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Ecova survey: Cost top driver of energy, sustainability management programs


Spokane, Wash. - Over half (57%) of retail respondents have an energy/building management system installed, according to an annual survey by energy and sustainability management company Ecova.

For the second year, energy ranks as the top opportunity for savings: 60% of respondents expect energy prices to increase in 2015. But water conservation is seen as increasingly important: There was a 10% increase in those viewing water as an area with the greatest opportunity for savings and improvement than the year prior.

Additionally, supplemental data from Ecova customers demonstrate that the retail industry has the highest rates of improvement in energy efficiency from 2008 to 2013 compared to other industries.

The “2015 Energy and Sustainability Predictions: Findings from Leading Professionals” report reveals an important shift in the way companies are approaching and viewing energy and sustainability management. As energy and sustainability management become more complex and essential to operations, professionals are increasingly focusing on the bigger picture.

While cost savings is still the number one driver of energy and sustainability management decisions, this year’s survey results show professionals are taking a more strategic, long-term view. Fifty-two percent of respondents indicate their top priority for leveraging energy data in 2015 is to support strategic energy and sustainability initiatives and programs.

In other findings:

More companies are investing in solutions to gather energy data, with nearly 50% of total respondents indicating they have energy/building management systems in place and nearly 30% indicating they have budgets approved for future systems or are considering installing them.

The majority of professionals, 57% , believe their organization will increase time or money spent on energy and sustainability management in 2015.

While respondents said lighting projects were the smartest energy and sustainability investment made for the second year in a row, this was 5% lower than the year prior, indicating a desire to go beyond the low-hanging fruit.

• Waste is an important issue for 60% of respondents across a wide range of job functions and industries.

• Companies are increasingly requiring a comprehensive waste solution, with over half of this year’s respondents indicating one or more priorities for leveraging waste data in 2015.

“This year’s survey affirms the need for strategic, holistic and long-term energy efficiency and sustainability programs within an organization,” said Seth Nesbill, senior VP president and general manager, marketing and technology, at Ecova. “While certain measures offer a quick and effective ROI, organizations will need to implement long-term programs in order to see increased savings and remain competitive as regulations and the price of energy and other resources increase.”

The Ecova report aggregates findings from a survey of more than 500 energy, facility, finance and sustainability professionals at U.S.-based companies and reveals an important shift in the way companies are approaching and viewing energy and sustainability management.
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