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Commercial Energy Efficiency, BRO (Behavior, Retro-commissioning, and Operational)

Written by: Fiona Dearth

Talk to any commercial building engineer or property manager and they’ll tell you that they don’t need to spend on cutting edge technologies to capture huge energy efficiency savings at their building. By embracing simple operational efficiency strategies, commercial customers can decrease energy usage at little or no cost. Unlike single efficiency technologies or measures, operational efficiency strategies focus on how a whole building uses its existing equipment systems to optimize energy use and maximize energy savings.

Utilities across the country are taking note. Many are rolling out new efficiency programs to encourage customers to incorporate efficiency strategies into their operations. Specifically, utilities are evaluating potential to drive savings through what they call Behavior, Retro-commissioning, and Operational Efficiency (BROs) strategies in commercial buildings. We get it, BRO.

BRO strategies aim to maximize commercial building energy savings, for example:

  • Strategic Energy Management (SEM) can empower customers to implement energy management actions across their organization and consistently achieve energy performance improvements

  • Energy benchmarking helps customers to establish an energy baseline by tracking usage data with the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager benchmarking tools

  • Retro-commissioning evaluation and fine-tuning processes can be implemented on existing building systems and controls as a one-time intervention, frequent retuning, or ongoing continuous commissioning to ensure the energy savings persist over time

It’s not always easy to quantify and track energy savings that result from BRO energy efficiency strategies. This can be a headache for utilities that rely on traditional measurement and verification strategies to claim energy efficiency program savings.

At Waypoint, we work on behalf of utilities to partner with commercial building owners and managers to understand the leasing and ownership structures, energy efficiency initiatives, and investment priorities at each of their buildings. These insights allow us to implement and monitor BRO activities at the property level and across large commercial portfolios. Ultimately, these insights help guide efficiency program evaluation efforts to separate BRO savings from other technology-specific or efficiency measure savings, ensuring seamless and accurate program implementation. 

Curious about how to drive operational efficiency strategies for your commercial customers? Waypoint Energy has deep expertise in working effectively with commercial buildings at scale to encourage BRO strategies and ensure utilities effectively incorporate these savings into efficiency program design. Reach out to our team at to learn more about our existing utility efficiency programs and resources.


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