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Contractor training. Outline. Welcome and introductions Part 1: Program overview Part 2: Financing process Part 3: Forms and quality assurance Part 4: Market Research and Marketing Part 5: Recap and questions . Program overview. Business Energy Financing: FocUS.

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Contractor training

Contractor training



Welcome and introductions

Part 1: Program overview

Part 2: Financing process

Part 3: Forms and quality assurance

Part 4: Market Research and Marketing

Part 5: Recap and questions

Program overview

Program overview

Business energy financing focus

Business Energy Financing: FocUS

  • Commercial financing for energy efficiency improvements

  • Services provided only through network of Michigan Saves authorized contractors

  • Available to all businesses statewide with focus on food industry

Basic financing parameters

Basic Financing Parameters

  • Financing available for projects from $2,000 to $150,000

  • Commercial rates as low as 5.99%; tiered based on risk, project size, and term

  • Limited time only: Food industry rates 3.99%

    • Any size transaction (up to $150k) and term

  • Flexible terms ranging from 2–5 years

  • Streamlined application and approval

  • Prefunding for approved contractors available for transactions $5,000 and up

  • Low fees

Typical improvements

Typical improvements




Kitchen / cooking equipment

Controls and preventative maintenance

Insulation, windows, and doors

Photography by Marvin Shaouni


$2,000 rebate for 20% energy savings

(only for businesses in food industry)

Eligible properties and project types

Eligible properties and Project Types

  • All types of commercial properties including 501(c)(3) Nonprofit

    • No public entities at this time

  • Two tracks for measures to qualify for financing:

    • Pre-screened à la carte measures (aligns with utility rebates)

    • Improvements recommended by energy audit and part of package designed to reduce building’s energy consumption by 20%

Project types cont

Project Types (Cont.)

  • Under audit track:

    • ASHRAE Level II or Rebuild MI Technical Energy Analysis (TEA)

    • Must include summary table of recommended measures (see guidelines)

    • Must identify package(s) of improvements that would reduce total energy consumption by 20% or more

  • Special requirements for “soft costs”



  • Michigan Saves offers $2,000 to reduce building’s energy consumption by 20%

    • Whole building MMBtu (electricity and natural gas, fuel oil, and/or propane, as applicable), not utility cost savings

    • Requires energy audit with review by Michigan Saves

  • Utility rebates

  • Federal commercial EE tax credits

  • Other—USDA, SmartBuildings Detroit, Rebuild Michigan assessments, etc.

Financing process

Financing process

How does it work

How does it work?

After Vendor Approval: You will receive an e-mail from Ervin Leasing which will include the Michigan Saves Quote Tool.

Start using the quote tool. The key to the program is using the Michigan Saves Quote Tool.

Application flow

Application flow

  • Application approval goal:

  • below $75,000, 24 hours from receipt of completed application

  • above $75,000, 48 hours from receipt of completed credit package

  • Vendor notified of approval/denial

  • Ervin prepares and transmits financing documents to customer

  • Financing documents signed by customer (lessee) and returned to Ervin with initial check for first payment and documentation fee

Application flow cont

Application flow (CONT.)

  • Upon receipt, Ervin issues purchase order to contractor

    • Trigger for contractor to start work

    • For approved contractors any prefunding (up to 50%) takes place at this time, as applicable

  • Contractor performs installation and submits invoice to Ervin Leasing

  • Ervin Leasing verbally confirms job is done

  • Contractor is paid within 48 hours

Forms and qa

Forms and QA

2 000 incentive request

$2,000 incentive request

  • For 20% energy savings incentive ($2,000), two-step process

  • Step 1: Reservation

    • Contractor submits Michigan Saves reservation request with copy of audit (typically before applying for financing)

    • Michigan Saves reviews and holds funds for 120 days from date of approved reservation

    • Submit to Michigan Saves via Secure File Transfer

  • Step 2: Payment

    • Contractor submits Michigan Saves Spec Sheet / Certificate of Completion after project completed

    • Michigan Saves issues $2,000 payment to business owner (can be assigned to contractor)

Submitting reservation request form

Submitting Reservation Request form

File upload

File Upload

File upload cont

File Upload (cont.)

File upload cont1

File Upload (cont.)

File upload cont2

File Upload (cont.)

File upload cont3


File upload cont4


Specification sheet and certificate of compl etion

Specification Sheet and certificate of completion

  • Completed by contractor and used by Michigan Saves for reporting and evaluation

  • Describes installed measures and results of any energy modeling

  • Spec sheet and signed COC returned to Michigan Saves after project completed

    • COC signed by customer and contractor

Submitting coc spec sheet via online contractor portal

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet via Online Contractor Portal

Go to

Click on ‘Contractor Login’

Submitting coc spec sheet cont

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet (Cont.)

  • Log-in with User Name and Password

Submitting coc spec sheet cont1

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet (Cont.)

  • Click on BEF at top

  • Select “New Spec Sheet” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen

Submitting coc spec sheet cont2

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet (Cont.)

  • 5 Sections, although not every section will be completed with every project

  • Fields with red asterisks * must be completed to save and submit spec sheet

Submitting coc spec sheet cont3

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet (Cont.)

  • Section 1 – Customer Information

  • Includes basic customer information, facility description and utility bill data

Submitting coc spec sheet cont4

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet (Cont.)

  • Section 2 – Property Improvements

    • Expandable menus for different eligible measures

    • Complete sections that are appropriate for project

Submitting coc spec sheet cont5

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet (Cont.)

  • Section 3 – Energy Modeling Results

  • Required for Audit Approach

  • Required when seeking $2000 incentive for food industry facilities that achieve at least 20% savings

Submitting coc spec sheet cont6

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet (Cont.)

  • Section 4 – Project Cost

    • Include cost for each application section and sum for total project cost

    • Subtract any deductions, down payments, etc

    • Provide total amount financed

Submitting coc spec sheet cont7

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet (Cont.)

  • Section 5 – Loan Information

  • Provide the timeline from initial loan inquiry to project completion

  • Once Spec Sheet is complete, click Save and then Submit.

Submitting coc spec sheet cont8

Submitting Coc & Spec Sheet (Cont.)

  • Making Corrections after Submission

  • Michigan Saves will review submitted spec sheets

  • Each sheet either “Approved” or “Returned”

  • Check the “Returned” tab frequently

    • System doesn’t notify for returns

  • Returned projects will have reviewer notes at the top

  • Fix, submit again, and spec sheet proceeds to review again

Michigan saves qa process

Michigan Saves QA Process

  • Review documentation

    • Certificate of Completion

    • Specification Sheet

  • Site inspections upon project completion

    • Inspect installations against Specification Sheet

    • Will try to coordinate with Ervin, utilities, and other programs to avoid multiple inspections at single location

Market research and marketing

Market research and Marketing

Food vendors by city

Food Vendors by City

~7,500 businesses in independent food market in Michigan

Source: The Cadmus Group, Inc. (2011) using data from


Market research important features for food industry

Market research: Important Features for food industry

Low interest rate and flexible payments

Easy application and approval

ROI less than three years

Qualifying for other incentives, rebates

Monthly energy savings > finance charge

Marketing approach

Marketing approach

  • Program designed to be marketed by contractors and other partners (e.g., utilities, State of Michigan)

  • Marketing support from Michigan Saves with focus on food industry

    • Michigan Saves ads, trade shows, and other promotion through food trade associations

    • Direct outreach to businesses in some cases

    • Marketing materials available for contractors: brochure, $2,000 rebate “coupons”, posters for trade show

Brochure sample

brochure (sample)

Recap and q a

Recap and Q&A

Customer benefits


  • Turn-key

    • Speed of process

    • Simple, easy, and convenient

    • Funding available

  • Great deal

    • Below-market rates & terms

    • Lowest available payments

    • Lowest cash down

  • New source of capital

    • No need to disrupt current bank lines

  • Cash rebate

Resources and contacts

Resources and contacts

  • Go to

    • Contractor application packet and instructions

    • Program guidelines and forms

    • Training details and online RSVP

    • Program updates

  • Key contacts:

    • Program coordinator: Todd O’Grady, or 734-494-2126

    • Contractor application and processing: Todd Parker, or 517-484-6474

    • Ervin Leasing: Doug Jones,; 800-348-9196

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