roadtripHave you taken a road trip recently? You know, packed-up your ride and hit the open road headed toward a distant land? If so, you likely spent time researching the best route to get from your home base to where you were your adventure was taking you.

Recently, as I’ve been working with Real Estate folks to develop energy cost reduction plans for their buildings the recurring analogy of a road trip has been coming to mind. When the goal is to “drive down” OPEX through utility cost reduction then we need to map out a course to get us from where we are (the proverbial Point A) to some destination/goal (Point B).

Specifically, here are a couple of components one should consider:

Preparing for an Energy Reduction Road Trip 

Clarity on your Starting Point (Baseline & Benchmark)

If you have read any of my previous articles you will pick up on the recurring theme that I’m a huge proponent in using the ENERGY STAR scoring system to benchmark your building(s) relative efficiency. We use the online Portfolio Manager tool to generate meaningful scores that help communicate to stakeholders where we are starting on our utility cost reduction journey.

What’s your Destination (Goal)

When we are working with large commercial office buildings we are likely looking to reduce the overall annual energy cost per square foot. That can be expressed as a percentage reduction over the initial baseline period (starting point) and/or an overall dollar reduction in energy expenses. The important point to highlight is the need to set and communicate a meaningful goal (i.e. “Vegas Baby”!)  

Who’s driving and who’s riding along (Team)

Who is on board? If you are motivated to reduce energy expenses in your buildings you are likely the planner of the Energy Reduction “Road Trip”. You would be literally and figuratively the driver of this endeavor. This position has many important responsibilities. Not the least of which is choosing who will be your passengers. When it comes to reducing energy costs in your buildings you need the support ownership, tenants, and those who can directly impact the energy usage within the facility.


Well, that’s a couple of my initial thoughts on the similarities I see between making a traditional vehicular Road Trip and committing to the journey to reduce energy cost in commercial buildings.


Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you out at this time.