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Johnson Controls releases building efficiency report

Energy management key to achieving building operational efficiency, says Johnson Controls’ Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey.

In a statement the company said: “Eighty-five per cent of building owners and operators globally depend on energy management to drive operational efficiency.

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.

The 2012 Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator, a global survey of 3,500 building owners and operators, included 944 European respondents concentrated in the United Kingdom (331), Germany (307) and France (296).

Dave Myers, president of Johnson Controls, Building Efficiency, said: “Building owners are investing in energy efficiency because they recognise the financial payback.”

“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 percent of commercial buildings in Europe 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.”

Developing countries are setting the pace with respect to investment with the highest number of respondents – 81 percent in China and 74 percent in India – planning to increase investments in energy efficiency or renewable energy.

Thirty nine percent are planning to increase spending in Europe in the next 12 months, the lowest of any region.

Ninety-six percent of global 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 per cent reinvest in further energy efficiency measures.

Green building certifications, or voluntary rating systems, are on the rise with 44 per cent planning to certify existing buildings, up from 35 per cent the year before.  Further, 43 per cent plan to certify new construction projects. In Europe, 55 per cent of respondents now have at least one certified green building, 50 per cent in the United Kingdom.

Thirty five per cent of respondents in Europe planned to pursue certification in new buildings (compared to 31 per cent in 2011) and 44 per cent in existing buildings (compared to 36 per cent in 2011).

“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.

Additional highlights from the UK include:

•             84 per cent said energy management was very or extremely important to their organisations (compared to 64 per cent in 2011), and 82 per cent said they were paying more attention to energy in 2012 than in 2011.

•             Sixty per cent of UK respondents had invested in energy efficiency in the past year, the highest percentage in Europe. Thirty-four per cent had invested in renewable energy, more closely aligned to the global average. Forty per cent of business executives planned to increase spending on efficiency and renewables in the next 12 months while 41 per cent expected investment to stay the same.

•             Top carbon reduction strategies in the UK were improving energy efficiency in buildings (25 per cent) and implementing behaviour programs targeting employees and building occupants (13 per cent) (Figure 3).

•             The UK led Europe in behaviour-based engagement as an energy savings approach. Energy-focused behavioural or educational programs were undertaken by 46 per cent of the organisations. The other measures in the top three for the UK were lighting improvements (64 per cent) and HVAC and/or controls improvements (50 per cent).

•             The UK had the longest allowable payback among the EU countries surveyed, though payback requirements are tightening in the UK as well: the average allowable payback on efficiency projects averaged 3.5 years, versus 3.7 years in 2011.

•             The top barrier to pursuing energy efficiency in UK was lack of funding to pay for improvements (25 percent), followed by uncertainty regarding savings or performance (18 per cent) and insufficient payback or ROI (13 per cent).

•             When asked which energy policy would have the greatest impact on improving energy efficiency in buildings, 29 per cent of executives selected tax credits/incentives, 21 per cent said low interest financing for energy upgrades, and 20 per cent chose stricter building codes and equipment standards.

Among UK respondents, 64 per cent classified their facilities as commercial, 21 per cent as institutional (government buildings, hospitals and schools), and 16 per cent as industrial. Thirty-one per cent of respondents managed more than 500,000 square feet.

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.