Last week, I talked about the impact energy use has on energy efficiency, asking, “In this era of economic insecurity and belt-tightening, are consumers more open to a plea to reduce energy use?” For the business sector, energy management is already a top priority. According to the fifth annual global Energy efficiency Indicator Survey, reducing costs by increasing efficiency is “the primary energy efficiency motivator” for building owners around the world.
Conducted by Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency, the IFMA, and the Urban Land Institute, the Energy Efficiency Indicator is sent out to “executives responsible for energy use and real estate decisions about their management practices, investment plans, technology integration, and financing approaches” with the ultimate goal of providing “a unique perspective on the market through the lens of those on the front lines making public and commercial building decisions.” This year, over 4000 responses were received for “a balanced mix of CEOs, CFOs, real estate executives, facility managers and engineers, and sustainability managers in organizations from small sole proprietorships to global corporations with properties totaling tens of millions of square feet.”
Some results from the survey worth noting:
*80% of respondent expect “double-digit” increases in energy prices over the next year.
*On average, building respondents plan to reduce energy use by 12% in order to compensate for rising costs.
*For respondent in the US, Canada, and Europe, funding is the number one barrier to meeting energy reduction goals.
*Respondents predict that smart building technologies and improved lighting efficiency will trump renewable energy in terms of adoption rates over the next 10 years.
*Two thirds of building owners in the US and Canada plan to adopt some “green building” techniques and technologies sometime in the next year.
*On average, 70% of respondents cite energy management as important to their overall energy saving plans.
*Lighting, HVAC, and improved equipment controllers were the most popular energy efficiency upgrades over the last year.
*Data collection continues to increase—more than 80% of respondents record data on a regular basis, but fewer than 20% review and analyze that information.
So what do you think? Should policy makers focus on making funding more readily available to businesses and building owners anxious to increase their facility’s energy efficiency? Are building owners correct in their prediction regarding the likelihood that retrofits and fixtures will trump renewable options in terms of adoption rates, and how will access to funding effect that showdown? And as energy control systems and data collection services continue to improve and incorporate advanced technologies, how will present and future facilities managers access the training and credentialing essential to smart building management?