PowerClerk Support Center

Program Design
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Automations feature
Creating an Automation
Communication Templates
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Communications feature
Creating Communication templates
Smart Templates
Feature reference
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Deadlines feature
How to create Deadlines
Delaying Deadlines
Deadline Automations
Deadlines in the Admin View
Deadlines in Communication Templates
Deadlines in Reports
Deadlines in Project List Columns
Deadline Functionality Definitions
Feature reference
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Forms feature
How to create and edit Forms
Adding data fields
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Sensitive Data Fields
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Locating the Roles feature
How to create and edit a Role
Access Groups
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Locating the Workflow feature
How to create and edit the Workflow
Changing a project's status
Feature reference
Advanced Program Design
Locating the Channels feature
What are Channels?
Channels Checklist
3-Step Publishing Process
Channel Type A: Mark As Child
Channel Type B: Make Successor
Channel Type C and D: Create/Submit Related Project
Sending Signals
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Connections feature
What are Connections
Input and Output Fields
Connecting, Testing, and Enabling
Maintenance and Alterations
Connections Message Format
Content Library
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Content Library feature
Uploading content to the Content Library
Use with Communication Templates
Use for Front Page content
Curated Lists
Built-in DER lists
Global Lists
Document Templates
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Document Templates feature
How to define a new Template
How to define a new Merged Document
DocuSign template tags
Mapping eSignature tags
Smart Templates
Formulas and Calculated Fields
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Formulas feature
How to create a Formula
Formula Data Dictionary
Front Page
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Front Page feature
How to edit the Front Page
Incentive Design
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Incentive Design feature
How to design an Incentive
Incentive Options
Single Sign On (SSO)
Azure AD
Okta IDP Configuration
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SSO for multiple programs
PowerClerk API
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Business Days
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Business Days feature
Setting up Business Days
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Dashboards feature
How to create widgets in your Dashboard
Other Dashboard Actions
Data Import
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Data Import feature
How to validate a Data Import
Duplicate Check
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Duplicate Check feature
How to use Duplicate Checks
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the ePayments History feature
How to add ePayments
Import Projects
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Import Projects feature
How to Import From V2
Operation Status
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Operation Status feature
How to use the Operation Status feature
Program Info
Project Inquiry
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Program Info feature
How to edit the Program Info menu
Notification Banners
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Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Program Statistics feature
How to use Program Statistics
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Reports feature
How to setup Reports
Multi-instance reports
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Cross-Program Reports
Test Environment
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Test Environment feature
How to setup a Test Environment
User Administration
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the User Administration feature
How to work with User Administration
Integration Guides
Integration Guide 001: How to configure a Web Adapter – ArcGIS Implementation
Integration Guide 002: How to configure Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) DRIVE Connect software with PowerClerk
Program Reporting
Data Fields
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Data Fields feature
How to work with Data Fields
Custom Lists and Data Field Groups
Table form element
PV System + batteries element
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Milestones feature
How to define a Milestone
Project List Columns
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Project List Columns feature
How to use Project List Columns
Project Summary
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Project Summary feature
How to edit the Project Summary
Project Views
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Project Views feature
How to edit Project Views
PowerClerk Video Guides
New User Video Guide
Setting up Business Days
Edit Forms - Tutorial #1
Edit Forms - Tutorial #2
Configuring Forms
Build A Formula
Automation with Formulas in Action Rules
Formulas and Advanced Visibility Rules
Calculated Fields
Roles and User Administration
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My Account
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the My Account feature
How to use the My Account feature
Setting up Multi-Factor Authentication
MFA Recovery Guidelines
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the FormSense feature
How to use the FormSense feature
Grant Access
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Grant Access feature
How to Grant Access to users
PowerClerk Program Launch
PowerClerk Responsive Admin View
PowerClerk User Group Sessions (UGS)
Learning Management System (LMS)

Communication Templates

Engage and inform your applicants with powerful Communication Templates.

Communications feature

Questions to ask yourself about Communications:

Who needs to be notified with this email? An individual or a group?
When should they be notified?
What information should this email contain?

Locating the Communications feature

Anyone in a Role with the Edit Communications privilege can navigate to the Communications screen by opening the PROGRAM DESIGN menu and clicking on Communications:


Locating the Roles feature

Figure 1: PROGRAM DESIGN >> Communications


How to create a Communications Template

Create a new Communication Template by clicking the New Template button:


New Template

Figure 2: New Template


The Communication Editor is a fairly straightforward, rich HTML editor. It allows a user to enter and format text, insert hyperlinks, insert images (referenced by an image-URL), and more:

Communication Editor

Figure 3: Communication Editor


Finding Data Tags

For this Communication Template, we want to send a confirmation email to the applicant to verify that their project application has been submitted successfully. We want to include their Project Number using a Data Field Tag and send it to their email address, which will also be populated using the Data Field Tag for their email-address.

By navigating to PROGRAM DESIGN >> Data Fields you can search all available Data Field references for your program.


Available Data Fields

Figure 4: Available Data Fields

The Data Fields page lists all available Data Fields in your PowerClerk program. See below the Data Field reference for Applicant Email. The actual Data Field Tag is embedded as “{data: Applicant Email}” within the Communications Template. This will eventually propagate the actual email address value when this template is sent. Note that some Data Fields types, like User types, will require that the embedded tag references the email field (“{email: User Selector}“), not the full name or other attribute.

To reference the Project Number, which is one of PowerClerk’s Built-in Fields, please embed “{ProjectNumber}” into the Communication Template. Your Communication Template should now look like this:


Communication Template with Data Field references

Figure 6: Communication Template with Data Field references

Please note: Upon sending this Communication Template, these two Data Field references will resolve to their actual values:


Communication Template showing actual reference values

Figure 7: Communication Template showing actual reference values

To save your Communication Template, please uncheck at the bottom of the template Mark Template as Draft and click the Save button:


Saving the Communications Template

Figure 8: Saving the Communications Template


Bulk Communications via Data Import

Please follow this link to learn more about how to send out a bulk Communication to specific project owner’s via Data Imports.

Smart Templates

With the introduction of Smart Templates, PowerClerk has made it easier for Program Designers to create and maintain Document Templates and Communication Templates. Once you upgrade your templates to Smart Templates, PowerClerk will track all the Data Fields, Data Field Groups, and Attachments that your templates reference via Template Tags. Smart Templates will behave the same as the current templates when used, so the change will be invisible to your users.
Upgrading to Smart Templates will simplify the Program Designer’s job in the following ways:

  1. Early Error Detection:
    • PowerClerk will alert you to common errors in your templates as soon as you upload a new Document Template or save a Communication Template.
  2. Automatically Update Templates when Renaming Fields:
    • If you change the name of a Data Field referenced by a Smart Template, the Smart Template will automatically update to reflect the new name.
  3. Improved Data Field Reference Tracking:
    • Once all your templates are upgraded, the Data Field List Page will display new columns showing the Communication Templates and Document Templates referencing each Data Field, Data Field Group, or Attachment.
    • These new columns will appear once all templates of the respective type have been upgraded.
    • PowerClerk will block you from archiving fields that are referenced by a Smart Template.


Upgrading to Smart Templates

In order to take advantage of Smart Templates, you need to upgrade your existing Document Templates and Communication Templates. You will start the process by going to either the Document Templates page or Communications page under the Program Design menu. You can choose to have PowerClerk try to upgrade all your templates automatically by clicking the “Upgrade All Templates” button, or you can upgrade templates one-at-a-time by clicking any un-upgraded template in the table and clicking the new “Upgrade” button. You must upgrade your Communication Templates and your Document Templates separately.
You must upgrade all templates of a given type to see which templates of that type reference a given Data Field on the Data Field List Page. Once you begin upgrading templates, it is recommended to finish upgrading all templates as quickly as possible to avoid confusion that could arise when some templates are upgraded but others are not. For instance, if you rename a field, the upgraded templates that reference the field will automatically update to reflect the new field name, but the un-upgraded ones will not. If you have old templates that are no longer in use, you can choose to delete them rather than upgrade them.

Upgrading when a Test Environment Exists

If your program has an active Test Environment, it is recommended that you upgrade your templates to Smart Templates in the Test Environment. When you commit the Test Environment, the upgraded templates will be transferred to your production program. You do not need to upgrade every template in the Test Environment in order to commit it. If you expect to keep your Test Environment active for a long time, you can upgrade your templates in your production program, but you will need to repeat the same upgrades in the Test Environment before committing it.

Broken Template Tags

In most cases, your templates can be upgraded automatically with no manual intervention once you initiate the upgrade. However, during the upgrade process, PowerClerk may detect broken template tags. Any tags detected in this way are currently being ignored by PowerClerk when using the template, so this will alert you to existing errors in your templates. A tag can be identified as broken for any of the following reasons:

  1. Invalid Tags:
    • The tag contains a typo and PowerClerk cannot read it.
    • This may arise if there is a typo in the prefix of a template tag (ie. before the “:”), or if there is another typo or formatting error.
    • This can also arise in Communication Templates if there is HTML formatting applied to a portion of the tag but not the entire thing.
  2. Tags whose Reference cannot be found:
    • The tag attempts to reference a field or group that does not exist.
    • This situation may arise from a typo in the field name.
    • It may also arise if the field was renamed after the template was created.
  3. Tags whose Reference is archived:
    • The tag attempts to reference a field that has been archived.

You will need to manually correct any errors in a template to finish upgrading it. Once all the errors have been corrected, PowerClerk will automatically upgrade the template to a Smart Template.

Examples of Broken Tags
  1. {data: Customer Naame First}:
    • Assume a field called “Customer Name First” exists.
    • This template tag is broken because it contains a simple typo in the name of the Data Field it is trying to reference.
    • This can be resolved by fixing the typo in the field name
  2. {data: Payment Amt}:
    • This tag does not contain an obvious typo, but it may still be invalid if there is no field named “Payment Amt.” This could arise if the field has been renamed or archived. For example, perhaps a designer later renamed the field “Payment Amount.”
    • This can be resolved by ensuring the tag text matches the current field name or unarchiving the “Payment Amt” field if applicable.
  3. {Project Number}:
    • This is a template tag for the built-in ProjectNumber field, but it contains a subtle typo. The correct tag is {ProjectNumber} (no space). You can view all supported template tags for built-in fields in the Built-In Fields Tab of the Data Field List Page.
    • This can be resolved by fixing the typo (removing the space).
  4. {fullname: Customer}:
    • Assume a contact Data Field Group called “Customer” exists.
    • This tag is invalid because of a typo in the tag prefix. The correct prefix is “full_name” (underscore, not hyphen), so the correct tag is {full_name: Customer}.
    • This can be resolved by correcting the typo in the tag prefix.
  5. {{data: <b>Applicant Email</b>}:
    • Assume a field called “Applicant Email” exists.
    • This may arise in Communication Templates due to HTML formatting interfering with PowerClerk’s ability to read a template. This is tricky to understand because it may appear correct when the template is inspected visually. The issue is that the <b> pieces are invisible when the template is viewed in the browser because they convey the information that the text “Applicant Email” appears in bold. In this case, the tag will appear as the following to the user: {data: Applicant Email}. However, when PowerClerk processes the template, the <b> text gets in the way of finding the correct “Applicant Email” field. This kind of error may look different depending on the specific text formatting in the template, but any case where you see text enclosed in angle brackets (“<”, “>”) showing up in the template errors but not visible in the template is probably an example of this.
    • This can be resolved by clearing existing text formatting from the template tags in your Communication Template and ensuring that any formatting applies to the entire tag, including the outer brackets.

To remedy Template Tag formatting errors, there are several ways to alleviate these issues:

  1. With the whole tag selected, click the “Clear formatting” button as sometimes tag formatting is completely invisible to the viewer:

    Clear Formatting

    Figure 28: Clear Formatting


  2. Alternatively, delete the tag and re-type it from scratch. That will also remove any invisible formatting.

Feature Reference


The Communications feature is a powerful and flexible way for administrators to automatically generate email communications to participants and other administrators. Administrators use a self-service interface to create communication templates, which are email templates that contain special tags that will later be filled in with application-specific information. This is conceptually similar to a “mail merge” or address label merge in Microsoft Word or other tools.

Administrators control a main list of communication templates as shown in Figure 9. Administrators may create an unlimited number of templates:


Communication Template List

Figure 9: Communication Template List

Administrators create and edit communication templates using the built-in rich text/HTML editor, shown in Figure 10. The template is authored as a piece of email with special tags such as {data: Customer Email Address} and {data: Date Interconnection Review Completed} that are automatically filled-in with application-specific information at sending time.

Rich text including fonts, colors and tables is supported. Images within email are supported as well, and any images that need to be embedded in the email body of a Communication Template can be uploaded to PowerClerk’s Content Library functionality:

Communication Template Creation and Editing

Figure 10: Communication Template Creation and Editing

Communications can be sent manually from the Admin page, or can be configured to be sent automatically as a Deadline reminder, or as an element of an Action. Specifically for Deadline reminder emails tags {DeadlineDueDate} or {DaysToDeadline} can be used within a Communication Template dedicated to be sent out in the context of a Deadline reminder email or on expiration of the respective Deadline to highlight a Deadline’s Due Date or the remaining Days until the respective Deadline expires. Please note: Tags {DeadlineDueDate} or {DaysToDeadline} are only available in context of a Communication Template being sent out in context of a Deadline configuration and *cannot* be used in Communication Templates sent manually or via Actions and Automations (nor will these tags work when previewing the respective Communication Template). See the Deadlines and Actions and Automations sections, respectively, for additional detail.

Video Guides

Would a video guide help to better explain Communications? Contact us and let us know.
A full list of all Video Guides can also be found here.


Have additional questions? Contact us to nominate your FAQ and help others find answers to your own questions concerning this feature.

Create A Support Ticket

Not finding your answer here?  Submit a question to our support team at the PowerClerk Ticket System and leverage the PowerClerk team’s expertise.