Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Building Energy Efficiency Insights From New Survey

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) partnering with Johnson Controls conducted an on-line survey in April targeting energy management decision-makers. A total of 422 completed surveys were received from IFMA members (mostly responsible for office space). I found a number of the findings quite interesting.

(1) The survey confirmed the obvious that energy efficiency was a design priority in new construction and retrofit projects.
(2) Respondents to the survey indicated that "green building" certification was more likely to be a goal for new construction rather than retrofit projects. Notwithstanding, a third of the respondents did indicate that operating a "green building" was extremely important or very important in attracting new talent and retaining current employees.
(3) Saving money was a greater motivation to improve energy efficiency than concern for the environments, certainly understandable in today's challenging economic climate.
(4) The tolerance for payback time on energy efficiency investments for almost half the respondents was that it must be less than 3 years.
(5) The key barriers to investment in energy efficiency projects were the availability of capital and the payback time.
(6) Government and utility incentives were found to be extremely influential in energy efficiency investment decisions.

It was also interesting to learn that while approximately half the respondents do not today require any type of energy-related due diligence prior to leasing or purchasing, 20% did. Energy-related due diligence had rarely been done in the past, but clearly is growing.


Robert said...

Paybacks must be three years or less? I find that thinking to be very immature. These people are professionals?

Tony said...

In today's economic climate where companies routinely are cost cutting and conserving cash, I do not find this survey result to be surprising. Many of my peers who also manage commercial real estate today are doing everything possible to conserve cash. We just are not making significant capital investments unless we absolutely have to, even for energy efficiency improvements! But keep this in mind - once things begin to improve, as they most certainly will, investment will again begin to flow.