Incentives are driving energy efficiency

Cost savings and government incentives are the top influencers driving an increased focus on energy efficiency in buildings, according to the results of the second annual Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey for Europe. The survey reinforces the growing trend of greening buildings seen in Europe in recent years.

“Interest is growing in improving the energy efficiency of buildings to achieve sustainability goals. We know that when organisations have access to external funding and technical expertise, they implement a greater number of improvement measures, achieve greater savings and realise additional energy reductions,” said Iain Campbell, Vice President and General Manager, Global Energy and WorkPlace Solutions for Johnson Controls.

The EEI survey captured responses from 857 private and public sector leaders responsible for energy-related decisions for non residential buildings in six of Europe’s largest economies; the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Poland and Italy.

Increasing prices

The survey results show that more than 73% of decision-makers believe the price of energy will increase over the next 12 months and as a result of this energy cost savings were ranked as the number one influence on energy efficiency decisions in both 2010 and 2011. Government and utility incentives ranked number two, up from number six in 2010.

The majority of respondents expect enactment of a national policy mandating energy efficiency or carbon reductions within the next two years, and improving energy efficiency in buildings is their top strategy for reducing their organisation’s carbon footprint. In addition a growing number of respondents (61% versus 55% in 2010) indicated that energy management was either extremely important or very important to their organisations.

The survey also indicated that sustainable buildings are gaining traction among European facilities, with 32% of respondents having certified at least one green building and an additional 22% having incorporated green building elements.

Financing

In addition, organisations that secured financing from financial institutions, utilities, third-party ownership and other alternative sources are more likely to pursue the following types of projects that produce deeper energy savings compared with those that rely on internal budgets:

• Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and/or controls improvements (55% external financing versus 47% internal budgets).

• Building enclosure improvements, such as roofs, insulation, windows, seals and weather stripping (36% versus 19%).

• Onsite renewable energy (29% versus 15%).

• Smart building technologies that optimise real-time energy usage (25% versus 11%).

“Johnson Controls has a long history of improving efficiency in buildings for customers, such as the retrofit project at the Empire State Building, which demonstrates that there are solutions and technologies readily available to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Campbell. “This iconic project is proof that significant cost and emission reductions can be achieved when innovative solutions are pursued.”

The Empire State Building retrofit programme will reduce the energy use of the building by 38% per year, placing it in the top 10% of all U.S. office buildings for energy efficiency. These improvements will also reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years.

Get smart

Johnson Controls announced the European EEI survey results during the second annual Energy Efficiency Forum, co-hosted by Johnson Controls, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and The Climate Group. This year’s forum, themed ‘Energy Efficiency – Time to Get Smarter’ explored integrated ways to promote efficiency in manufacturing, buildings and cities in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. The forum focuses on taking a more integrated approach that encompasses policy, funding, technology, business value and communication to achieve European Climate and Energy objectives, which include a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20% increase in energy savings by 2020.

The EEI survey is managed by the Institute for Building Efficiency, a Johnson Controls initiative that provides information and analysis of technologies, policies and practices for efficient, high-performance buildings and smart energy systems around the world. The European survey results represent the first set of data from the Institute’s 2011 Global EEI survey.

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