More than Half of US Companies Project Increased Energy Efficiency Investment in 2015
Schneider Electric has released the results of a recently commissioned survey of 301 energy leaders across the United States. The results reveal that three quarters of decision-makers at US companies have invested in energy efficiency programs in the past 12 months, and 56 percent project their investment in energy efficiency next year will be more than last year. This is a 12 percent increase in energy efficiency investments and a 13 percent increase in projected investments in the past 12 months, according to a similar survey conducted by Schneider Electric in June 2013.
One potential driver of the increased investment is that a path to efficiency is now easier to measure due to the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). When asked about the biggest trends impacting business today, 56 percent of respondents cited this trend, with 61 percent saying that energy efficiency was its biggest benefit. Byproducts of increased efficiency, including cost reductions and optimized business processes, were also reported as benefits.
However, respondents also acknowledged that this trend comes with challenges, including more complex technology management, security and conflict between IT and OT staff.
Staying competitive often means staying ahead of the technology curve, and indeed, the survey confirmed modernization is one of the top items on decision-makers’ agendas. Infrastructure upgrades followed the convergence of IT and OT with 22 percent of respondents citing it as impacting their business. Fifty-one percent of respondents indicated infrastructure modernization as an important business priority, and 48 percent believe upgrading public infrastructure will make their city more attractive for business than others. Respondents said electrical systems, traffic/transportation systems and telecommunications are the public infrastructure modernization projects that are most impactful on their business.
Efficiency initiatives and sustainability demands rounded out the list of the biggest trends. Energy efficiency initiatives were identified by respondents as the top way companies do more with less in today’s business environment, and almost half of respondents said that sustainability initiatives improve profit margins and keep them competitive.
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