For Solar Program
As part of Energy Trust’s ongoing soft cost reduction initiative, the solar program provides business development resources to help drive continued growth of solar trade ally contractors and create a vigorous and sustainable Oregon solar market that can ultimately thrive without incentives.
Check out the Training & Education Calendar to find more business development training opportunities.
The business development fund reimburses solar trade allies for a portion of pre-approved marketing projects and training. Using the Energy Trust logo in your marketing pieces positions your business as a solar expert, and participating in training helps your business improve and grow.
- Solar Trade Ally Business Development Fund Guidelines
- Pre-Approval Application Business Development Funds
Steps to Receive Reimbursement
- Request pre-approval. Unless Energy Trust expressly pre-approves a marketing piece, it cannot include Energy Trust’s logo. Refer to Business Development Fund Guidelines for more information on using the Energy Trust logo and the requirements for language or messaging.
- Produce your marketing materials or attend your training.
- Submit for payment. Reimbursement checks will be mailed to participating trade ally contractors within 60 business days of receiving all required materials. Funds are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Business development fund amounts are subject to change. Energy Trust reserves the right to decline reimbursement for any project.
Trade Ally Logo
The Energy Trust Trade Ally logo must be included on all pieces and must be used in black and white against a solid color background. Space surrounding the Energy Trust Trade Ally logo must be at least the size of the “burst” as shown below.
Download the Energy Trust Trade Ally logo from the Logo Resources page.
Language and messaging requirements
Do not refer to Energy Trust cash incentives as “rebates.” They are “incentives” or “cash incentives.”
Do not refer to tax credits as “cash incentives.” If advertising or promotion refers to tax credits in combination with Energy Trust cash incentives, it must refer to them as “tax credits” and “incentives” or “cash incentives.” Example: “Solar electric installations may qualify for tax credits and incentives totaling $9,000.”
If advertising or promotion refers to the percentage of cost savings available through tax credits and incentives, it must include the words “up to.” Example: “Up to 75 percent of system cost can be covered by tax credits and incentives.”
Refer to Energy Trust of Oregon as “Energy Trust of Oregon” in the first use and “Energy Trust” thereafter. Do not refer to Energy Trust as ETO.
Do not use “partner,” “partnership” or “partnering” when associating Energy Trust with your business. Use “trade ally contractor of” or “or working with” or “in collaboration with.”
Build it Bright! Solar Marketing Training
The Solar program has worked with Glenna Wiseman of Identity3, a nationally recognized solar marketing expert, to provide a 6-month solar marketing training series for solar installers to use in assessing and expanding marketing efforts. Follow the links below to view pre-recorded webinars, listen to podcasts, read blog articles or download documents and resources that you can use to grow your business. Go to the Training & Education Calendar to register for upcoming webinars.
- Taking Stock: Assessing the Condition of your Marketing Foundation
- Mapping Strategy: Engineering your Marketing Success
- Presenting your Best: Marketing Campaigns and Creative Content
- Efficient Activation: Tools and Strategies for Efficient Campaign Delivery
- Tracking Results: Implementing Systematic ROI Reporting
- Putting it all Together: Creating the Building Blocks of your Solar Marketing Program
The Solar program has contracted with Kendrick Business Services to offer solar trade ally contractors up to $5,000 per year to use toward financial assessment and management services for their business. As part of our ongoing soft cost reduction effort and to help solar trade allies take advantage of these valuable business development resources, Energy Trust will offset half the cost of the services.
The following services are eligible for a 50 percent cost match:
- Complete Financial Management Assessment – A comprehensive Quickbooks file assessment and review of the company’s financials. After this assessment, the trade ally will be provided a report and a follow-up meeting to review the assessment and create an action plan to define goals and timelines for improvements identified during the assessment. The written evaluation will cover topics relevant to the solar installation industry, including job costs, project tracking, reporting and overall business financial management, as well as samples for best practices in the industry. Cost to Trade Ally: $500 after Energy Trust’s 50 percent cost match
- Hourly Financial Consulting – Upon completion of the assessment, Kendrick Business Services can work with Solar trade allies on optimization and cleanup of QuickBooks data to achieve goals defined during the assessment. Cost to Trade Ally: $100 per hour after Energy Trust’s 50 percent cost match
- Remote CFO Meetings – After identifying gaps during the financial management assessment and taking action to address them, solar trade allies can take advantage of a bimonthly “Remote CFO” service to continue making process toward strategic goals and provide professional financial advice that is catered to your specific business needs. Cost to Trade Ally: $300 per meeting after Energy Trust’s 50 percent cost match
Annie Kendrick, Principal of Kendrick Business Services has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. She works with construction related firms across the country implementing software, streamlining processes, and creating custom solutions to meet the specific needs of each individual company to track sales and improve profitability. She is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and Method CRM Certified Consultant specializing in the construction and solar industry.
To take advantage of this offer contact Jeni Hall for more information.
Financial Lessons Learned
Lessons Learned is an educational series of six blog posts and recorded webinars on financial management for your solar business presented by Leslie Shiner of The ShinerGroup and Annie Kendrick of Kendrick Business Services, LLC. The stories are fictional, and are used for illustration purposes only. They do not depict any actual person, company or event.
- Project Controls
- When You Make a Profit, You Should Get to Keep It!
- My Jobs Look Profitable, So Why is My Business Losing Money?
- Making Decisions Based on False Profits
- Paying too much in taxes