Application Processing Tables
The below forecasts are extended through June 2023, updated from those shared in previous announcements forecasted through May 8th. The forecasted submission volumes for May have been revised based upon current information considering historic volumes, remaining capacity, and insight from participating AVs. Actual volume data by application project category and type is provided below. For the week of April 24, 2023, the Program received fewer new project applications than projected, but the Program Administrator remains prepared for higher volumes.

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.

Part I

Large DG
New Applications Submitted Actual Applications Batched and Paid New Applications Reviewed End of Week Queue*Reviewing Apps Submitted Week of 
Projected ActualProjected Actual
Week Of104
3/27/2023 N/A9915610112/19/2022
Part II

Large DG
New Applications Submitted New Applications Reviewed End of Week Queue*Reviewing Apps Submitted Week of 
Projected ActualProjected Actual
Week Of55
3/27/2023 N/A3140571/16/2023
Part I

Public School
New Applications Submitted Actual Applications Batched and Paid New Applications Reviewed End of Week Queue*Reviewing Apps Submitted Week of 
Projected ActualProjected Actual
Week Of4
3/27/2023 N/A00N/A0412/19/2022
Part I

Small DG
New Applications Submitted Actual Applications Batched and Paid New Applications Reviewed End of Week Queue*Reviewing Apps Submitted Week of 
Projected ActualProjected Actual
Week Of4,339
3/27/2023 310301208504254,28012/19/2022
Part II

Small DG
New Applications Submitted New Applications Reviewed End of Week Queue*Reviewing Apps Submitted Week of 
Projected ActualProjected Actual
Week Of3,375
3/27/2023 2253746001063,6691/16/2023

*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 – The Program Administrator has continued hiring beyond mid-April target of 44 full-time application processing staff. With more than 50 full-time equivalent employees on the application team (not including management) a regular cadence of throughput has been established 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.
  • Monitoring and Resourcing – The Program Administrator’s senior leadership continues to actively monitor the team’s performance and adjust resources to meet review requirements.

Need Info Guidance –
The Program Administrator is currently evaluating market recommendations to increase efficiency of application reviews with the IPA with consideration of Program requirements and retaining persistent accuracy and completeness of applications. Additionally, there is continuous focus on training to avoid erroneous Need Info flags resulting in reduced requests of AVs.

Portal Development and Processing

  • Portal Tools and Assembly-Line Review – The Program Administrator’s application processing team continues effectively utilizing the “assembly line” model and automation tool to accelerate Part II application review. The week of April 24, the team piloted the Part I bulk application review tool and identified improvements also addressed this week. The tool is expected to be rolled out for Part I reviews the week of May 1st. The Program Administrator will continue efforts to increase automation and identify additional efficiencies to enable faster review and verification throughput.
  • Monitoring Throughput and Application Guidance – Reporting and monitoring of individual processors’ throughput against daily and weekly goals has continued, supporting continued productivity, and individual and team coaching.

The Program Administrator thanks stakeholders for their continued patience and feedback. We are continuing to meet increasingly aggressive review targets necessary to bring application processing into forecasted timeframes, and to fulfill the requirements of Illinois Shines for the benefit of all stakeholders. 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.

TCS Audit Update
The Agency had planned to release the results of the Traditional Community Solar Audit today, May 1, 2023, but is completing verification of a small number of open items. The results of the Traditional Community Solar Audit are expected to be released by Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

Thank you,
Illinois Adjustable Block Program
[email protected]