Eighty percent of building owners expect double-digit energy price increases over the next year, which has prompted an average energy reduction target of 12 percent, according to a report published on environmentalleader.com. Lighting and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and controls improvements are the most popular energy efficiency improvements.
The primary motivation for energy efficiency projects continued to be energy cost savings. Government incentives and enhanced public image were also important, ranking second and third in the survey. Greenhouse gas reduction, which ranked as the second highest motivator in 2010, ranked fourth in 2011.
Access to funding topped the list of barriers to energy efficiency projects for respondents in the U.S./Canada (38%) and Europe (30%).
Nearly 40 percent of respondents achieved at least one green building certification, twice as many as the prior year. An additional 32 percent have incorporated green building elements. The 39 percent of building owners planning to pursue green building certifications for existing buildings slightly the 35 percent with plans to certify new construction.
The research also found that building owners have greater access to energy data, but few are taking advantage of it. More than eighty percent measure and record data at least weekly or monthly, but fewer than 20 percent review and analyze that data at least weekly. Those who have implemented smart grid/smart building technology such as advanced energy metering and management systems are nearly 3 times more likely to review and analyze their data frequently.
Organizations that set a reduction goal, analyze energy data frequently, add internal or external resources, and use external financing were found to implement four times as many improvement measures as those who did none.
And more good news for vendors, seventy-seven percent of U.S./Canada building owners plan to include green building elements in their facility plans in the next 12 months.