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Johnson Controls: Efficiency Projects Will Save Governments $4.7bn

Johnson Controls has announced that its current public sector building efficiency projects are “guaranteed” to save more than $4.7 billion in energy, water and operational costs over the next ten years.

The Fortune 100 company said that the future savings are on top of over $19 billion in energy savings already secured for public and private sector customers. These previous projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15 million metric tons since 2000, or about the same amount generated annually by 1.3 million homes, Johnson Controls said.

Such projects have no upfront costs to the facilities involved, according to C. David Myers, president of Johnson Controls’ building efficiency unit. The projects are typically funded through a performance contracting model, under which the energy savings offset facility improvement costs, the company said.

But a 2010 study by Johnson Controls found that energy management was a higher priority in regions such as China and India than in Europe and North America. Cost saving as an impetus for investment also ranked lower in Europe and North America.

“Buildings are responsible for 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Improving their performance represents a large opportunity to save energy and reduce the impact of harmful gases on the environment,” Myers said at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington, D.C. “Leaders are already achieving substantial savings through building retrofits and many have said they plan to place a greater emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives as they look for ways to reduce spending and create local jobs.”

Johnson Controls’ building efficiency unit has over 1,000 ongoing projects for federal, state and local government in 50 states. These projects include offices, hospitals, schools, universities, airports, prisons and public housing. Efficiency measures used in the projects include installing new heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) units and control systems, retrofitting lighting, installing insulation, improving water efficiency and installing renewable power.

Last December a UK study found that businesses are walking away from a £1.6bn (US$ 2.5bn) annual saving potential from energy investments because finance directors are undervaluing the financial returns from investments in energy efficiency by more than half.

A 2009 study from Verdantix found that including projects with a short-term investment return were beneficial in clearing roadblocks to energy efficiency investments.

Johnson Controls is a diversified technology and industrial company whose products and services include building management; HVAC systems; car batteries, electronics and interiors; industrial refrigeration; and alarm systems. It recently topped Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 2011 Best Corporate Citizens list.

It was also named as a top ten leader in the market for energy and carbon accounting software in 2011.

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