News Article
June 29, 2012

2012 EEI: US/Canada Results

Interest in energy efficiency jumped 20% from 2011-2012. Sixty-six percent of U.S. and Canadian executives reported in 2011 that energy management was very or extremely important to their organizations, and in 2012 that number jumped to 86%. Seventy percent said they were paying more attention to energy in 2012 than in 2011.

  • Seventy-four percent of U.S./Canadian respondents had invested in energy efficiency in the past year, more than in any other region. However, only 25% had invested in renewable energy, the lowest among all global regions.


  • Forty-six percent of business executives planned to increase spending in the next 12 months while 39% expected investment to stay the same.

  • In the U.S. and Canada, energy cost savings, government or utility incentives or rebates, and enhanced brand or public image led as drivers for energy efficiency action.

  • Green buildings continued to play an increasing role in the market. Thirty-nine percent of respondents planned to pursue certification in new buildings (compared to 35% in 2011) and 35% percent in existing buildings (compared to 27% in 2011); 60% had at least one certified green building.


  • For the first time, the EEI survey included water efficiency in the technology questions, and the results were surprising: Water made it into the top three actions taken in the past 12 months. The top three energy efficiency measures adopted in the past 12 months included: lighting improvements (78%), HVAC and/or controls improvements (77%), and water efficiency improvements (45%).

  • When asked which on-site technologies they expected to see the greatest market adoption in the next 10 years, executives selected lighting technologies (49%) followed by smart building technologies (41%) and advanced building materials (29%) as their top three choices.

  • Finances remained as the major barrier to pursuing energy efficiency for U.S./Canada respondents. The top barrier was a lack of funding to pay for improvements (37%), followed by insufficient payback/ROI (21%). The top financial barriers to pursuing energy efficiency were competition for other capital investments (36%) and insufficient internal capital budget (30%).

  • When asked which energy policy would have the greatest impact on improving energy efficiency in buildings, 42% of executives said tax credits/incentives or rebates. Both building codes and equipment standards and low-interest financing for energy upgrades were in the top three policy preferences in the U.S. and Canada.


  • The top three energy management practices already adopted in U.S./Canadian respondents’ facilities were tracking and analyzing data (72%), performing energy audits of facilities or equipment (61%), and measuring and verifying energy project savings (57%). All three practices were well above the global average of adoption.

Survey Respondent Demographics:

To qualify for the EEI survey, respondents must have budget responsibility for at least one nonresidential building, and their responsibilities must include energy use, either through monitoring of usage or proposing or approving energy-related projects. The EEI survey is conducted anonymously. Among US/Canadian respondents, 41% classified their facilities as commercial, 44 % as institutional (government buildings, hospitals and schools), and 15% as industrial. Fifty-six percent of respondents managed more than 500,000 square feet.

June 2012


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