Energy Efficiency Spending to Grow

SPENDING on energy efficiency is projected to grow as the economy improves and businesses ramp up capital spending.

This is the result of a survey conducted by Johnson Controls who contacted more than 1,400 executives in North America about energy costs, carbon-mitigation plans and energy-efficiency spending trends.

The survey found that improving energy efficiency in buildings is by far the biggest priority for business owners and energy managers as a way to reduce carbon emissions. But other factors are also driving interest in energy efficiency, including projections of higher energy costs. On average, those surveyed say energy prices will rise 7 percent in 2010.

The survey also found that even with no carbon mandates in place, 14 percent of those who responded work for companies that have rolled out public commitments to reduce their carbon footprint.

Barriers to deploying more energy efficiency remain, however, both in access to capital as well as concern about the payback period, or return on investment, for funds invested in energy efficiency, the survey found.

32 percent of those who responded said they increased investment in energy efficiency in 2009, despite the tough economy.

Peter Molinaro, vice president at Dow Chemical said the company has seen a payback through its commitment, launched in 1994, to reduce its energy intensity by 20 percent by 2005 - and a new plan that would pare the company's energy intensity by another 25 percent by 2015. The company has invested $1 billion but has seen a $9 billion payback, he said.

Tuesday 20th April 2010

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