Trade Ally Code of Conduct

The Trade Ally Code of Conduct is in place to protect the funds of Focus on Energy’s participating utilities that derive from Wisconsin utility customers.  The intent of the Code of Conduct is to outline the expectations and guidelines related to participation as a registered Trade Ally in Focus on Energy.

Business Conduct
The Trade Ally agrees to conduct business in an honest and ethical manner as follows:

1.    Avoid conflicts of interest in all business practices and interactions.

2.    Comply with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, codes and all Focus on Energy-specific requirements.

3.    Fulfill contractual obligations.

4.    Represent Focus on Energy in a manner that does not adversely affect Focus on Energy’s business, operations, reputation or goodwill. This includes:

  • Respectful treatment of the customer’s facility and property, including communication with the customer, Focus on Energy Implementer and/or Administrator when damage to the facility or property has occurred as a result of a Trade Ally project implementation.
  • Truthfulness in all aspects of engagement with customers. Misrepresentation of a Trade Ally’s company or services will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Misrepresenting oneself or one’s company as being an employee of, representative of, or contracting with Focus on Energy or any participating utility.
    • Misrepresenting the benefits, financial or otherwise, of a product or service the Trade Ally offers.
  • Truthfulness in all aspects of engagement with Focus on Energy. This includes accuracy on the completion and customer eligibility of submitted applications and reports, as well as the attributed savings resulting from retrofits and the installation of approved equipment. Misrepresentation of project work will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Falsifying invoices/applications, including, but not limited to, invoice dates, equipment costs, make and model, quantities, installation address, and date.
    • Forging of customer signatures.
    • Applying for incentives on equipment which is not operational.
    • Providing inaccurate information regarding existing or proposed equipment.
    • Providing insufficient incentive credit to a customer when receiving the full incentive on the customer’s behalf.
    • Not conforming to the Focus on Energy Trade Ally Co-Branding Guidelines when using the Focus on Energy Logo.  

5.    Maintain respect in communication and interaction with Focus on Energy Implementer representatives, Administrator representatives, utility staff and customers.

Program Participation Requirements

To remain a registered Focus on Energy Trade Ally, Trade Allies must adhere to: (1) Customer Service Requirements (2) Trade Ally Participation Requirements, and (3) Trade Ally Invoice Policy and Procedures, as outlined below:
*Focus on Energy is not responsible for any losses incurred as a result of not meeting program requirements, including but not limited to, not receiving incentive pre-approval, submitting applications after program deadlines, failing to provide appropriate invoicing or not meeting equipment eligibility requirements.

Customer Service Requirements

  1. Provide responses within two business days for phone and email inquiries. If unable to fully respond within two (2) business days, the Trade Ally should provide an estimate of the time needed to fully respond, based upon the complexity of the inquiry.
  2. Honor scheduled appointments. When unable to attend scheduled customer appointments, the Trade Ally should notify the customer in a reasonable amount of time before the scheduled visit.
  3. Develop clear job proposals encompassing all involved costs including performance and savings claims, and projections, if applicable.
  4. Provide all Focus on Energy paperwork to the customer within ten (10) business days unless the customer has been given a different timeframe.
  5. Submit applications to Focus on Energy for incentive payment within the timeframe specified on the Focus on Energy documentation, along with detailed invoices showing quantities, equipment costs, installation costs, make, model and serial numbers when required.
  6. When applicable, an energy efficient equipment option should be offered as an alternative solution when non-energy efficient equipment is also being considered. 

Trade Ally Participation Requirements

  1. The Trade Ally must provide a valid W-9.
  2. The Trade Ally must maintain necessary certifications, and maintain the customary and legally required insurance coverages for their business type. Upon request, the Trade Ally must supply evidence of current insurance.
  3. The Trade Ally must participate in at least one (1) project per calendar year or be subject to removal as a registered Trade Ally of Focus on Energy
  4. Upstream Program participants, including distributors, lighting retailers, manufacturers, manufacturer’s representatives and consultants, will only be subject to the above provisions (1) and (2). These Program participants are not credited with project implementation in SPECTRUM, due to the nature of their role in Focus on Energy; however, they add value to specific project activity.
  5. Failure to comply with the Trade Ally Code of Conduct or Trade Ally Application Terms and Conditions is subject to review and may lead to dismissal of the Trade Ally from continued participation in Focus on Energy.

Trade Ally Invoice Policy and Procedures
With any project where a receipt is required to initiate payment of an incentive, the Trade Ally must adhere to the policy below when providing documentation to Focus on Energy.  In all Focus on Energy incentive/project instances, the Trade Ally assumes all risk associated with receiving the incentive on the customer’s behalf and with providing estimated Focus on Energy incentives to customers prior to receiving Focus on Energy approval.

1.    Trade Allies must document equipment and installation costs.

  • Equipment consists of physical pieces of equipment purchased by the Trade Ally for the purpose of an energy efficiency project (e.g. chiller, variable frequency drive, etc.). The equipment price can include tax or other mark-ups passed on to the customer. This price must represent the actual price the end-use customer is paying for the piece of equipment.  Note: Changes in costs as compared to those used for pre-approval may adjust the final incentive.
  • Installation costs should be identified separately from equipment costs.  Installation costs include labor and overhead costs associated with installing the equipment (i.e. the sum of any associated costs such as trip charges, hourly labor rate and rental equipment).

2.    Procedure

  • Prescriptive Incentives  
    • Trade Allies must provide Focus on Energy with a detailed invoice identifying the following:
      • Equipment installed (Make/Model Number): This is required to verify the equipment installed qualifies for Focus on Energy incentives.
      • Quantity of equipment installed: This is required to verify the quantity of equipment installed aligns with the Focus on Energy application.
      • Itemized costs for all equipment: This is required to verify individual costs. Some incentives (e.g. VFDs, LED’s, etc.) are capped at a percentage of project cost.
      • The final invoice provided to Focus on Energy must be the same invoice the customer is receiving.
    • Unless otherwise specified, project cost is limited to the equipment cost and installation cost.
    • If a Trade Ally is receiving incentives on behalf of a customer, a line item stating “Focus on Energy Incentive Credit” with an invoice credit must be documented on the invoice.  The invoice credit must reflect the same incentive amount the customer would receive had they completed the submission themselves for the same project.
  • Custom Incentives
    • Trade Allies should provide Focus on Energy with a simple invoice, detailing the equipment installed (including model number(s), quantities, etc.) when requesting payment of a custom incentive. The invoice should be sent in addition to the Project Completion Notice.
    • The final invoice provided to Focus on Energy must be the same invoice the customer is receiving.
    • In the event the custom project is a portion of a larger-scope project, an estimate of the specific project cost should be provided.
    • If a Trade Ally is receiving incentives on behalf of a customer, a line item stating “Focus on Energy Incentive Credit” with an invoice credit must be documented on the invoice. The invoice credit must reflect the same incentive amount the customer would receive had they completed the submission themselves for the same project.

Ramifications for Non-Compliance with Trade Ally Code of Conduct
Program Implementers, with input from the Program Administrator, will utilize a tiered corrective action procedure for non-compliance with any of the requirements detailed in this document.  Trade Allies will be given a written warning on their first offense with the potential for dismissal after a second offense.  The warning and dismissal do not need to be for related offenses.  The Program Administrator reserves the right to exercise full discretion in Trade Ally expulsion for all non-compliance issues, particularly those involving fraud and improper customer interaction.

  1. First offense:  Formal written notice - It is at the discretion of Focus on Energy to increase inspection rates or modify frequency of other Quality Assurance activities based on the non-compliance issue.
  2. Second offense:  Trade Ally suspended indefinitely from Focus on Energy Program.  Program Administrator reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to apply the suspension of a Trade Ally to (a) other Trade Allies with common ownership or (b) another company with common ownership that is applying to enroll in Focus on Energy.