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May 19, 2008: Energy Consumption Declining While Utility Costs Continue to Rise

May 19, 2008
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HOUSTON - Led by a dramatic increase in utility costs, the overall cost of running a facility is 10 percent higher than it was just four years ago, according to results from an International Facility Management Association (IFMA) research report. The study, Benchmarks V: Annual Facility Costs, shows that utility costs have jumped 19 percent compared to similar data from 2006.

While the increase in utility costs may come as no surprise to some, it is happening at a time when energy consumption is down. When compared to IFMA’s 2006 benchmarking figures, average electricity consumption - measured in kBTUs per square foot - has dropped from 93 to 81, while gas consumption has remained constant at 35 kBTUs per square foot. This decrease in energy usage could be attributed to companies implementing energy conservation practices, lighting improvements, and equipment upgrades at their facilities.

“In recent years, many organizations have invested in their electrical and mechanical systems to make them more energy efficient,” said IFMA Associate Director of Research Shari Epstein. “Performing simple measures such as installing occupancy sensors, adjusting heating and air conditioning controls, and performing preventive maintenance checks to keep equipment running efficiently can make a measurable impact in reducing energy consumption.”

IFMA annually conducts a benchmarking survey of its members in an effort to collect data that allows for easy comparisons of built environment costs and practices. These reports allow facility professionals to gauge their performance against similar facilities - whether in the same industry or a different one. This year’s report includes data from more than 1,000 facilities and is IFMA’s largest benchmarking study to date, with many survey respondents supplying information from multiple facilities.

To learn more about the Benchmarks V: Annual Facility Costs survey results and methodology, visit www.ifma.org/tools/research/benchmarks_v.cfm.

Publication date: 05/19/2008

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