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85% of building owners globally say energy savings drive investment decisions

June 22, 2012 - Eighty-five percent of building owners and operators globally depend on energy management to drive operational efficiency, according to a survey released today by Johnson Controls, a global company focusing on delivering solutions to help increase energy efficiency in buildings.


June 22, 2012
By Alyssa Dalton

This represents a 34-point increase in the last two years. Energy cost savings and financial incentives are leading this shift, but more than half say they are also looking to improve their public image and increase the value of their buildings, according to the survey. The 2012 Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator, a global survey of 3,500 building owners and operators, was released last week at the 23rd Annual North American Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C., which ran June 13-14, 2012.

“Building owners are investing in energy efficiency because they recognize the financial payback,” said Dave Myers, president of Johnson Controls, Building Efficiency. “This year’s survey demonstrates there’s a change underway. The mantra for commercial real estate owners used to be location, location, location – now it’s becoming location, efficiency, location.”

According to the survey, nearly a third of respondents indicated tax credits, incentives and rebates have the greatest impact on increasing investment in energy efficiency. This finding underscores the role of government policy in the decision making of building owners and operators.

“Nearly 75% of commercial buildings in the United States are more than 20 years old and are ready for energy improvements. Building owners and operators are looking to lawmakers to bring down the cost of energy retrofits through incentives and rebates,” said Myers. “In Asia, building codes and equipment standards also are helping ensure new buildings are constructed to high performance levels.”

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Developing countries are setting the pace with respect to investment with the highest number of respondents – 81% in China and 74% in India – planning to increase investments in energy efficiency or renewable energy, added Johnson. Globally, 40% of energy is consumed by buildings, according to the World Resources Institute.

Ninety-six percent of respondents have implemented at least one building efficiency improvement, led by lighting, heating and air conditioning equipment and controls, and water efficiency. Half of the private sector respondents use the cost savings from energy efficiency upgrades to reduce the company’s overall budget while 40% reinvest in further energy efficiency measures.

“Tenants are willing to pay more to locate their offices in energy efficient buildings,” said Myers. The survey found nearly a quarter of those who responded are willing to pay a premium for space in a certified green building.

The sixth annual survey of nearly 3,500 building owners and operators around the world was led by the Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association and the Urban Land Institute.

For a comprehensive report of the 2012 Energy Efficiency Indicator, visit www.institutebe.com.