Study: Recession sparks new era of energy diligence

Source: Deloitte LLC, New York City

A new study from auditing firm Deloitte shows the emergence of a diligent new attitude toward energy consumption in the United States. According to the study, 52 percent of companies are working to reduce their energy costs by 25 percent on average over the next two to three years. Concurrently, an increasingly sophisticated consumer demographic is looking for household savings in a tight economy. The study, “reSources 2011,” conducted by Deloitte with strategy and market research firm, The Harrison Group, polled more than 400 business decision-makers responsible for their company’s energy decisions or energy policy and 3,200 household decision-makers.

Greg Aliff, vice chairman and U.S. energy & resources leader, Deloitte LLP, said, “We are seeing a profound and, in many ways, grassroots movement toward energy conscientiousness among businesses and consumers.” He noted that, when it comes to energy use at businesses, 90 percent of companies are setting specific goals regarding electricity and energy management practices. Furthermore, about three-quarters of businesses now have goals related to reducing electricity cost and consumption and improving the efficiency of the buildings in which they operate. More than half (56 percent) have goals aimed at improving profitability through electricity reduction. And nearly one-third of companies have goals to self-generate electricity through measures like installing solar panels.

The Deloitte survey also shows that cost consciousness and social awareness are the twin drivers behind corporate energy management, with 70 percent of companies reporting the desire to cut costs as a driver behind their energy management goals, and 53 percent saying that their companies have set energy-related goals, in part, because it is “the right thing to do.”