PALATINE, Ill. — Forty-three percent of energy leaders say their investment in energy efficiency next year is projected to be more than it was last year, according to survey results released by Schneider Electric. Twenty-two percent said their projected investment would stay the same, and 10 percent reported their investment would be less.

The survey, conducted at Schneider Electric’s Xperience Efficiency events in Washington, D.C., and Dallas, includes responses from 369 leaders in energy efficiency from the business and government sectors and was intended to provide insight into the future of energy efficiency and challenges organizations face.

“Energy efficiency is the first and best fuel source we have to meet our nation’s growing energy demands and use our energy more effectively,” said Chris Curtis, president and CEO, North America Operations, Schneider Electric. “It’s good for job creation and the environment, and allows companies to cut costs along with their consumption. With the majority of respondents reporting energy efficiency investments to be the same or more than last year, it’s clear that the benefits of energy efficiency are speaking for themselves.”

Sixty-four percent of respondents reported energy cost savings as the biggest driver impacting energy management investment decisions. Government incentives came in second with 10 percent, followed by government policies and industry standards with 8 percent, executive mandate with 6 percent, and brand image with 5 percent.

The majority of respondents, 63 percent, reported they had invested in energy efficiency programs in the past 12 months. Specifically, the two most common energy management practices that respondents’ organizations have adopted in the past 12 months were tracking and analyzing data (29 percent) and energy audits (also 29 percent).

The respondents also shared their thoughts on which energy management approaches will take hold in the next five years, predicting that building automation (24 percent), efficient lighting (21 percent), and data center efficiency (16 percent) would become the most popular.

Other significant survey findings include:

• 41 percent of respondents cited tax credits or incentives as the energy policy that has had the greatest impact on improving energy efficiency in their organization.

• 60 percent of respondents said that they have someone in their organization responsible for energy management.

“While these results show good progress, we have a significant opportunity to do more,” said Curtis. “The U.S. currently ranks ninth in energy efficiency among the largest global economies, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. This is unacceptable. We have many opportunities right now — practical, tangible actions any business, government, or homeowner can take — to improve efficiency with a quick return on investment and immediate results.”

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Publication date: 9/16/2013

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