COVID-19 Information for Contractors

COVID-19 Latest Information, Q&As, and Resources

Information from Eversource, CNG, SCG and UI regarding Energy Efficiency Program Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

COVID-19 Temporary Suspension of On-Premise Energy Efficiency Programs

The Governor of Connecticut has declared a state of emergency and governments, schools, businesses and citizens are all taking action to limit interaction and spread of the virus. Connecticut’s utilities are temporarily suspending any non-essential energy efficiency work and appointments that require a technician to enter a home or come in close, physical contact with other individuals on.

This suspension began on Wednesday, March 18, and was originally dated to go through at least Tuesday, March 31. On March 20, 2020, The Governor issued Executive Order 7H, which extended the order through at least April 22, 2020. On April 10, 2020, The Governor issued Executive Order 7X, which extends the order through at least May 20, 2020.

Please visit our Energize CT COVID-19 Energy Efficiency Program Update page and the COVID-19 Contractor Resources section below for additional information.

COVID-19 CARES Act Webinars

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) was passed and signed, and includes a variety of federal programs with substantial resources to help you continue making payroll, paying rent, and providing health benefits.

DEEP, Eversource Energy, United Illuminating, DECD, and Connecticut Green Bank, are co-hosting several webinars regarding the CARES Act. Please join us for any of the following three webinars:

Additional Resources:

Learn how these programs can help you and your business manage through challenging times.

COVID-19 Contractor Resources

State of Connecticut Resources:

The State of Connecticut COVID-19 resources, general:

Governor Lamont is telling Connecticut residents to "Stay Safe, Stay Home." All non-essential workers statewide are being directed to work from home, effective Monday, March 23 at 8:00 p.m. For the latest information, resources, executive orders, and guidance related to coronavirus (COVID-19), visit CT.gov/coronavirus.

State of Connecticut COVID-19 resources and Guidance for businesses and nonprofits:

Businesses and nonprofits seeking guidance related to Governor Lamont's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" executive order, directing all non-essential workers statewide to work from home, are urged to read the guidance provided by DECD at Portal.CT.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-for-Businesses/Coronavirus-for-Businesses
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development has created a COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit dedicated to assisting businesses navigate resources and develop new resources. A dedicated phone line is available at 860-500-2333 to provide assistance to Connecticut's small businesses for this purpose.

State of Connecticut Shared Work Program:

The Department of Labor offers a Shared Work program as a smart alternative to a layoff. The program allows employers to reduce the hours of full- time employees by as much as 60 percent, while their workers collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. All employers with two or more full-time or permanent part-time employees can participate in the program, which is not designed for seasonal separations. To qualify, the business’ reduction of work cannot be less than 10 percent or more than 60 percent.

State of Connecticut Waiver of Unemployment Work Search Requirements:

View the announcement regarding the work search requirements being waived by Connecticut Labor Commissioner at CTDOL.state.ct.us/COVIDFAQWorkSearchRequirements.pdf
Please direct your employees to FileCTUI.com and click the blue button to file their new claim for unemployment benefits.

Order extending the registrations of certain licensed professionals:

The Department of Consumer Protection is handling recertification questions on a case-by-case basis. If the licensing renewal requirements for a particular profession or occupation can be met through continuing education online by the expiration date, there will be no extension. Since most licenses can be renewed online or by mail, this should not present an issue for most licensed professionals. Please contact the Department of Consumer Protection License Division  or the regulatory authority for your license if you have any questions. The Department of Public Health is also reviewing the requirements to extend certain certifications and licenses, including for EMTs and others – expect more news in the coming days.

Non-Essential Business Closings Order:

Governor Lamont has signed an executive order directing all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut to prohibit all in-person functions effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.

The governor is encouraging all businesses to employ, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work-from-home procedures that they can safely implement. The order excludes any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions, such as healthcare, food service, law enforcement, and similar critical services.
Businesses and nonprofits seeking direction related to the order are urged to read the guidance provided by DECD.

Emergency Child Care Programs:

The Offi­ce of Early Childhood is in close talks with the Governor, the Department of Public Health (DPH), and the state’s Emergency Operation Center regarding Child Care for Essential Workers. Based on the Governor's executive order and policy to stay safe and stay at home, please note that Child care is available for essential workers. Details can be found at: Portal.ct.gov/-/media/DCF/Agency/COVID-Emails/Child-Care-for-Essential-Workers.pdf?la=en.

For healthcare and first responders who are not able to find trusted family or friends for child care please call the 2-1-1 dedicated number 860.756.0864 for support.

Federal Resources:

General Federal resources for small businesses: 

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. Visit SBA.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources for guidence on loan resources.

Paycheck Protection Program: UPDATED 4/8  
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses with under 500 employees and certain other small business as defined by the SBA) to keep their workers on the payroll. 

SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for healthcare, mortgage, rent, utilities, and interest on debt.  

The application has been posted on the Treasury Department’s CARES Act resource page as of the afternoon of Tuesday, March 31. After you gather the information described on the application form you should contact your bank or an approved lending institution to start the application process.

The Small Business Administration has a network of at least 1,800 approved lenders that process small business loans and intends to add more of them. If your bank is not an SBA-approved lender or you don’t have an existing banking relationship, you can contact the SBA to find one.  

PPP Fact Sheet (For Borrowers) 

The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

Federal small businesses Disaster Loan Assistance Program: UPDATED 4/8

Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) of up to $2 million dollars are now available for small businesses and nonprofits in Massachusetts that have been negatively financially impacted by COVID-19.

An Economic Injury Disaster Loan can be used as working capital for expenses that cannot be met including payroll, sick leave, cost of materials, mortgage, rent, and utilities.

This loan can supply borrowers with a $10,000 advance within three days and is subject to a 3.75% interest rate for up to 30 years. 

You can apply for a small business Disaster Loan at Disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Employee Retention Tax Credit: New 4/8

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created a new Employee Retention Tax Credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19.  

Private employers, including non-profits, carrying on a trade or business in 2020 that have operations partially or fully suspended as a result of orders from a governmental authority due to COVID-19, or experience a decline in gross receipts by more than 50% in a quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019 are eligible. (Eligibility ends when gross receipts in a quarter exceed 80% compared to the same 2019 quarter).

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”):

Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave.  Read Newswire, IR 2020-57, which clarifies what benefits are provided and how they will be fully subsidized through a refundable payroll tax credit under the Act (and a similar credit for self-employed individuals). For more information on how your business might qualify for this tax credit, please visit the Department of Labor's website.

Federal Legislative Relief Efforts: (Updated 4/24/20)

On April 23, 2020, Congress signed a bill that added more funding for the CARES Act — the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. This will allow more qualifying businesses to apply for fee-free loans of up to $10 million that could help cover payroll, employee salaries, mortgages, rent and some other debt obligations. The portion of the loan used by small businesses to cover their payrolls could be forgiven if businesses retain their employees through the end of June 30, 2020. Additionally, the CARES bill would defer the payment of employer-side payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022, with half of payroll taxes for 2020 due by Dec. 31, 2021, and the other half due by Dec. 31, 2022. If the first round of applications for the forgivable loans is any indication the available funds will go quickly.

Energize CT COVID-19 FAQs

Eversource and the United Illuminating (UI), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), and Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), subsidiaries of Avangrid, Inc., (Companies) are committed to providing our customers with outstanding energy efficiency services.

Q: Where can I go for additional resources?
A: See our Trade Ally section for a list of state and federal resources we have compiled for your convenience.

Q: How will the COVID-19 pandemic impact our Energy Efficiency programs? (Updated 5/18/2020)
A: The Governor of Connecticut has declared a state of emergency and governments, schools, businesses and citizens are all taking action to limit interaction and spread of the virus. Due to this serious and quickly evolving situation, we have announced significant impacts to multiple elements of the 2020 Energy Efficiency programs. While energy reductions achieved by the energy efficiency programs help improve long-term public health, the emerging and immediate COVID-19 pandemic concerns facing our communities must take precedence.  Given the Governor’s order to suspend non-essential businesses, those programs previously identified for suspension will continue to be suspended until at least May 20, 2020. 

On May 8, 2020, Governor Lamont and the Department of Economic and Community Development released guidance on reopening for businesses that choose to do so beginning May 20, 2020.  The opening of non-essential businesses does not equate to a return to prior procedures for on-premise work; the suspensions of on-premise contracted vendor activities remain in place.  The Companies continue to work in coordination with public health experts and officials and members of the contractor community to discuss how contractors can resume services as quickly and safely as possible. We must continue to make safety the highest priority.

Q: What health and safety guidelines are being developed (NEW 5/18/2020)?
A. Since the suspension of on-premise energy efficiency work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc., a respected health & safety consulting firm, has collaborated with several energy efficiency market actors, contractors, and health & safety specialists to identify opportunities where certain minimal health & safety guidelines will support the safe implementation of certain measures.

Enhanced health and safety guidelines have been developed for the weatherization of 1-4 family residential buildings. Eversource and the United Illuminating (UI), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), and Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), subsidiaries of Avangrid, Inc., (Companies) are considering these guidelines as minimum requirements to resume on-premise work of this nature. All contracted vendors and trade allies will be required to demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with these guidelines before being authorized to resume any on-premise work of this nature. On May 14, 2020 the first webinar was held.  This webinar only covered weatherization of 1-4 family residential buildings. Contractors will be informed as any additional work is authorized.  

Q: Will this directly affect In-Home and On-Premise Visits?
A: The Companies are temporarily suspending any non-essential work and appointments that require a contracted vendor to enter a customer’s home (“in-home”) or business (“on-premise”) or come in close, physical contact with other individuals.

Q: What’s the difference between a contracted vendor and a trade ally?
A: A contracted vendor has been pre-screened and has a signed contract with The Companies. In contrast, a trade ally does not have a contract with The Companies; and a trade ally is a company working through a rebate/incentive program that is operating solely under a direct contract with the customer. Work by trade allies is performed solely at their own discretion subject to mutual agreement between them and the customer.

Q: Does this include appointments already scheduled? (Updated 5/18/2020)
A: All on-premise visits must continue to be rescheduled until more information is available. We are working to develop unique ways to work collaboratively with our contracted vendors during this time, while still following necessary safety procedures and practices and continuing to seek guidance from local Boards of Health and other trusted sources.

Q: Will customers be able to move forward with any efficiency activities during this time?
A: During the temporary suspension of on-premise services, The Companies plan to continue all other energy efficiency services, including:

  • Online assessments
  • Upstream offerings and instant rebates
  • Mail-in-rebates
  • Active Demand Response
  • Trade ally driven incentives (non-contracted programs for example, EO, ECB, Multifamily, New Construction, etc.)

Q. If a customer is having difficulty paying their EE loan who should they contact? (NEW 4/23/2020) 
A. Eversource and United Illuminating customers who are unable to make their energy efficiency loan payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, should reach out to their respective loan servicer to discuss what options may be available.   Connecticut customers that participate in the utility’s on-bill repayment programs (HES Payment Plan, Energize CT Heating Loan and Small Business Energy Advantage Loan Program) should reach out directly to their utility as follows:  Eversource customers should call 1-800-286-2000 and UI customers should call 1-877-WISE USE (1-877-947-3873).  

Q: Can 2019 rebate applications still be submitted? (NEW 4/1/2020)
A: The rebate submission deadline for services or equipment purchased and installed prior to December 31, 2019 has been extended to September 30, 2020. Complete the application following the instructions on the rebate form and submit as directed. No additional steps are required. Please contact your Eversource or Avangrid program administrator or 877-WISE-USE with questions.

Q: When can we expect to resume In-Home and On-Premise Visits?
A: We will communicate an official date to re-commence in-home and on-premise services when, based on guidance from state and local public health officials, we feel it is appropriate to do so. We want to be able to resume services as quickly as possible. We plan to work with public health experts and officials to determine when we can safely resume services and will provide updates as we have more information.

Q: How do we handle C&I projects that are partially completed? (Updated 3/25/2020)
A: This will be handled on a case by case basis, please contact your Eversource or Avangrid program administrator.

Q: How do we handle residential projects that are partially completed? (Updated 3/25/2020)
A: In the event that a building is open to the environment or left unsafe, then the contractor can return with prior approval of the customer and the Eversource or Avangrid program administrator to make the home safe.  All necessary precautions must be taken to minimize any exposure with the customer. All other in-home and on-premise visits are temporarily suspended.

Q: Will The Companies still be conducting pre-/post-inspections
A: We are not conducting any in-home or on-premise inspections.  The Companies are researching and discussing alternatives and will post updates here. Please reach out to your utility contacts if you have ideas or suggestions

Q: Are Technical Assistance (TA) studies still being conducted?
A: If the TA firm is a contracted vendor with one of The Companies, all on-premise work is suspended until further notice, but any analysis or other work that does not require an on-premise visit can and should continue. If the TA firm is not a contracted vendor, all work is done at their discretion, subject to mutual agreement between them and the customer.

Q: Can exceptions be made for heating replacements in case of emergency?
A: We are allowing emergency heating replacements. Please confirm with The Companies in advance for any income eligible emergency responses.

Q: Can delivery be made on a product that has been purchased and shipped to a business location that is not staffed?
A: For contracted vendors, all non-essential work and appointments that require a contracted vendor to enter a customer’s home or business are suspended. For trade allies, this is subject to their discretion, as long as it is mutually agreeable and the customer and vendor are comfortable taking all precautions.

Q: Will Eversource and Avangrid employees working remotely create any delays in processing payments? (Updated 4/1/2020)
A: We are working remotely and all have access to our systems and do not foresee any delays.  Please reach out to your Eversource and Avangrid contacts if you have questions.

Q: Where can I go for the most up-to-date decisions on efficiency projects?
A: We continue to work closely with our state and local partners and will be providing frequent updates to this FAQ page.

Q: What if a customer would like to move ahead with work in their home despite the suspension?
A: The safety of our customers and contractors must take precedence during this time. We are unable to pay incentives associated with in-home services during this period. This includes all work done in the customer's home for low income customers.  For insulation, windows and other measures recommended as part of a HES assessment, any work should be done if mutually agreed upon with both the customer and contractor/trade ally understanding the risks.

Q: What if a customer would like to move ahead with Multifamily or Large C&I work despite the suspension?
A: Business partners not on contract with Eversource and/or Avangrid or business partners on purchase order but not acting within their Contracted programs, can upon mutual opt in agreement with the customer, pursue on-premise work at this time. These projects will be eligible for incentive within the relevant non-contracted program following standard submission procedures and adhering to all pre-approval requirements. Should on-premise work be completed on energy efficiency projects outside of the contracted programs, it is highly suggested that additional safety precautions are taken by customer and contractor to adhere to the CDC and States advisements on reducing the spread of COVID-19. Note that on-site inspections will not be conducted for any contracted or non-contracted programs at this time.

Q: Who can we contact if we have pressing questions on a specific project?
A: Please reach out to your Eversource and Avangrid contacts if you have questions about specific projects and cannot find an answer within this FAQs document.

Q: Is there an official notice to send to customers? (NEW 3/25/2020)
A: The Companies have COVID-19 pages on their company websites.  Please visit those pages and share with your customers if they need more specific details:

Q: Eversource issued an HVAC Modernization Demonstration Program RFP for Chiller upgrades in January 2020 and also indicated they had planned to launch a similar RFP for Boilers/heating plants in mid-March, followed by an RTU RFP in early April.  Has the schedule for those RFPs and their deliverables changed? (Updated 4/23/2020)
A: Eversource and Avangrid have been evaluating the deadlines for our Chiller Plant HVAC Modernization Demonstration Program RFP and the planned launch dates for the Heating Plant and RTU Modernization Demonstration Program RFPs.  Because many of our customers have prohibited visitors and vendor access over the next few weeks at a minimum, we recognize that it may impact your ability to complete your analysis and proposal within the RFP specified timelines. For the Chiller RFP, we are going to extend the deliverable dates as listed below at this time.  We intend to evaluate these deliverable dates on May 26, 2020 and determine if these revised deadlines are still appropriate and will communicate any changes or confirm that the revised dates will be held. 

  • Letter of Intent Due Date: June 5, 2020
  • Proposal Due Date: June 19, 2020
  • Award Date: July 31, 2020
  • Install by Date: June 11, 2021


For the Heating Plant and RTU HVAC Modernization Demonstration Program RFP’s that we anticipated launching in mid-March and April respectively, we will evaluate the status of customer business operations again on May 26, 2020 and determine if we can launch the Boiler and Heating RFP at that time or if we need additional delay.  We appreciate your understanding with these delays as we continue to maneuver this rapidly changing business environment.

New Health and Safety Guidelines

Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. (EH&E), a respected third party health & safety consulting firm has developed baseline enhanced health and safety guidelines for the weatherization of 1-4 family residential buildings. Eversource and United Illuminating (UI), Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), and Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG), subsidiaries of Avangrid, Inc. are considering these guidelines as minimum requirements to resume on-premise work of this nature. All contracted vendors and trade allies will be required to demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with these guidelines before being authorized to resume any on-premise work of this nature. These guidelines are in addition to any requirements that the State of Connecticut develops for on-premise work.

Below you can find resources related to these guidelines:

Recording of the May 14 webinar about these guidelines

Guidelines for weatherization of 1-4 family residential buildings and FAQs

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