Good news in the commercial building energy efficiency sector: Johnson Controls’ fourth annual Energy Efficiency Indicator (PDF) report reveals that spending will grow significantly in 2010 after a decline last year. The EEI, which tracks investment plans and priorities of 1,400 executives in charge of North America’s commercial building energy use, reports that 52% of those surveyed will invest in efficiency, up from 46% in 2009. And 60% of executives (compared to 55% in 2009) plan to to make operating budget expenditures
in efficiency programs over the next year.
So why the rebound in spending? 87% of respondents say that it’s because of cost savings (read: execs think that energy prices will go up this year), while 63% think that increasing energy efficiency will lead to an improved public image. “Momentum is building and it will continue to build,” said Dave Myers, President of Johnson Controls Building Efficiency. “Long-term costs
will escalate significantly.”
Other contributing factors include government and utility incentives as well as concerns about potential greenhouse gas and energy efficiency regulations. “We often tend to think of energy and climate policy as being
either national or international, but actually a lot of commitments are being made by
cities and universities. Companies are also reporting to initiatives like the Carbon Disclosure Project,” explained Clay Nesler, the Vice President of Global Energy and Sustainability at Johnson Controls.
Executives are implementing a variety of efficiency solutions, including energy efficient lighting (72%), trained facilities staff (63%), occupancy or daylight sensors (40%), and upgraded building controls (33%). Cheap and easy solutions clearly win out, but investment in building controls will continue to grow as the smart grid infrastructure expands. “There can’t be a smart grid until there are smart buildings connected to it,” Nesler said.