The Illinois Power Agency provides the following communication as an update and clarification of its prohibition on in-person marketing and solicitation issued on March 20, 2020.
At present, the IPA’s emergency revisions to its marketing guidelines prohibiting in-person marketing and solicitation remain in effect until further notice. In responding to questions about when that prohibition may be lifted, the IPA has offered the following statement:
Given the unknown trajectory of COVID-19 and by when social distancing measures can safely be eased, the Illinois Power Agency cannot offer an estimate for by when person-to-person solar solicitations will be once again allowed under the Adjustable Block Program or the Illinois Solar for All Program. However, the Agency’s approach is likely to track the approach taken by the Illinois Commerce Commission and other state public utility commissions regarding their in-person solicitation prohibitions applicable to retail electric supply products. In addition, the Agency will also be closely monitoring the Governor’s Executive Orders, disaster declaration, and stay-at-home orders before making any determination.
The IPA understands that some (and possibly all) regions of Illinois may reach Phase 3 in Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Reopening Plan on May 29th. While a change to a region’s status will not necessarily determine whether the IPA’s in-person marketing and solicitation prohibition remains in place for that region, the IPA plans to assess the basis for its prohibition at that time and hopes to offer further guidance during the first week of June. Possible changes could include relaxation of prohibitions for certain regions or for select types of activities, but no determinations have yet been made, nor will be made, until that time.
Over the past two months, the IPA has received questions about the scope of the current prohibitions; clarifications offered are memorialized below.
- Project development work (such as system installation) is not prohibited under the IPA’s revised marketing guidelines. However, all Approved Vendors should operate mindful of this ongoing public health emergency and the Governor’s Executive Orders. Additionally, under no circumstances should installation activity proceed over the objections of the customer or property owner.
- More passive forms of in-person marketing and solicitation – such as tabling at retail stores or events, or door-to-door distribution of marketing materials such as advertising flyers – are prohibited. The IPA’s objective is to reduce unnecessary person-to-person contact in connection with the marketing of photovoltaic systems or community solar subscriptions, and these activities increase the likelihood of unnecessary person-to-person interactions.
Lastly, should you have any questions about the scope of this prohibition, please contact the IPA’s Chief Legal Counsel at Brian.Granahan@Illinois.gov.
We look forward to providing you with additional guidance in approximately two weeks’ time.