Survey Reveals 116 percent Increase in the Importance of Energy Management

June 12, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

New research released today by Johnson Controls, Inc. shows energy efficiency interest rose 116 percent globally since 2010, with those who set goals making the greatest strides in reducing energy use. Momentum is also growing for green building certification and green tenant space leasing, although 22 percent cite a lack of funding as the top barrier to investment. The Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator, a global survey of more than 3,000 decision-makers in 10 countries, was released at the 24th Annual North American Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.

The survey indicates that 73 percent of respondents worldwide set energy reduction goals within the last year, up from 58 percent two years ago. Among the organizations that set public goals, 72 percent plan to increase energy efficiency investments and nearly a third used external financing to meet those goals. Organizations that set public goals also implemented 50 percent more efficiency measures than institutions without goals.

"The research shows that accountability drives action when it comes to energy efficiency and we think more companies want to find ways to be efficient. However the barriers that our research points to year after year must be resolved first," said Dave Myers, president of Johnson Controls Building Efficiency.

In the United States, 41 percent of decision-makers reduced investments due to uncertainty in government budgeting and tax reform efforts.

"We need public policies and private investment to work together to reduce the market's uncertainty and capture this year's momentum toward a more energy efficient global economy," said Myers.

Global respondents identified the top policies to improve energy efficiency. Those policies include tax credits or incentives and rebates for implementing efficiency, low-interest financing for energy upgrades, stricter building codes and equipment standards, and mandatory energy performance disclosure.

Organizations with public goals and external financing implemented 84 percent more efficiency measures and are nearly three times more likely to increase investments compared to organizations with neither public goals nor external financing.

Respondents seek smarter and more efficient buildings and tenant spaces. Seventy-one percent of building owners indicated they will seek voluntary green building certification, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and an increasing number of tenants prefer to lease in a certified green building and will pay a premium for a green space.

The seventh annual survey of more than 3,000 building owners and operators around the world was led by the Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association and the Urban Land Institute.