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2013 Program FAQs

Reservation Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 Program Year. All measures must be installed within 90 days of the Reservation Letter or end of the Program year (Nov. 30), whichever comes first. Final Applications must be received by Nov. 30, 2013.

What is the contact information for the program?
Email:saveenergy@dteenergy.com
Phone:866.796.0512 (press option 3)
Web:dteenergy.com/savenow
Fax:877.607.0744
Mail:DTE Energy’s Energy Efficiency Program for Business
P.O. Box 11289
Detroit, MI 48211

Who can participate in the Energy Efficiency Program for Business?
Any DTE Energy commercial or industrial customer can participate that is on a non-residential rate which contributes to the energy optimization surcharge and has not elected to self direct (see below). Specific details on eligibility can be found in the Terms and Conditions listed on the Application. We have separate programs for residential and multi-family customers. For more information on these incentives, visit dteenergy.com/saveenergy.

How is a customer defined for the purpose of determining the incentive caps?
A customer is typically defined by a unique Taxpayer ID. Please contact your DTE Energy Account Manager or the Program hotline at 866.796.0512 (press option 3) for additional clarification.

Can I participate if I am a self-direct customer of DTE Energy?
No, self-direct customers are not eligible to participate in DTE Energy’s Energy Efficiency Program for Business, because they are not paying the full energy optimization surcharge.

Who can submit applications?
A customer or a contractor, working on a customer’s behalf, can submit both the Reservation and Final Application. The Final Application must be signed by the DTE Energy Account Holder (a representative of the business served by DTE Energy) — which purchased the qualifying energy efficiency measures.

Why do I need to provide my Tax Payer ID Number and Tax Status?
The incentives paid through this Program may be considered taxable income. The Program is required to report paid incentives, using the IRS Form 1099 if it is more than $600 for certain types of firms. DTE Energy is not responsible for any taxes that may be imposed on a business as a result of receipt of an incentive.

If the electric and/or natural gas for a facility is purchased through a third party, are measures installed at this facility eligible for incentives?
Yes, as long as energy used by the facility is subject to a DTE Energy electric or natural gas delivery charge.

How do I apply for the cash incentives offered in the Program?
A Program Application must be completed and submitted to receive an incentive in this program. The Application can be found on the Program website (dteenergy.com/savenow).

When can I begin submitting Program applications?
Reservation Applications may be completed and submitted until Nov. 30, 2013. Please note that some projects require a Reservation Application to reserve funding. To be eligible for the current Program year’s incentive levels, all work must be completed and a Final Application submitted with all required documents, including specifications and invoices, by Nov. 30, 2013, or by the Reservation Application end date, whichever comes first.

Do I have to submit a Reservation Application?
A Reservation Application is required for all Custom projects and certain Prescriptive measures. Refer to the Program Catalog for requirements. A Reservation Application is strongly encouraged for prescriptive projects. A Reservation Application reserves funds for a specific project provided that:
  • Measures are completely installed within 90 days of project approval or the end of Program year (Nov. 30, 2013), whichever comes first.
  • Work commences on the proposed measures within 30 days of project approval.
Prior to starting your work, please review the Catalog measure specifications and Application to make sure the measures you are planning are covered under the Program. Reservation Applications are not a guarantee that incentives will be provided. Actual incentives are based on Final Applications.


What is the advantage of submitting a Reservation Application?
The Reservation Application step allows us to reserve program funds for your project for up to 90 days. Reservation Applications are strongly encouraged for all projects. It is required for all custom incentive projects and for some Prescriptive measures. (Refer to the Catalog for requirements.). Applicants are encouraged to read the Catalog and Application carefully to determine if a Reservation Application is required. We cannot guarantee funding for projects that skip the reservation process. Reserved funds are not transferable to other projects and/or customers.

What if I submit a Reservation Application and my final project is changed?
Once your Reservation Application has been reviewed and a Reservation Letter is issued to you, funds will be reserved for 90 days. Submit your Final Application after making changes to reflect the actual work completed and the Program Team will review it to determine the appropriate incentive amount. If your final incentive amount is greater than the reserved amount, the Team will determine if there are funds available to pay the additional incentive. There is no guarantee that funds will be available for incentives above the reserved amount. A reservation does not guarantee payment.

Are the reserved funds resulting from a Reservation Application a guarantee of payment of incentives at the reserved amount?
No, a reservation is not a guarantee that you are entitled to a specific amount. The actual payment will be based upon our review of your Final Application and supporting documentation, and may be subject to a site inspection. Many terms and conditions can only be validated based upon the Final Application, such as the model number of equipment installed and the project cost.

Can I receive an extension on my fund reservation beyond the 90-day reservation period?
Extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis. If your delivery of ordered equipment exceeds the reservation period, we may provide an extension. Please contact the Program hotline at 866.796.0512 (press option 3) for specific questions regarding funding reservations.

What types of incentives are available?
The Program provides Prescriptive, Custom and New Construction/Major Renovation incentives (which require a separate Application – see below).
Prescriptive incentives are available for a set of defined energy-saving equipment and generally are based on a per-unit basis (see the Catalog and Application for specifications). The prescriptive Program is designed to simplify the application process for the most common energy-saving measures.
Custom incentives are based on the amount of estimated annual energy savings and apply to all energy-efficiency improvement measures that are not eligible for a prescriptive incentive. If you have questions about how to calculate the energy savings associated with a custom incentive, please contact your DTE Energy Account Manager or call the Program hotline at 866.796.0512 (press option 3).


Is there a program for new construction as well as existing building renovations?
Yes, the New Construction and Major Renovation Program provides design assistance and incentives for installing energy-efficient equipment and controls that make new buildings more efficient. These improvements and enhancements and are above standard construction practices. Incentives also are available for major renovation projects for existing buildings. A separate Application exists for these projects. It can be found on our website: dteenergy.com/savenow

I have installed energy efficiency measures that are not listed in your Catalog or Application. Are they still eligible for an incentive?
Energy-efficiency measures that are not on the prescriptive list may be eligible for a custom incentive, if a Reservation Application was submitted prior to installation. If the measures were installed without a Reservation Application, then the Energy Efficiency Program for Business cannot pay an incentive. Various requirements and restrictions apply. Please refer to the Application, your DTE Energy Account Manager or call the Program hotline at 866.796.0512 (press option 3) for assistance.

How do I determine what energy saving measures are right for my facility?
You can start by contacting the list of Designated Trade Allies (see below): trained contractors who are familiar with the Energy Efficiency Program for Business. The directory of Designated Trade Allies is available on our website and searchable by location and type of work performed. These Designated Trade Allies sell and install energy efficiency equipment, which can make them a useful source for Program information.

If my retrofit involves a prescriptive measure, do I have a choice as to whether to apply for prescriptive or custom incentives?
No, the applicant does not have a choice regarding the type of incentive. Measures that qualify for prescriptive incentives are not eligible for a custom incentive. However, the Program Team may decide to apply the custom incentive to an entire project when the interaction of the installed prescriptive and custom measures makes it difficult to determine the savings for just the custom measures.

Will incentives be paid up front?
No, incentives will be paid only after the project has been completed and the Final Application has been submitted, reviewed and approved.

Can I get an incentive to change from an electric technology to a natural gas technology or vice versa?
No. Fuel-switching measures are not eligible for an incentive.

Can I receive an incentive for installing on-site generation or a renewable energy system?
On-site generation and renewable energy projects, such as solar water heaters or photovoltaic installations, do not qualify for an incentive under this program. DTE Energy’s Solar Currents program can provide you more information on incentives available for renewables.

Is my city included in the DTE Energy service territory?
DTE Energy serves customers throughout Michigan. If you have questions about DTE Energy’s service area, please reference the service territory maps at dteenergy.com by using the search feature (enter “service territory”).

Do I qualify for incentives if my facility is served by DTE Energy for only gas or only electricity, but I am served by another utility for the other energy commodity?
The Energy Efficiency Program for Business will pay incentives for measures relevant to the commodity provided by DTE Energy (electric or natural gas). All utilities in Michigan offer similar programs, so check with them for more information. If a prescriptive measure saves both gas and electricity, such as a programmable thermostat, you cannot apply for an incentive for the same prescriptive measure from both utilities. You may however, apply to two different utilities based on the savings for the commodity they serve.

What documentation is required once my project has been completed?
Once your project is completed, you must submit the following documentation:
  • Properly completed and signed Final Application
  • A copy of the Account Holder’s W9 (and the contractor’s W9, if a third-party payment plan is involved)
  • Copies of dated and itemized invoices for the purchase and installation of the measures
  • Product/manufacturer specification sheets
Project invoices should provide sufficient detail to separate the project cost from the cost of other services, such as repairs and building code compliance, as well as show the location where the measures were installed. DTE Energy reserves the right to request additional supporting documentation as deemed necessary to ensure measure eligibility and verify the expected energy savings will occur. Requested information could include: equipment purchase dates, description of the pre-existing equipment, installation dates, proof that the equipment is operational, manufacturer specifications, warranty information and proof of customer co-payment. Applicants are encouraged to call the program hotline if they have any questions about documentation requirements. All customer information will be held in confidence.


How will I know the status of my Application?
An email notification will be sent after we receive and process your Reservation (if submitted) or Final Application. A Reservation Letter will be sent once your Reservation Application is successfully reviewed and funds are reserved. Contact the program hotline at 866.796.0512 (press option 3) for information on your application status. Please also contact the program hotline if your project plans change after submitting your Reservation Application.

What is the Application processing timeframe?
The review of a Reservation Application generally takes two to four weeks in order to assess the pre-existing equipment and reserve the appropriate funding. The review of the Final Application takes approximately four to six weeks. These general review times assume that a fully completed, accurate Application is submitted with the required documentation. Inaccurate applications or insufficient documentation can increase the review time. Incentive checks are generally paid within four weeks after approval of the Final Application.

Is there a list of available contractors?
The program does not recommend, qualify or otherwise approve contractors for participation. However, we do offer training to contractors and publish a searchable directory of these Designated Trade Allies on our website. Designated Trade Allies are specially trained in how to effectively use our Program on behalf of their customers, and how to accurately complete and submit our Application. If you are a contractor interested in becoming a Designated Trade Ally, call the Program hotline at 866.796.0512 (press option 3).

Am I required to use a contractor or Designated Trade Ally for improvements at my facility?
No. Many customers choose to install the measures with in-house staff. In this situation, the vendor that sells the equipment to you should be listed as the contractor on the Application. Please note that for self-installed equipment, internal labor costs are not considered when determining the project costs.

Do I need to select a vendor or contractor before submitting a Reservation Application?
No, but because of the 90-day reservation window, we strongly recommend that you have a contractor/vendor selected before you submit your Reservation Application. We will not accept multiple Reservation Applications from more than one contractor for the same project.

Can I have the incentive check sent directly to my contractor?
Yes, the customer can have the incentive sent directly to the contractor or other third party by filling out and signing the Third-Party Payment section of the Final Application.

Is there a maximum amount of incentive money I can receive?
Yes, the incentive amount paid for custom projects cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost for purchasing and installing the energy-efficiency measures. Other Program caps apply for both prescriptive and custom projects:
  • Electricity customers of DTE Energy:
    • May receive up to $200,000 per facility per program year for both prescriptive and custom projects.
    • May receive up to $200,000 per project per program year for both prescriptive and custom projects.
    • The total customer cap is $750,000 per program year across all facilities of a DTE Energy electric customer.
  • Natural Gas customers of DTE Energy:
    • May receive up to $200,000 per facility per program year for both prescriptive and custom projects.
    • May receive up to $100,000 per project per program year for both prescriptive and custom projects.
    • The total customer cap is $200,000 per program year across all facilities of a DTE Energy natural gas customer.


Once I receive my incentive do I have any further program obligations?
DTE Energy reserves the right to perform measurement and verifications activities for a period of five years after any measures were installed.

Will my data be kept confidential?
All customer information provided to the program will be held in confidence.