Survey: Energy efficiency investment at an all-time high

By Jodi Delapaz

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WASHINGTON, June 30, 2016 - Investment and interest in energy efficiency are at an all-time high, according to Johnson Controls' 2016 Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey of more than 1,200 facility and energy management executives from the U.S., Brazil, China, German and India. According to Johnson Controls, 50 percent of survey respondents say that their organizations are paying more attention to energy efficiency today than they did a year ago, and 72 percent anticipate increased investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy over the next 12 months.

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By comparison, in the company's 2013 survey only 37 percent of global respondents reported paying more attention to energy efficiency and just 42 percent planned to increase investments.

Cost reduction remains the primary driver when making investment decisions, Johnson Controls says. The survey shows that organizations are also increasingly considering energy security, customer and employee attraction, greenhouse gas reduction, enhanced reputation, government policy and investor expectations.

Survey results show that 64 percent of U.S. organizations now have an internal or publicly stated carbon reduction goal, compared to 41 percent in 2013.


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Johnson Controls says that, as in the past, respondents report lack of funding, insufficient payback, savings uncertainty and a lack of technical expertise as the most significant barriers to investment.

Key survey findings include:

  •  The most frequent energy efficiency measures implemented last year were HVAC improvements, energy education programs, building controls upgrades, building systems integration, on-site renewable energy and water efficiency improvements. 
  •  Green buildings are growing. Some 78 percent of global organizations have already certified, or plan to certify, at least one green building, compared to 51 percent in 2010. Some 42 percent of organizations are willing to pay a premium to lease space in a certified green building versus 15 percent in 2013. In addition, 37 percent of global organizations build out their leased space to high-performance standards versus 18 percent in 2013.
  •  Zero and positive energy status buildings are on the increase, with 80 percent of organizations planning to achieve nearly zero, net zero or positive energy status for at least one of their facilities versus 49 percent in 2013.
  •  Resilience is becoming an important driver, with 82 percent of organizations reporting the ability to maintain critical operations during severe weather events or extended power outages as very or extremely important when considering future infrastructure investments. Some 62 percent of organizations said they are very or extremely likely to have one or more facilities able to operate off the grid in the next 10 years.

"Energy efficiency is the center of a major transformation of our buildings, energy systems and urban infrastructure," notes Bill Jackson, president of Building Efficiency at Johnson Controls. "Investment in smart, sustainable and resilient buildings is key to increasing urban efficiency and delivering its many social, environmental and economic benefits."

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