Johnson Controls has released the results of a survey of 2,800 decision-makers in 37 countries responsible for managing commercial buildings and their energy. The company says that this sector represents 40% of the world’s energy consumption and one third of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
• Energy management is considered a priority among commercial decision-makers (90%) across all regions. Respondents from India (85%) and China (80%) were more likely to consider energy management ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important that those in Europe and North America (55% and 53% respectively).
• Globally, 63% plan to make capital investments in energy efficiency and 70% plan operating budget expenditures in efficiency programs over the next 12 months.
In the UK:
• 23% consider energy management ‘extremely’ important compared to 16% in the US, 15% in Germany, 14% in France, 14% Pan-Europe.
• 57% say their goal for new construction projects is for them to be certified to a recognised green standard
• 51% say they have invested the same or more in energy efficiency (compared with previous levels) during the recession.
Motivations differ from region to region, but cost savings is consistently the most important factor driving investments with 97% of respondents identifying it as significant. The survey found that decision-makers expect a 9% increase in energy price over the next year. After cost savings, lowering greenhouse gas emissions is the second most important motivator for energy efficiency in all regions (74%) except North America, where boosting public image (63%) and taking advantage of government/utility incentives (62%) rank higher.
“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 to other parts of the world where the prospect for binding legislation remains uncertain,” said Clay Nesler, vice president, Global Energy and Sustainability.
It’s encouraging news that there continues to be significant focus on managing energy use in buildings, since it represents a significant on-going opportunity for ICT players.
The Smart 2020 report pointed out that ICT offers a major
opportunity to reduce emissions from this sector by 15% in 2020, through improved design, more efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting automation, etc. A number of ICT companies are focusing on the opportunities in the sector as part of their green ICT offerings.
The fact that India and China see energy management as more important than their counterparts in Europe and the US probably reflects a greater awareness due to the rapid urbanisation in those countries. It demonstrates the potential advantage that developing countries have in designing efficient buildings from the ground up, rather than retrofitting. It also shows the greater short-term opportunities for ICT companies in the developing world.