New Survey Reveals Global Industry is Accelerating Investment in Energy Efficiency

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May 11, 2022

Global industry is accelerating its investment in energy efficiency in the next five years as the crucial race towards Net Zero intensifies, a new survey finds. The Energy Efficiency Investment Survey 2022 comes in the wake of a recent UN report calling for concerted action from countries to cut greenhouse emissions at a faster rate.

The global survey conducted by Sapio Research targeted 2,294 companies in 13 countries, ranging in size from 500 to 5,000 or more employees. It offers the latest snapshot of how industries across the world are planning to invest in energy efficiency measures to achieve Net Zero. A key finding is that more than half (54 percent) of the companies are already investing, while 40 percent plan to make energy efficiency improvements this year.

“Significant population and economic growth will accelerate climate change to a critical point if governments and industry don’t intensify their efforts. Growing urbanization and rising geopolitical tension will also make energy security and sustainability even more critical,” said Tarak Mehta, President of ABB Motion. “Improving energy efficiency is an essential strategy to address these potential crises. Therefore, the acceleration in investment highlighted by this survey is positive news.”

Industrial motor-driven systems, in particular, hold huge potential for energy efficiency measures. Almost two-thirds of the survey respondents are upgrading their equipment to best-in-class efficiency ratings, such as high-efficiency electric motors controlled by variable speed drives.

The report also highlights areas of concern. Half of the respondents listed cost as the biggest barrier to improving energy efficiency and 37 percent felt downtime was a barrier. Also concerning is that only 41 percent of respondents felt they had all the information needed regarding energy efficiency measures.

“It is vital to help stakeholders across industry understand that Net Zero need not mean net cost. Both suppliers and governments have a role to play in promoting the message that adopting energy efficient technology offers a fast return on investment while cutting CO2 emissions. The bottom line is that energy efficiency is good for business and good for the environment,” said Mehta.

More key learnings from the survey:

  • Respondents reported that, on average, 23 percent of their annual operating costs are attributable to energy usage
  • Nine out of ten respondents indicated that rising energy costs are at least a minor threat to profitability, while more than half (53 percent) perceived it as a moderate or substantial threat
  • Despite cost being a significant barrier to investing in improving energy efficiency, cost savings were the most important reason for investing (59 percent)

Energy Efficiency Movement

The survey was carried out as part of the #energyefficiencymovement, a multi-stakeholder initiative launched by ABB in 2021. The movement is consistent with the company’s Sustainability 2030 strategy, which commits to supporting ABB’s customers in decreasing their 2030 CO2 footprint by a collective 100 megatons annually, the equivalent of removing 30 million combustion cars from the roads each year. The Energy Efficiency Movement’s aim is thus to raise awareness and initiate action to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions to combat climate change. Companies are invited to join the movement and make a public pledge as a way of inspiring others to take action. For more information:https://www.energyefficiencymovement.com/en/

Quick Facts

  • Global survey commissioned by ABB highlights current and future plans of companies to invest in energy efficiency to achieve Net Zero
  • 90 percent will increase spending over the next five years while 52 percent plan to achieve Net Zero within the same period
  • Growing impact of energy costs on profitability means that energy efficiency is receiving a higher priority, yet cost and downtime are major barriers to investment

The Energy Efficiency Investment Survey 2022 is available HERE.

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