A First Look at Energy & Sustainability In 2016

Bob Zak

As a myriad of forces continue to affect the energy industry, corporate sustainability, facility and finance professionals are working in earnest to move the needle toward long-term energy and sustainability management goals. Their challenges—and the fruit of their effort—are benchmarked in our 2016 Energy and Sustainability Predictions: Findings from Leading Professionals report, released just this week. We’ve compiled a few interesting insights to give you a sneak peek at the report.

energy-and-sustainability-in-2016
  1. Despite the recent reprieve in energy prices, constant fluctuation due to shifting supply, geopolitical influence and infrastructure investments are breeding caution among energy procurement professionals. While the number of energy and sustainability managers anticipating increased energy costs in the coming year fell from 70 percent and 60 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively, a majority 57 percent still expect to see increased costs in 2016.
  2. Data is playing an increasingly important role in offsetting potential rate hikes. A full third of respondents said they have meters, EMS, BMS, or other data collection/monitoring devices installed at a majority of their sites. That’s up from 29 percent in 2014. Another 20 percent said they have meter data gathering technology in pilot.
  3. To improve their efficiency odds in an uncertain market, 43 percent of respondents said their primary goal for leveraging energy data in 2016 is to identify no cost/low cost efficiency initiatives.
  4. We’re seeing real traction among companies leveraging DERs (distributed energy resources) such as solar, wind, batteries and fuel cells to establish control of their energy consumption and cost. In fact, 35 percent have DERs installed or in pilot.

But energy costs aren’t the only concern of sustainability, facility and finance professionals. More companies are leveraging waste and water efficiencies to reign in costs.

  1. We saw a 7 percent increase in the number of companies leveraging waste data to drive zero waste efforts, such as reporting landfill diversion percentages. The trend is led by the grocery industry, where a commanding 60 percent of organizations report support for zero waste strategies.
  2. Nearly half of respondents indicated attempts at water reduction efforts in 2015. Those listing water conservation efforts as their smartest no cost/low cost initiative more than doubled year-over-year, from 9 percent in 2014 to 23 percent in 2015.

While progress is clearly charted, resource constraints remain a challenge for North American energy, sustainability, facility and finance professionals. While more than half of respondents expect resources to increase in 2016, more than 40 percent say that a lack of resources remains their biggest obstacle.

In addition to expert insight from Ecova energy and sustainability experts, our 2016 Energy and Sustainability Predictions: Findings from Leading Professionals report offers a deep dive into how more than 700 of your peers are leveraging the limited resources at their disposal—importantly by distilling insight from data—to meet their efficiency and sustainability goals.

We will dive deeper into these findings during our upcoming January 7th webinar, 2016 Energy & Sustainability Outlook. Register todayto reserve your space.

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