Investments in energy efficiency will increase globally in 2017, according to a new Johnson Controls survey of energy and facility management executives. The survey indicated that spending on energy management will increase based on 1,243 respondents across India, China, Brazil, the US and Germany. Over half of organizations said they plan to have resilient facilities that can operate off the grid within the next 10 years.
The reasons organizations cited for their interest in energy efficiency were the following, in order from most to least important: cost reduction, energy security, customer attraction, greenhouse gas reduction, reputation/brand, government policy, employee attraction, and investor expectations. Since 2013, the order of importance has changed just slightly. Reputation/brand was cited as the second most important reason for investing in energy efficiency in 2013; it dropped to the fifth most important this year. Energy security is now cited as the second most important reason, up from the third most important in 2013. Cost reduction remained by far the most important reason for energy efficiency.
Over the last year, HVAC improvements were the most popular, followed by energy focused educational programs, building controls improvements, water efficiency improvements, onsite renewable energy, and building systems integration.
Financial capacity continues to be a barrier to energy efficiency improvements, with US respondents citing the largest lack of funding. Lack of expertise is another significant barrier. A recent survey by Secure I.T. Environments Ltd. asking about data center energy efficiency seems to confirm that a lack of expertise is still a challenge. The survey showed that 46% of respondents did not know whether or not their data centers had improved in energy efficiency over the last year.
“It is surprising that so many organizations do not understand the energy usage and efficiency of their data centers, because it can tell them a lot about their infrastructure,” said Chris Wellfair, projects director at Secure I.T. Environments. “Regular monitoring of key performance indicators across the data center can not only improve efficiency, but lower costs, identify failing equipment and improve maintenance regime.”
Like the responses in the Johnson Controls survey, the data center survey respondents also cited lack of budget as a significant concern for data center management; this was followed by the ability to demonstrate improved ICT energy efficiency.
In terms of carbon reduction, nearly two-thirds (64%) of US respondents said they now have a carbon reduction goal, up from just 11% in 2007.