Illinois Contractors Are Getting Approved for Utility Programs

By Todd Washam posted 03-13-2018 09:37 AM

In December, I wrote about troubles that ACCA Members in Illinois were having with electric utility rebate programs. Some utilities were telling contractors they needed to obtain an electrician’s license to perform HVAC installs for efficiency programs with Illinois utilities.

ACCA took action and formed a coalition with PHCC-IL, NFIB-IL and the Illinois Mechanical and Specialty Contractors Association. We sent a letter (and several e-mails) to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) seeking clarification on the issue. Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly because governments are notoriously slow!), the ICC has not responded to our request. However, there is good news coming from ACCA Members in Illinois.

ACCA Members are reporting that they are being approved by the ICC, but not without going through some hoops. Contractors are informing me that all contractors must be ICC Certified to be listed as an approved contractor in electric utility programs.

Click Here to apply with the ICC, contractors must apply for the program.

Once you fill out the application you need to have it notarized, and ACCA recommends sending it via registered mail. When the ICC receives the application, they should send a letter stating that they received it and then set up a file docket number. After that, contractors need to fill out a designated agent form. The designated agent form is required by law and must be renewed annually. As contractors are completing these steps, I recommend informing your utility partner each time you complete a step.

According to some of the contractors in Illinois, the approval time for all of this keeps getting longer because the messaging from the ICC and utility programs has created significant confusion in the industry. Many contractors are unaware that they need to go through these hoops to be certified by the ICC.

Although there is still some confusion, it does not appear that contractors need to be licensed electricians to be certified by the state. This is good news, and ACCA will fight for contractors if this issue comes up again.

Thank you to ACCA Members Sue Chappel and Laurie Lettner for helping ACCA navigate these issues and for reporting on how they’ve succeeded in being certified by the ICC.

ACCA is grateful for your assistance and reporting, which is going to be a big help for other ACCA Members who are looking at the mess in Illinois and wonder where to start!