Survey: Financial concerns driving energy management; lighting, smart building technology to play major roles going forward

Washington, D.C. -- Eighty percent of building owners expect double-digit energy-price increases during the next year, causing owners to set an average energy reduction target of 12%, according to Johnson Controls’ fifth annual global Energy Efficiency Indicator survey.

The primary motivation for energy-efficiency projects remains energy cost savings, followed by government incentives and enhanced public image. Greenhouse gas reduction, which ranked as the second highest motivator in 2010, moved to fourth placed in the 2011 report. As to the most popular energy-efficiency improvements, lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and controls improvements topped the list.

“We are seeing record levels of energy management and reduction projects around the world, driven mainly by financial reasons, more than environmental concerns," said Dave Myers, VP and president of building efficiency for Johnson Controls.

Barriers to capital access ranked as the most significant obstacle for building owners when it comes to meeting their energy goals.

"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," Myers said. "However, building owners continue to tell us that access to capital remains the top barrier for improving energy consumption.”

The survey showed a double-digit increase in U.S./Canada building owners who believe energy management is important (66%), compared with the prior year (52%). Building owners expect lighting and smart building technology to have greater adoption rates over the next ten years than renewable energy technologies in the United States and Canada.

In addition, 77% of U.S. and Canada building owners plan to include green building elements in their facility plans in the next 12 months.

In total survey results, nearly four in 10 respondents have achieved at least one green building certification, twice as many as the prior year. An additional 32% have incorporated green building elements.

Building owners planning to pursue green building certifications for existing buildings (39%) slightly outpaced those with plans to certify new construction (35%).

The survey of nearly 4,000 building owners and operators around the world was led by Johnson Controls' Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association and the Urban Land Institute.