Roughly 85% of building owners and operators depend on energy management to achieve operational efficiency, a 34-point increase in the last two years, according to a global survey by technology developer Johnson Controls.
Nearly one-third of the 3,500 respondents indicated that tax credits, incentives, and rebates have the greatest impact on increasing their investments in efficiency.
However, that number jumps to 42% among the 1,139 respondents from the U.S. and Canada, where nearly 75% of commercial buildings are more than 20 years old and are likely to require significant improvements, according to Johnson Controls Building Efficiency president Dave Myers. American and Canadian respondents also named energy cost savings and enhanced brand or public image as top motivators.
Finances remain the major barrier to pursuing greater efficiency among U.S. and Canada respondents, the survey noted. A lack of funding to pay for improvements plagued 37%, followed by insufficient payback or ROI at 21%. Finance-specific barriers included competition for other capital investments (36%) and insufficient internal capital budget (30%).
Other significant findings from this year’s survey included the response to water efficiency questions. About 45% named water efficiency improvements as an energy efficiency action taken in the last 12 months, landing the category in the top three efficiency actions behind lighting improvements (78%) and HVAC and/or controls improvements (77%).