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Commercial buildings' energy efficiency investment remains strong

Despite a global recession, investment in energy efficiency has remained strong according to the Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) released by Johnson Controls.
The survey of more than 2,800 executives and managers responsible for investments and managing energy in commercial buildings globally found that 56% of respondents say they have invested the same if not more in energy efficiency in the last 12 months.

A country comparison shows respondents have invested the same or more in energy efficiency in China (58%), followed by the United States (46%), Europe (45%) and India (40%).

The EEI tracks energy management priorities, practices and investment plans among decision-makers responsible for managing commercial buildings and their energy use. Johnson Controls has conducted for the first time a global EEI survey for Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

'These survey results indicate the growing importance of having energy efficient buildings that are cost effective and sustainable,' said Dave Myers, president, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls.

Across all regions surveyed, energy management is considered an important priority among commercial decision-makers (92%). Respondents from India (85%) and China (80%) were more likely to consider energy management very or extremely important as compared with those in Europe (55%) and North America (53%).

'Despite the recession, decision-makers have put efficiency high on their agendas for 2010, especially those in India and China,' said Clay Nesler, vice president, Global Energy and Sustainability, Johnson Controls.

He added: 'It's encouraging to see that the financial returns and environmental benefits of energy efficiency investments are recognised in all regions around the world.'

While motivations differ from region to region, cost savings is consistently the most important factor driving investments, with 97% of respondents identifying it as significant.

'It comes as no surprise that global business leaders are looking for responsible ways to cut energy costs. On average, the survey found that decision-makers expect a 9% energy price increase during the next year,' said Nesler.

After cost savings, lowering greenhouse gas emissions (74%) is the second most important motivator for energy efficiency in all regions except North America, where boosting public image (63%) and taking advantage of government/utility incentives (62%) rank higher in importance.

Globally, 63% of respondents plan to make capital investments in energy efficiency and 70% plan operating budget expenditures in efficiency programmes during the next 12 months. Some 85% plan to make efficiency a priority in their new construction and retrofit projects.

'In contrast to other regions, existing legislation was one of the top three factors in Europe. We believe it is indicative of the region's leadership in energy and climate legislation compared with other parts of the world, where the prospect for binding legislation remains uncertain,' said Nesler.
4 June 2010

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