Step 6: Implement Finance Program Initiatives
After you have selected a financial partner or partners and finalized a management services agreement (MSA), you will be ready to implement program initiatives.
Develop an Action Plan
Action Plans from Better Buildings Communities
Community Power Works of Seattle, Washington, for example, has created a planning document with flowcharts and tables designed to help guide both the initial launch of the program and its ongoing development.
The first step in implementing finance program initiatives is developing an action plan to help communicate your expectations to program staff and ensure that your project is moving in the right direction and achieving the needed milestones. Such a plan will help you to determine the resources, staff, and budget needed to sustain the program; the specific roles and responsibilities of internal staff and external partners; and data-capturing needs and reporting requirements. Other management plan components may include:
- An organizational chart
- Administration procedures
- Decision-making procedures, including exceptions management
- Specific work rules and procedures
- Capital flows
- Workflow schematics
- Customer services
- Reporting and tracking processes
- Marketing timelines
- Quality control and assurance procedures.
Take the time you need to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to launch the program successfully. A diligent and methodical approach to implementation will save time and money in the long run.
For more information on resource requirements, see Chapter 10 of DOE's Clean Energy Finance Guide for Residential and Commercial Building—Resource Requirements.
Develop Capital Flow Plans
A critical component of the action plan is to determine and document the specific flow of capital. An example of capital flow schematic is highlighted below.
The diagram illustrates how a financial partner would administer a program on behalf of a program administrator. It shows where public funds are being deposited and safeguarded. Because most programs involve several partner organizations, a flowchart like this helps program administrators "follow the money" and examine all of the different roles involved in moving money from the public sector and private capital markets to consumers.
Your capital flow schematic will depend on the specifics of your financial program. But regardless of the program type, capital flow plans need to identify, at a minimum, the accounts where funds are to be deposited, an administrator for the accounts, and the criteria for releasing funds.
Address Reporting Requirements
At regularly scheduled intervals, financial partners will need to report on the loan activity to program administrators. Typically, reporting is completed quarterly and annually. Reportable topics include:
- The number and amount of loans
- Collection payment performance
- Credit and debit activities on the revolving loan fund reserve and escrow accounts
Also, refer to Step 5 for additional information on monitoring your program activities.