The primary motivation for energy efficiency projects continues to be cost savings, but government incentives and enhanced public image rank second and third, according to the fifth annual global Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey. The survey of nearly 4,000 building owners and operators around the world is led by Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency, IFMA, and the Urban Land Institute.
Greenhouse gas reduction fell from the second highest motivator in 2010 to the fourth highest motivator this year.
Eight in 10 respondents expect double-digit energy price increases over the next year, resulting in owners targeting an average energy reduction of 12%.
However, there are significant obstacles in meeting these goals, with access to funding and financial returns cited globally as the top barriers. Barriers to capital access topped the list for respondents in the U.S. and Canada (38%) and Europe (30%).
“This year’s survey clearly shows that there’s growing urgency in making buildings more energy efficient, and large strides have been made with the help of government incentives,” says Dave Myers, Johnson Controls’ corporate vice president and president of the company’s global energy usage division. “However, building owners continue to tell us that access to capital remains the top barrier for improving energy consumption. By making funding more accessible, policymakers have a tremendous opportunity to influence the achievement of their energy and environmental goals.”
Highlights of the survey results for North America include:
- There is a double-digit increase in American and Canadian building owners who believe energy management is important (66%) compared to last year (52%).
- Building owners expect lighting and smart building technology to have greater adoption rates than renewable energy technologies over the next 10 years in the U.S. and Canada.
- More than three-fourths (77%) of American and Canadian building owners will include green building elements in their facility plans in the next 12 months.
- Efficiency in buildings remains the top global strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, led by the U.S. and Canada (52%) and followed by Europe (28%), China (27%), and India (24%).
These survey results speak to an increasing number of building owners and operators turning to smart, high-performance building technology to achieve their energy efficiency goals, says Tony Keane, president and CEO of IFMA.
“Managing and operating buildings at peak efficiency will require facility professionals to strengthen their skill sets to successfully utilize these complex building technologies,” he explains. “As more high-performance buildings come online over the next decade, training and credentialing will play an essential role in helping facility professionals manage these buildings at optimal performance levels.”