Businesses are driving efforts to cut energy consumption even as the economy recovers, and plan to cut energy use nearly 25 percent over three to four years, according to a survey from the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions.
The annual survey, reSources 2012, found nine out of 10 companies have set goals on electricity use and energy management practices.
The survey polled decision-makers at more than 600 businesses and 2,200 households, and found electricity costs are increasingly tied to a company’s financial health. Two thirds of companies that have set energy use goals said cutting costs is their primary motivation.
The survey, completed by Deloitte and strategy market research firm The Harrison Group, also found that 85 percent of businesses view reducing electricity costs as essential to staying financially competitive, a 9 percent increase from last year.
The recession changed energy habits for both businesses and consumers and using less may be the new normal, said Greg Aliff, a vice chairman in Deloitte’s energy and resources sector and one of the authors of the report.
Businesses have made progress and have hit about 60 percent of their energy savings targets in electricity and natural gas use, carbon emissons and transport fleets, Marlene Motyka, US alternative energy leader at Deloitte, said.
However, not all of those targets were easily reached, an indication that companies have already made “low-hanging fruit” energy efficiency improvements, Motyka said. Four out of five respondents reported that initially cutting electricity costs was relatively easy. Some 69 percent anticipate that cutting electricity costs or consumption in the future is going to be more difficult at their company.
New technologies, such as smart meters, demand management programs and smart appliances, have helped businesses reduce energy use and cut electricity costs. Those technologies also will help individual energy users make a radical difference in their own consumption, according to Joseph Stanislaw, an independent senior adviser to Deloitte and founder of advisory firm JAStanislaw Group.
The survey found consumers are taking steps to reduce their energy consumption. More than one-third of those surveyed say replacing old appliances with energy efficient models is among their top five future conservation actions.
Picture credit by stock.xchng