Annual trade ally survey results
Each year, Energy Trust of Oregon surveys the Trade Ally Network to better understand changes in the marketplace, challenges facing trade ally contractors and impacts of program activities, and to hear directly from trade allies on what Energy Trust is doing well and areas for improvement.
The survey offers great insights into trends, successes and needs in the trade ally community.
This year, we limited the survey to trade allies in an effort to focus our results. Surveys were conducted online and 218 trade allies representing 192 individual companies submitted responses. Feedback from real estate professionals, retailers and other non-trade allies was captured through other efforts.
Overall, response results show trade ally satisfaction with Energy Trust remained high and largely unchanged from previous years. One area for improvement that rose to the top of the responses was improving payment processing times. Steps we are taking to improve processing times include adding online forms to supplement our paper forms, and upgrading older software and systems used to collect data and serve our customers. Trade allies can assist by filling out forms on behalf of their customers to reduce the amount of missing information on submitted forms.
Responses indicated a high level of interest in more training on selling sustainable and energy-efficient products to customers. They also showed interest in training on savings calculators and further business development topics. We are responding with a Trade Ally Development series, which we rolled out at third quarter roundtables in September and are continuing throughout 2011. For commercial trade allies, we have started similar trainings to give trade allies marketing tools beyond simple payback messaging. See the Training & Events calendar for upcoming Trade Ally Development workshops and commercial sessions on building a business case for energy efficiency.
This past year, Energy Trust has been making changes to the quarterly roundtable sessions, and survey responses indicated we are going in the right direction. Survey respondents showed an interest in trade specific meetings, and we are examining ways to include that and other requests in the roundtables. We are planning the sessions further in advance, and including more information on the agendas to clarify what we plan to discuss. All trade allies are encouraged to submit agenda and session ideas in advance, and we welcome suggestions for format or location changes.
Based on survey feedback, Energy Trust will continue the monthly Insider newsletter, but will supplement it with more frequent program-specific emails. These emails will be focused on more urgent or extensive updates specific to a program. Similar information will still be provided in Insider.
Trade allies can access the survey report, plans made in response and other Energy Trust reports in the library section of Energy Trust’s website.
You don’t have to wait for the annual survey to provide thoughts, ideas, suggestions or other feedback. Talk to your trade ally coordinator or email Tom Beverly, Trade Ally Network manager.
Lights Out Portland with Audubon Society of Portland
Energy Trust is helping the Audubon Society of Portland promote its Lights Out Portland program, which encourages building owners and managers to seasonally extinguish any unnecessary overnight lighting to reduce impacts to migrating birds.
This community effort to help our local wildlife is complementary to Energy Trust’s commercial and industrial lighting program.
Night-migrating birds rely on celestial cues to navigate, and sky glow from cities can lure them off course, resulting in window strikes. Portland has more than 209 species of birds that migrate through the area. Audubon Portland has documented from several seasons of early morning bird surveys and Wildlife Car Center intakes that over 70 of these species have been involved in window collisions.
Already operating in 22 North American cities, Lights Out Portland not only helps birds, but is also a simple, cost-effective and energy-efficient operational measure; in many cases, it fits well with efforts that building managers and operators are already making to reduce their operating costs and energy demands.
Trade allies working on customer sites for exterior architectural, rooftop lighting and uplighting, as well as lighting controls in interior spaces, may choose to highlight this additional benefit of energy-efficient lighting. Businesses and/or buildings can sign up on the Audubon Society website, and also download an educational flyer about the program. In addition, read how the U.S. Green Building Council is considering a bird-safety credit for its LEED® certification.
Energy Trust is moving offices in mid-November
In mid-November, the Energy Trust office will be moved to a new Portland location.
Until November 17, 2011:
- Our address remains 851 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 1200, Portland, OR 97204.
- The October 26 Renewable Energy Advisory Council meeting and Conservation Advisory Council meeting will be held at our current location.
After November 17, 2011:
- The new address will be 421 SW Oak Street, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97204.
- The November 30 Renewable Energy Advisory Council meeting and Conservation Advisory Council meeting will be at the new location.
Details to follow
Further details, including parking information, will be announced in the November issue of Insider and a November announcement email sent to all trade allies and program allies. Energy Trust telephone and fax numbers will not change.
NW NATURAL WASHINGTON: Updates for trade allies serving NW Natural customers in Washington
EXISTING HOMES: Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® software transition completed
Beginning October 1, 2011, EnergyMeasure™ HOME is the modeling software used to submit all Energy Trust Home Performance projects for incentives... READ ALL EXISTING HOMES UPDATES »
SOLAR: Increased incentive rates for residential solar water and pool heating systems with gas backup
Energy Trust has increased the incentive rate for residential solar water heating systems with gas backup from $0.30 per kWh to $8.00 per therm of rated annual yield... READ ALL SOLAR UPDATES »
MULTIFAMILY: Bonus incentive available until December 15
Energy Trust is offering a bonus cash incentive for qualified multifamily projects completing lighting upgrades or custom capital energy-efficiency improvements... READ ALL MULTIFAMILY UPDATES »
NEW HOMES: Energy Trust launches Smart Homebuyer campaign
Energy Trust recently launched its “Smart Homebuyer” campaign. This engaging campaign works to boost awareness of the many benefits of energy efficiency in newly built homes... READ ALL NEW HOMES UPDATES »
NEW BUILDINGS: Lighting calculator demonstrations now offered monthly
PRODUCTS: ENERGY STAR introduces new label