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Energy Efficiency Spending Predicted to Rebound
Apr 19, 2010
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After a down year in 2009, planned investment in energy efficiency is expected to rebound in 2010 according to the fourth annual Energy Efficiency Indicator survey released April 19 by Johnson Controls.

The survey found that 52% (up from 46%) plan to make capital investments in energy efficiency and 60% (up from 55%) plan to make operating budget expenditures in efficiency programs over the next 12 months. However, 38% of the business leaders surveyed said the largest barrier to energy efficiency investments is limited capital availability.

Building operators in the last year have been turning most often to energy efficiency improvements with low capital cost and/or rapid return on investment. The survey shows that 72% switched to energy efficient lighting; 63% trained facility staff; 61% educated building occupants; 56% made set point adjustments; 40% installed occupancy or daylight sensors; and 33% upgraded building controls.

“Commercial buildings consume 18% of the energy and 35% of electricity used in the U.S. each year,” said Dave Myers, president of Johnson Controls Building Efficiency business. “A focus on improving energy efficiency in existing buildings is the best way to address carbon reduction goals being set by a growing number of organizations.”

The Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) tracks energy management priorities, practices, and investment plans among decision makers responsible for commercial buildings and their energy use.

The North America research was conducted by Johnson Controls in association with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and the American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE).

65% of business leaders say they are paying more attention to energy efficiency than they were a year ago. 84% say that energy efficiency is a priority for new construction and retrofit projects in 2010.

The most important factor in energy efficiency decisions is energy cost savings, with 97% of respondents identifying it as significant. 64% expect energy prices to rise in 2010. Overall the average expectation of respondents is a 7% increase in the combined price of energy over the next 12 months.

The next most important factors influencing energy efficiency decisions are enhanced public image (63%), government and utility incentives (62%), and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (62%). This climate concern is growing in importance, up from 57% that considered greenhouse gas reduction a significant factor in 2009.

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