Weekly Detail on Application Processing Progress

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As the Program Administrator, Energy Solutions is committed to providing frequent updates and details on application processing progress. For the second 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’s measures in staffing, training cohorts, and automation have resulted in delivering 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 10, 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
  • Guidance to AVs to avoid the most common causes of Need Info requests

Application Processing Updates
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 10, 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. 

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
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

*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.

Project Application Reports – Website 
Application Processing Tables Clarifications:
A secondary application processing table at the Program website includes the weekly number of applications (for each project category and type), by status (Reviewed, Need Info, and Verified).  

Staffing and Training Enhancements 

  • Staffing Increases – The Program Administrator has continued hiring to exceed our target of 44 full-time application processing staff by mid-April. Through the week of April 10, 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 in which experienced application processors shadow, support, and coach new staff in real-time, application processing productivity and quality continue improving, resulting in an approximate 15% increase in applications reviewed per hour per reviewer.
  • Monitoring and Resourcing – The Program Administrator’s senior leadership continue to actively monitor the team’s performance, including daily processing output, to adjust resourcing as needed to categories falling behind forecasted throughput, and to graduate experienced processors to from Part I to Part II application review as soon as possible.

Need Info Guidance – The Program Administrator is working to reduce Need Info requests and resulting delays.

  • The Program Administrator advises AVs of the following most common errors resulting in Part I Need Info requests, and invites vendors to utilize Program Administrator support as needed:
    • Missing Customer Information – The AV enters AV information instead of customer information where applications and Disclosure Forms indicate a Customer-Owned/System Purchase project
    • Deficient Demographic Information – Applications have missing or incomplete demographic information in Part II, a Program requirement established December 2021.
    • Missing Documentation – AVs do not submit a CoC/PTO/Interconnection Agreement with their Part I application when interconnection approval date predates submission date.
    • Data Discrepancies – Examples include:
      • Number of modules depicted on plot maps when drawn by AV do not match the number indicated on the application
      • “Installer” listed is inconsistent between project application and supporting documents or Disclosure Form
    • Incomplete Disclosure Form – Customer initials or signatures missing on Disclosure Form
    • Responding to Need Info requests – The Program Administrator urges AVs to reply to the original Need Info email received (and subsequently to the same email thread), which includes critical project and application data. The creation of a new email by the AV, which lacks this data, requires manual identification and consolidation of prior case information. Responding in this way creates inefficiencies and can trigger the repeat of a previous Need Info request to ensure all information is collected from the AV, leading to slower overall application review.
  • Need Info Administrator Efficiencies 
    • The Program Administrator continues training staff to avoid erroneous Need Info flags to reduce requests made to AVs. In addition, portal automation, described last week, is adding efficiency to assessing applications for missing or incorrect information.
    • The Program Administrator continues emailing Need Info requests every Friday for both Part I and Part II applications.

Portal Development and Processing

  • Portal Tools and Assembly-Line Review – Our application processing team continued use of the “assembly line” model and automation tool to accelerate Part II application review to ensure accuracy and save processor time. The team has identified refinements of this tool and will likely begin piloting automation for parts of Part I application review this week. Continuous improvement of this automation and other efficiencies enables increased review and verification throughput week over week and achieving greater forecasted volumes.
  • Monitoring Throughput and Application Guidance – Reporting and monitoring throughput of individual processors’ goals have continued, resulting in significant impact on the speed of application review by quickly identifying and addressing barriers.
  • Restoration of Part II Submission for Select Projects – A Program Administrator software update on April 6, 2023 included updates to facilitate Part II application review. Though there was no impact to application data, AVs attempting to submit Part II applications which followed Part I applications submitted in the legacy portal via the prior Program Administrator were unable to complete Part II submission. Following a software update on April 13, 2023, the ability to submit these Part II applications was restored.

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, and to move toward a Fall 2023 goal of two-week turnaround time for application review (not inclusive of Need Info requests required application corrections from Approved Vendors). 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.

Thank you,
Illinois Adjustable Block Program
[email protected]