The 2016 Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI), a survey of more than 1 200 facility and energy management executives in the United States, Brazil, China, Germany and India, shows interest and investment in energy efficiency are at an all-time high.
The survey queried energy and facility management leaders about current and planned investments, key drivers and organisational barriers for improving energy efficiency across their facilities. 50% of respondents said their organisations are paying more attention to energy efficiency today than they did a year ago, with 72% anticipating increased investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy over the next 12 months. By comparison, 37% of global respondents in 2013 reported paying more attention to energy efficiency and 42% planned to increase investments.
Although cost reduction remains the primary driver, organisations 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% of U.S. organisations now have an internal or publicly stated carbon reduction goal, compared to 41% in 2013.
"Energy efficiency is the centre of a major transformation of our buildings, energy systems and urban infrastructure," says 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."
According to the survey, organisations 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. However, respondents report lack of funding, insufficient payback, savings uncertainty and a lack of technical expertise as the most significant barriers to investment.
Organisations with the majority of their facilities located in urban areas are more likely to invest in smart building and smart energy technology, the survey found. In fact, 64% of organisations in urban areas have invested in building management systems, while more than 50% have invested in the integration of building management systems with lighting, security, life safety or other building systems. In addition, 39% of organisations in urban areas have invested in on-site renewable energy and 24% in non-renewable distributed generation. These organisations are also more likely to invest in energy storage and demand response technology.
The survey also found that 78% of global organisations have already certified, or plan to certify, at least one green building, compared to 51% in 2010, with more existing buildings being certified than new construction. 42% of organisations stated that they are willing to pay a premium to lease space in a certified green building versus. Only 15% were willing to pay that premium in 2013. In addition, 37% of global organisations build out their leased space to high-performance standards versus 18% in 2013.
The most frequent energy efficiency measures implemented last year were HVAC improvements, energy education programmes, building controls upgrades, building systems integration, on-site renewable energy and water efficiency improvements. 80% of organisations plan to achieve nearly zero, net zero or positive energy status for at least one of their facilities, the survey found. That figure was 49% in 2013.
Respondents stated that resilience is becoming an important driver, with 82% of organisations 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% of organisations said they are very or extremely likely to have one or more facilities able to operate off the grid in the next ten years.