Interest and investment in energy efficiency are at an all-time high, according to the 2016 Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey of more than 1,200 facility and energy management executives in the United States, Brazil, China, Germany, and India.
Fifty percent of respondents said their organizations are paying more attention to energy efficiency today than they did a year ago, with 72 percent anticipating increased investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy over the next 12 months. By comparison, 37 percent of global respondents in 2013 reported paying more attention to energy efficiency and 42 percent planned to increase investments.
Although cost reduction remains the primary driver, organizations are also increasingly considering energy security, customer and employee attraction, greenhouse gas reduction, enhanced reputation, government policy, and investor expectations when making investment decisions. 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.
“Energy efficiency is the center of a major transformation of our buildings, energy systems and urban infrastructure,” said Bill Jackson, president, 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.”
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. According to the survey, organizations operating larger portfolios of buildings are more likely to use internal capital for investments and are twice as likely to secure external financing or use energy services agreements to make energy-efficiency improvements.
Smart Buildings, Smart Energy
Organizations with the majority of their facilities located in urban areas are more likely to invest in smart building and smart energy technology, according to the survey. In fact, 64 percent of organizations in urban areas have invested in building management systems, while more than 50 percent have invested in the integration of building management systems with lighting, security, life safety, or other building systems. In addition, 39 percent of organizations in urban areas have invested in on-site renewable energy and 24 percent in non-renewable distributed generation. These organizations are also more likely to invest in energy storage and demand response technology.
Additional key findings that emerged from the survey 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.
- 78 percent of global organizations have already certified, or plan to certify, at least one green building, compared to 51 percent in 2010, with more existing buildings being certified than new construction.
- 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.
- 80 percent of organizations plan 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 is very or extremely important when considering future infrastructure investments. 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 ten years.
Johnson Controls conducted its first Energy Efficiency Indicator survey in 2007. As in previous years, the 2016 EEI surveyed energy and facility management leaders about current and planned investments, key drivers, and organizational barriers for improving energy efficiency across their facilities. This year the company surveyed 1,248 executive decision makers from the United States, Brazil, China, Germany, and India representing commercial, institutional and industrial organizations with facility portfolios of varying sizes in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
A summary report of the survey is available online.