A recent study carried out by Johnson Controls found that 75% of surveyed organizations across the U.S. plan to increase their investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart building technology, a 16% increase over 2018.
Johnson Controls’ 2019 Global Energy Efficiency Indicator study surveyed 400 energy and facility management executives in the United States to understand current and planned investments, key drivers, and technology trends supporting smart, safe and sustainable buildings.
Over half of participants believe that reducing energy costs, increasing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are critical factors to consider when making investments. In addition to these drivers, 87% of organizations indicated that resilience is very or extremely important when considering future energy and building infrastructure investments, compared with 68% t the previous year.
“This is the largest annual increase in planned investment in over a decade. Investment in smart and sustainable building technologies not only addresses urgent climate challenges but also improves comfort, health, safety and affordability for building occupants and communities,” said Clay Nesler, vice president of global sustainability and regulatory affairs, at Johnson Controls.
According to the survey, over two-thirds of the surveyed firms are planning to invest in energy education programs, HVAC equipment and building controls improvements. Also, 42% of organizations updated building controls and 36% replaced HVAC equipment before end-of-life last year.
The survey also indicates a rising trend towards “green” and zero-carbon buildings:
-85% of organizations plan to have at least one certified green building compared with 72 % last year, while 62% are willing to pay a premium for space in a certified green building.
-63% of organizations say they are very or extremely likely to have one or more facilities that are nearly or net zero energy or carbon in the next ten years, up from 58% in the previous year.
-61% of organizations surveyed invested in on-site renewable energy in 2019, while 34% of organizations invested in the replacement of fossil fuel heating equipment with heat pump technology last year.
Johnson Controls also highlighted that there was continued strong interest and investment in smart buildings last year:
-71% of organizations invested in building control system improvements and over half have implemented an enterprise-wide building management system.
-Over half of organizations invested in the integration of security, fire/life safety systems and lighting systems with other building technology systems last year, with another third investing in energy information management software.
Also, cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics/machine learning, data privacy and advanced controls were identified as having the greatest impact on the implementation of smart buildings over the next five years.