Trade ally feedback drives Business Development Fund enhancements and greater support in 2023

A new Energy Trust initiative launched in summer 2022 is having positive results. The trade ally feedback initiative is an effort to gather insights from trade allies to inform program enhancements, better support trade allies and increase access to Energy Trust benefits in the trade ally community. 

Energy Trust Residential account managers supported the initial phase of feedback collection in summer 2022 by connecting trade allies with survey and interview facilitators, starting with minority- and women-owned trade ally businesses, then expanding to other Home Retrofit trade allies. Despite the busy summer season, facilitators gathered a large amount of feedback, which echoed knowledge already collected through Energy Trust’s Contractor Development Pathway (CDP). 

Findings from the initial phase have already driven improvements for trade allies. These include more collaboration between the Home Retrofit and Existing Buildings programs and upcoming enhancements for the Business Development Fund (BDF). 

Based on trade ally feedback, Energy Trust will remove the Business Development Fund reimbursement cap for approved marketing projects. This will allow trade allies to choose how they spend their annual BDF dollars, up to their annual limit. Funds may be used for a single approved marketing effort or spread over multiple approved projects and training throughout the year. In addition, the kinds of marketing products and services costs that can be reimbursed will be expanded. The 50% cap on training reimbursement will also be removed, allowing reimbursement of up to 100% of costs for approved training, subject to the annual BDF limit. Both enhancements will go into effect starting on January 1, 2023.  

The Residential program will continue working with account managers to collect trade ally insights in coming months. Feedback will add a contractor perspective to future program plans and be integrated into enhancements and new initiatives to support trade allies.  

Please reach out to your trade ally account manager to share feedback or learn how you can participate in future feedback collection activities. If you are unsure how to reach your account manager, please contact the Home Retrofit team.