Problem

When it comes to energy efficiency rebates, every utility company in the US runs its own program. That means a business operating across multiple states needs to work with and manage thousands of different schemes. To be successful, the programs  need its internal processes to be as efficient as possible to remain on top of the procedures, rules and availability of each and to maximize ROI. But when the technical partner tasked with delivering that efficiency is not an expert in the industry, it presents problems.

That was precisely what this major home-improvement retailer found when it partnered with another provider to help streamline the process of administering utility rebates and energy efficiency incentives. To all intents and purposes, its partner lacked industry expertise; that meant missed opportunities, inefficiencies, and ultimately increased risk.

The business quickly realized what it needed was an experienced and agile partner who could adapt to the company’s fast-paced, organic growth and evolving strategic vision. A partner that knew which approaches were likely to work, and could add value as a sounding board.

To identify the right partner, the company evaluated a number of criteria, including the candidate’s:

  • Technical and subject matter expertise—which was a deal-breaker.
  • Existing relationships with the various state and local utilities.
  • Strategic plan and processes to help meet particular objectives.
  • Ability to provide insight into additional areas of opportunity.
  • Resources, and whether they could adapt rapidly as strategic needs changed.

Following its search, the company turned to Bill Identity—a partner that brought a unique skillset and trusted existing relationships within the utility marketplace—to replace their current service.

Solution

Since selecting Bid in 2019, the company has been able to leverage its new partner’s skills, experience and advice, and has taken significant steps towards energy efficiency. In what has been a real team approach, several areas of the company, including Real Estate, Construction, Sourcing and Energy, have worked jointly with Bill Identity to select the right projects and locations, prepare applications, conduct site inspections and post-installation reviews. The same groups have also considered any compliance-related matters and how they should be managed.

Since the partnership with Bid began, the company has seen an increase in the success of its strategic initiatives. Its processes have improved, and Bid has delivered a high-quality service, one valued by all the company’s team members.

Outcome

Working with Bill Identity as a rebate manager has set the retailer free to focus on opportunities that add value. Trial and error no longer have a role to play in its approach to managing rebate programs, and that saves time and money. And, because funds are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis—and are by no means guaranteed—having the ability to stay on top of them gives the company a significant advantage in the market.

The new partnership has brought:

  • improvements in efficiency
  • productivity increases
  • greater return on investment.

Before

  • Before working with Bill Identity, the rebates process was time-consuming and inefficient.
  • It was hard to manage a high volume of projects in a fast-changing environment.
  • The technical partner lacked knowledge of the complex market.
  • It took too long to respond to strategic changes driven by the opening and closing of rebate schemes.
  • The retailer spent too much time mitigating the risks associated with rebate applications and compliance and not enough on finding ways to add value to the organization.

After

  • The rebate application process has become more streamlined and efficient.
  • A number of areas have seen productivity increases and can now focus on finding additional value.
  • The company can stay on top of thousands of rebate programs and respond to changing priorities as certain rebates close or others open.
  • In 2019, the company completed more than 500 rebate projects
  • In the same year, it completed rebate projects for locations in 40 states across the US.

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