IUI Program Operator RFP

2022 RFP Now Open:

Energy Solutions and its TECH Initiative partners (Program Implementers) seek to hire a Program Operator for Silicon Valley Clean Energy’s (SVCE) Inclusive Utility Investment (IUI) Pilot, also known as a Tariffed On-Bill Pilot (TOB). Please review the RFP linked under Links and Resources for complete RFP details.

For logistical reasons, we have extended the deadline to submit notices of intent to bid to October 21 and are allowing additional questions to be submitted by October 20. All questions will be answered by October 21.

IUI Pilot Description & Goals

The IUI Pilot will allow customers and communities without the financial stability or means traditionally required by energy-efficiency programs to access electrification and decarbonization technologies by leveraging a utility’s existing mechanisms for making capital investments with cost recovery through monthly bills. In this case, the utility invests in decarbonization upgrades at a participating location under the terms of a special-purpose tariff and then recovers the investment costs and associated cost of capital via a monthly IUI cost-recovery charge assigned to the customer that must be less than the customer’s expected savings. By assigning the investment role to the utility and linking project financial feasibility to the customer’s bill savings rather than income, this solution resolves multiple barriers to access for capital-intensive upgrades. By assigning investments to the metered location rather than as debt incurred by an individual, IUI allows the costs to be recovered over longer time periods than many traditional loans, enhancing affordability. The Pilot is also intended to integrate with complementary funding sources, ranging from local initiatives to proposed national programs. By pairing with additional funding sources, the Pilot will enhance the financial benefits to customers and expand the number of customers who would benefit from participation.

The Pilot will enroll 1,000 SVCE-territory households to facilitate the replacement of 500 furnaces and air conditioners with heat pump (HP) HVAC units and the replacement of 500 gas water heaters with heat pump water heaters (HPWH). The initial Pilot phase will target a narrow demographic of predominantly single family, moderate-income homes with aging mechanical systems to maximize economic impacts and control extraneous variables. The results of the Pilot will provide an empirical proof-of-concept to inform the planning and launch of scalable, statewide IUI mechanisms to further CA’s decarbonization goals while expanding access to historically underserved communities (such as low-and moderate-income (LMI) households and renters).

For logistical reasons, we have extended the deadline to submit notices of intent to bid to October 21 and are allowing additional questions to be submitted by October 20, which will be answered the following day.

September 29, 2022: RFP issued

October 5, 2022: Pre-proposal webinar (registration link in sidebar)

October 20, 2022: Deadline for additional questions, clarifications

October 21, 2022: Deadline for Bidders to submit notice of intent to bid

October 21, 2022: Final day for Program Implementers to respond to questions

November 3, 2022: Deadline for Bidders to submit proposals

November 10, 2022: Top Bidders notified of interview times, if applicable

November 15, 2022: Top Bidder interviews, if applicable

November 18, 2022: Anticipated date Energy Solutions will notify awardees

December 9, 2022: Contract completion and anticipated Phase 1 launch date

To receive communications during the application period, register your interest via email to TECH.pilots@energy-solution.com with the subject line “IUI Pilot – Intent to bid”.

Complete all proposal requirements outlined in the IUI Pilot RFP and submit final proposals via email to TECH.pilots@energy-solution.com with the subject line “IUI Pilot – [Company Name]” by 5:00 PM PDT on November 3, 2022.

Meet Proposal Requirements

Bidder completed all required sections of the proposal and adhered to all page limits, included relevant attachments, and utilized provided templates where required

Proposal is well written and formatted in a clear and easy to follow manner

Bidder accepts Energy Solutions’ standard terms and conditions, with any stated exceptions


Capability to Deliver Services

Adequate resources to perform tasks listed in Scope of Services

Ability to serve customers in SVCE territory

Clear identification of staff available to support Pilot planning and implementation

Bidder work plan and schedule demonstrates ability to complete tasks in a timely manner

Ability to scale operations should program expand beyond Pilot, specifically with regards to data tracking and tariff calculation automation for a financing program at scale

Experience integrating with utility billing systems

If applicable, identified key sub-contractors and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively


Qualifications and Relevant Experience

Demonstrated experience of the Bidder, including the capability and experience of key personnel, in the following areas:

Implementing TOB or On-Bill Financing (OBF) programs

Working with CA utilities and CCAs

Performing tasks outlined in Scope of Services

References substantiate Bidder’s relevant experience and ability to perform tasks outlined in Scope of Services


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Demonstrated experience engaging with LMI communities, disadvantaged communities, and/or renters


Proposed Approach

Demonstrated understanding of tasks to be performed by Program Operator, as outlined in Scope of Services

Proposal demonstrates a well-thought-out and innovative approach toward Pilot planning and implementation

Proposal clearly outlines mechanisms for minimizing financial and operational risks and presents mechanisms to incorporate alternative funding sources into the plan

Proposal indicates how Bidder intends to collaborate with Program Administration Team to achieve Pilot goals


Cost

Completed cost proposal using template provided, filling out all relevant information

Reasonable and relatively competitive labor rates and associated fees and sub-contractor fees

Cost proposal includes revenue share or cost reduction elements

Clear budget proposal, free of errors


Other Considerations

Prior experience working with Program Implementers or SVCE

Existence of and circumstances surrounding any claims or violations of law or governmental regulations against the Bidder, its representatives, and/or partners

Questions and answers will be added on a rolling basis. Direct all questions via email to TECH.pilots@energy-solution.com with the subject line “IUI Pilot – Q&A” before 5:00 PM PDT on October 14, 2022.

RFP Questions & Answers

The structure of the Financial Services Agreement remains to be determined, in consultation with PG&E. Agreement terms will most likely need to conform to PG&E’s TOB Platform rules (See PG&E’s TOB Platform proposal to the CPUC in proceeding R.20-08-022). PG&E may or may not be a counterparty. On behalf of the implementation team, it remains to be determined SVCE, Energy Solutions, or the Program Operator would be the logical counterparty.

In program enrollment Year 1, the Pilot intends to exclude customers enrolled in CARE. Otherwise, there are no planned exclusions for customers participating in other programs; in fact, joint participation in other programs will be encouraged or required to support project investment. Participation in other programs will be subject to alignment with customer eligibility criteria for those programs and may be constrained by policies prohibiting “double-dipping” on ratepayer-funded programs. Determination of the addressable market will rely on analysis of historical customer energy usage to estimate bill savings opportunities and may not fully reflect other eligibility constraints.

Here is SVCE’s Customer Confidentiality Policy: https://www.svcleanenergy.org/customer-confidentiality/.

All marketing and outreach activities will be approved and coordinated through SVCE staff.

The Program Operator may hold a valid California Contractor’s license or subcontract project installation to a duly licensed contractor.

The mechanics of allocating and disbursing funds for project installation remain to be determined. Energy Solutions understands that cash flow and financial risk will be vital considerations.

Please ignore the term “revenue share” and instead describe any performance-based contractual terms or other risk-sharing mechanisms you are prepared to offer.

The current plan is for Energy Solutions to contract with SVCE for turn-key services for three years with an option to extend. Should an extension occur, Energy Solutions would like the option to also extend with the Program Operator for select tasks, such as warrantee support (see question 13) or information services needed as customers complete their tariff payments. (Should Energy Solutions and SVCE elect not to extend past three years, SVCE would be responsible to arrange for ongoing customer care services).

Both periods are relevant to these services (see question 11), but the primary focus is on the three years of field work and M&V. Energy Solutions also is interested in qualifications and cost estimates for potentially providing ongoing services beyond the three-year period.

The Pilot team’s design intent is that the customer should remain responsible for routine maintenance and any needed repairs should be covered under warranty. The Program Operator may need to play a lead role in enforcing warranty terms with the manufacturer and/or installer, should the contract be extended past the initial three-year pilot period.

Energy Solutions/TECH will be responsible for working with SVCE and PG&E to finalize tariff terms. The Program Operator will be asked for input during the planning stage to ensure tariff terms are operationally compatible with the pilot. Draft tariff terms were included in SVCE’s June 15th proposal to the CPUC in proceeding R.20-08-022.

The mechanics of monetizing grid transactable benefits remains to be determined. The counter-party could be PG&E or a third party.

Active load management services could be provided by the Program Operator or a third party. Requirements for dedicated instrumentation and M&V remain to be determined.

SVCE is a public agency and therefore proposals may be subject to the requirements of the California Public Records Act, Cal. Gov. Code section 6250 et seq (“CPRA”). Although the CPRA recognizes that certain confidential trade secret information may be protected from disclosure, SVCE or Energy Solutions may not be in a position to establish that the information a Bidder submits is a trade secret. If a public records request is made for information marked “Confidential,” “Proprietary,” or “Trade Secret,” SVCE and/or Energy Solutions will provide the Bidder(s) who submitted the information with reasonable notice to seek protection from disclosure by a court of competent jurisdiction.