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Future HVAC&R investment to focus on energy efficiency, report finds

01 July 2016

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Investment in energy efficiency and clean energy technology is expected to increase in the next twelve months, according to a clear majority of energy management experts canvassed for the 2016 Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey.
The report – released on 23 June in Washington, DC at the Energy Efficiency Forum (a conference co-sponsored by Johnson Controls and the United States Energy Association) – was compiled from the responses of more than 1,200 facility and energy management executives in the United States, Brazil, China, Germany and India.

72% of the respondents anticipate increased investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy over the next twelve months, compared with just 42% in 2013.

The effects have been striking for US organisations in particular. Back in 2007 11% planned to reduce carbon emissions. By 2013 this had increased to 41%, and this year it stands at 64%.

Johnson Controls is a global leader in refrigeration technologies and specialises on applications using water, a natural refrigerant also referred to as R718. Focusing on improving energy efficiency, the company periodically maps how countries and industry are working to improve energy efficiency in order to anticipate technological and policy shifts.

Much of this work focuses on on driving down energy costs, which has also helped to improve environmental sustainability. Reducing costs is the main driver for most organisations in the commercial, industrial and government sectors alike, but most are keen to slash their greenhouse emissions too. 

HVAC industry delivering energy efficiency improvements

Organisations are keen to boost the efficiency of their HVAC&R systems, given that in many sectors heating, ventilation and air conditioning represent a significant proportion of running costs.

The Johnson Controls report found that HVAC&R was the most popular investment by far, with 63% of industry and governmental respondents having invested in this area in the past 12 months.

"Energy efficiency is the centre of a major transformation of our buildings, energy systems and urban infrastructure," said Bill Jackson, president, Building Efficiency at Johnson Controls. "Investment in smart, sustainable and resilient buildings is key to increasing urban efficiency and delivering its many social, environmental and economic benefits."

Larger organisations tend to find this easier than smaller ones, and find it easier to access training and information. 72% of large facilities have installed a Building Management System, compared to 35% of small facilities over the last 24 months.

Interestingly, in emerging economies Brazil and India, respondents were far more likely to want to operate off the grid in the next ten years (at 76% and 87% respectfully) than in countries like the US and Germany, where only around half of respondents plan to do so.

The full report can be found here.

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