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Three Promising Signs from the 2010 Energy Efficiency Indicator

In one of my many forays into the jungle of the internet, I came across a report that piqued my interest. Normally when this happens, I end up losing precious minutes of my life reading something that is seemingly intelligent and worthwhile on the outside but ends up all being an elaborate ad for shampoo.

Fortunately this time the report was from the Institute for Building Efficiency (the brainchild of Johnson Controls), and has nothing to do with hair products. The Institute released their 2010 global energy efficiency indicator back in June, and I’ve finally had the chance to spend some time browsing through their exciting charts and graphs.

While this report may not sound like the cause for a party, it really should be. The Institute has managed to survey almost 3,000 people around the world who are in decision-making positions when it comes to the management of buildings of all shapes and sizes. This year, the survey turned up some great news…

1. Energy efficiency is a big deal and getting bigger. Of course we know that already, since we are the type of people who write and read energy efficiency blogs. It’s nice to know that the big kahunas who decide how the buildings of the world are run, are now the same page. Of all the regions that were surveyed, turns out that the decision makers in India find energy management to be the most important to their business. This is good news for Smartcool’s Indian distributors, and explains why they have already been extremely successful with major customers there!

Money makes the world go 'round  

2. Cha-ching! For these decision makers, just like the rest of us who are being honest, it generally all comes down to money. Cost savings are the number one reason by far that decision makers around the world are pursuing energy efficiency for their buildings.

Interestingly, the next two reasons are tied for second place: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing their public image. This is encouraging news. Decision makers will always be driven by financial considerations- otherwise they would not be in the position of being decision makers. But it is good to know that they are recognizing both the green and soft benefits to energy efficiency, and that these do have a role in their ultimate decisions to become more energy efficient.

The one downside to this, is that North American decision makers are much more concerned with their public image, followed by taking advantage of utility and government financing, than they are in reducing greenhouse gases… for them, this environmental benefit comes in a distant fourth in their motivating factors.

3. Going green? Get efficient. The final point of interest (apart from all the excitingly statistical graphs) in the report is the finding that for businesses trying to go green and reduce their carbon footprint, building efficiency is seen as the most important step. Excitingly, an entire third of respondents to the survey have already made public commitments to reduce their business’ carbon footprint.

As we’ve found over and over again, energy efficiency for buildings is truly the ‘low hanging fruit’ when it comes to going green. Changing lightbulbs, retrofitting HVAC, improving insulation… these are all extremely cost effective ways to start shrinking a carbon footprint, and the decision makers of the world clearly recognize this.

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