Budgeting for clarity and success

A mainstay of any successful undertaking is a well-planned budget. Building and maintaining a sense of financial clarity helps to ensure the financing for your effort is used to support your priorities. ABBC did not have exclusively dedicated staff. Rather, key partners contributed time from individual employees to support the effort. For these employees, the work related to ABBC was a portion of their job responsibilities. A similar BC program in Georgia should be sure to clearly define roles and responsibilities if it wants to follow the ABBC’s staffing plan.

Based on the ABBC experience, a city’s BC should consider the following account for the following budget line items:



Elements of Success

This area covers costs related to providing energy and water assessment audits to new participants. This was Atlanta’s early adopter incentive so it is more heavily weighted at the beginning of your effort.Data Gathering and Management
This area includes costs related to data gathering and management to support the early adopter incentive offering. Like the offering itself, the audits, it is weighted more heavily at the beginning of your effort.

Marketing and Communications
This area covers costs related to promotion and marketing efforts as well as costs related to public communications about the program.

Promotional Events
This area includes event costs not related to educational events, such as publicity or recognition events.

Education Programming
This area includes costs related to executing the educational events and materials to support participants.

Program Evaluation and Assessment
This area includes costs relating to evaluation, assessment and production of materials to publicly share evaluation and assessment results. Program annual reports would fall into this category.

This area is a catchall for expenses that fall outside the scope of the first 4 areas.
NOTE: This budget does not contain information related to employee salary or cost.

  • Years 1 through 3 Recommended Budget Percentage Breakdown:


Leverage the private market to drive implementation
vendors are motivated to complete projects and harnessing that desire can help work occur sooner rather than later.

Identify project managers
Projects with specific project managers tend to happen sooner and run smoother than projects where building owners or managers are trying to piecemeal things together.

  • Plan on a large percentage of your Year 1 budget to go towards Technical Resources & Data Management.  These are costs related to all the data collection and analysis that has to happen as participants enroll in your effort.  These costs should drop significantly in Year 2 and Year 3.
  • Marketing & Communications is a smaller percentage of budget in Year 1 and the efforts in that year are directed towards raising awareness of your effort.  Marketing & Communications budget will jump in Years 2 and 3 as you begin to do marketing work focused on participant recognition and materials.