Step 3: Help your clients set goals

Goals motivate improvement. They guide daily decision-making and are the basis for tracking and measuring progress. Communicating and posting goals can also bring others on board, such as employees and tenants.

Help your client decide if the goals should apply to the entire organization or just to one piece of it. How long do they have to achieve the goals?

Then review what you learned from benchmarking, analysis, and auditing to decide what level of performance is achievable and how many resources will be needed. This will give you a starting point for what’s possible. However, know that some organizations set their goals based on factors other than what is technically feasible.

Then it’s time to establish goals. These should be recognized by your client’s senior management as a mission for the whole organization. Common ways to express goals include:

  • ENERGY STAR score: A specific 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score. A score of 50 represents median performance in comparison to similar buildings nationwide. A score of 75 or higher is required to earn ENERGY STAR certification.
  • ENERGY STAR certification: Aims to earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR in recognition of superior energy performance.
  • Defined reduction: A specific quantity or percentage decrease in energy use, such as a 10-percent reduction or a decrease of 300 million Btus.
  • Best-in-class: Aims for a certain level of performance compared to an established benchmark.
  • Efficiency improvement: Expressed as a function of reducing the energy intensity of a specific performance indicator, such as 2 Btus per unit of product.
  • Environmental improvement: Translates energy savings into environmental goals (i.e., greenhouse gas emissions avoided).
  • Threshold goals: The minimum acceptable level of performance.
  • Stretch goals: Levels beyond the target goal. Used to motivate greater achievement.

Further reading: ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management, Step 3: Set Goals