Michigan Saves is collaborating with the Connecticut Green Bank (CTGB) to develop a shared digital platform to manage each of our energy lending programs. Green banks negotiate favorable terms with lenders around the country to provide financial products in their state or community focused on energy improvements that may not otherwise be available. In exchange for more favorable rates and terms, green banks provide additional protection to lenders by funding their own loss reserve. These financial products are then made accessible to homeowners and contractors making qualifying energy improvements to their home or business. Contractors must apply to Michigan Saves or CTGB and be accepted into each program to participate. Contractors then submit documentation, throughout various stages of each job, through a digital platform.
The fundamental goal of the digital platform is to track the status of jobs and loans throughout their lifetime and facilitate and automate communication between all parties involved. In addition, the platform should be flexible enough so that it can be provided or licensed to other green banks and municipalities to manage their energy lending programs as a turn-key software application.
Michigan Saves is managing this bid process and invites proposals from web application development companies to design, maintain, and host this digital platform.
General Overview of Michigan Saves and the Connecticut Green Bank
Michigan Saves is a nonprofit dedicated to making energy improvements easier for all Michigan energy consumers. To accomplish this, Michigan Saves operates as a green bank, making affordable financing and incentives available through partnerships with private-sector lenders and energy providers. We also authorize and monitor a network of contractors and recognize those with advanced training while providing technical assistance for customers and contractors alike. Our current portfolio includes programs for residential, commercial, and municipal customers, and supports energy-efficiency, geothermal, and solar photovoltaic projects. See MichiganSaves.org for more information.
The Connecticut Green Bank is the nation’s first green bank. Established by the Connecticut General Assembly, CTGB supports the governor’s and legislature’s energy strategy to achieve cleaner, less-expensive, and more-reliable sources of energy while creating jobs and supporting local economic development. CTGB’s model upended the government subsidy-driven approach to clean energy by working with private-sector investors to create low-cost, long-term sustainable financing to maximize the use of public funds. CTGB continues to innovate and educate to accelerate the growth of green energy measures in the residential (single and multifamily), commercial, industrial, institutional, and infrastructure sectors. See ctgreenbank.com for more information.
Goals of the Software Platform
The key goals of the software platform are as follows:
- Be a web-based system that can manage energy lending programs across multiple organizations
- Be a turn-key software application that is flexible enough to be licensed to other green banks or organizations to manage their energy lending programs
- Track and manage contractor applications and contractor program status
- Track and manage jobs and loans throughout their lifetime
- Facilitate online communication around contractors, jobs, loans, lenders, and programs
- Have a user-friendly interface while providing advanced functionality
- Have a responsive user interface that is accessible on desktop, laptop, and mobile devices (phone and tablet)
- Incorporate a modern technology stack that is efficient to maintain and update over time as data grows
- Be flexible and configurable to handle variations in workflow and data requirements across organizations, programs, and municipalities (e.g., contractor licensing requirements vary by state, qualifying energy measures can vary by program)
- Include automated email notifications triggered by workflow events
- Be integrated with external data sources and application program interfaces (APIs)
- Provide online payment processing for capturing contractor fees and/or platform usage fees
- Be capable of accepting electronic signatures
- Adhere to security best practices, including SOC II, for data storage and processing
Expected role of the software or web application development company
Michigan Saves and CTGB have engaged in a discovery project with a technical consultant to identify key terms, workflows, processes, users, data needs, and integration points. The consultant has prepared a document, titled “Green Lending Platform — Requirements Document.” Michigan Saves and CTGB encourage bidders to review this document for a better understanding of our needs, requirements, and desired platform functionality. Note: Inclusive Prosperity Capital, referenced in the requirements document, is a new nonprofit organization created by Connecticut Green Bank.
Michigan Saves and CTGB envision the winning bidder to offer the following services as part of their bid:
- Development of a new software platform, using modern technologies, that is scalable to multiple organizations (or portals) within a single platform
- Software platform must support multiple organizations’ portals, each with their own set of configurable rules, data fields, equipment and measure datasets, energy savings logic, user accounts, lender, payment processors, and more
- Data migration from existing Michigan Saves online contractor portal platform and Connecticut Smart-E Loan platform
- Custom data migration processes will need to be developed for each of the existing platforms
- Server hosting for the digital platform
- Ongoing software and server maintenance and support
- Server security updates and patches
- Uptime monitoring and response
- Daily backups of the application and database to an offsite, redundant location
- Proactive and regular updates to the technology stack to improve security and performance
- Application error monitoring and notification
- On-call support during business hours with same-day response time
- Creation and expansion of an automated software test suite to keep quality high as features are added and modifications are made over time
- Maintenance of a staging/development site and server for testing new features before those features are pushed to production
- Platform should be configured to update all organization portals with new features and updates automatically and consistently
Responses to RFP
Responses to this RFP should include the following information:
- A brief narrative of the company and its qualifications and experience with developing Web-based application software
- The approach to designing this platform, including the technology stack to be used
- The backup and recovery processes
- The timeline for development that includes key milestones
- Cost to develop the platform and two organizational portals (Michigan Saves and CTGB)
- Cost to maintain (as noted above) the platform for two organizational portals
- Cost associated with adding and maintaining new organizational platforms
Bidders may include any other information that you believe Michigan Saves and CTGB should consider. Michigan Saves and CTGB will treat all responses as confidential. Michigan Saves and CTGB are not liable for any costs incurred by your company in responding to this RFP.
You may submit the response by sending an email to Kaitlyn Wyckoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hard copy responses may be sent to:
230 N. Washington Square, Ste. 300
Lansing, MI 48933
Electronic submission is preferred.
The deadline for response is 5:00 PM EST on Friday, July 20, 2018.
After reviewing the responses, Michigan Saves may contact one or more respondents during the week of July 23 to discuss their bid. Michigan Saves and CTGB expect to select the winning bidder by August 9, 2018.