Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Like the CIO, CFOs often play a key role in project approval decisions. CFOs are tasked to conduct responsible financial management of an organization. The level of knowledge and justification required to build consensus among parties responsible for managing financial resources may vary organization to organization. Prior to deciding on an energy efficiency investment, most organizations perform some sort of financial analysis- whether it be payback, total cost of ownership (TCO), or return on investment (ROI). Further analysis and decision making, such as how “well proven” the ECM technology is, may also be required to convince CFOs and the financing or budget department. Outside funding or alternative financing mechanisms (such as utility rebates or energy savings performance contracts (ESPC)) can increase how receptive a CFO is to a project, or their willingness to pursue measures that have longer payback periods. It’s the responsibility of the project champion to understand what terms the CFO will view the project in, how they’ll view the opportunity cost of capital due to competing priorities in the organization, and to create and frame the project in such a way that will resonate.