Many companies looking to cut energy costs-survey

* One third of companies make big energy changes -survey

* Companies want quick payoff on energy efficiency -survey

* Global survey covers 2,882 companies

By Andrew Stern

CHICAGO, June 3 (BestGrowthStock) – More than two-thirds of the
world’s companies expect energy prices to rise, and many have
made or are considering efforts to cut facilities costs with
retrofits, according to survey released on Thursday.

“People consistently are expecting double-digit increases
in energy prices and of course that is the key driver for
energy improvements,” said Clay Nesler of Johnson Controls, who
presented the findings of the global survey of 2,882 firms.

Sixty-nine percent of the respondents to Johnson Controls’
survey expect energy prices to rise over the next 12 months,
while 22 percent expect prices to not change significantly and
9 percent expect a price decline.

Other motivators for investments in energy efficiency
include cutting greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing the
company’s public image and obtaining incentives offered by
governments and utilities.

Steps such as changing to energy-efficient lighting (73
percent in the survey had switched their lighting) and training
building superintendents to be more efficient (64 percent) were
considered “low-hanging fruit” in saving on energy costs,
Nesler said in a telephone interview.

But about one-third of companies surveyed made larger
investments, such as replacing heating and air-conditioning
units that had not yet worn out and installing energy-efficient
glass in buildings. One out of five companies reported that
they had installed renewable energy systems.

“There are many, many energy savings opportunities in
existing buildings that could cut energy costs by 20 to 40
percent,” said Steven Winter, a building systems consultant who
had no role in the survey.

The payback in reduced energy costs achieved from such
investments is sometimes based on uncertain projections, Winter
said, which puts off some companies and their lenders.

For the first time in four years, Johnson Controls surveyed
companies outside North America and found interest in
retrofitting facilities even stronger in India and China than
in North America and Europe.

One universal factor was that most companies want any
investment in energy efficiency to pay for itself quickly —
within three years.

Johnson Controls Inc (JCI.N: ) is among the leading companies
offering building retrofit services.

Stock Basics
(Reporting by Andrew Stern. Editing by Robert MacMillan)

Many companies looking to cut energy costs-survey