Johnson Controls logo

2019 Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey Shows Planned Increased Investment In Sustainability, Resilience And Smart Building Technology

May 14, 2020

Recently, Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) released the findings from its 2019 Energy Efficiency Indicator study to gauge respondents’ plans to invest in energy efficiency. The survey – in its 13th year – was completed in December 2019 prior to the widespread outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and at the time, found that almost two-thirds of global respondents (64 percent) planned to increase investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart building technology.

“Although we are in a very different environment than we were when the survey was fielded, we do see commitments to energy efficiency as promising and hope when the economy rebounds, these investments will come to fruition,” said Clay Nesler, vice president of global sustainability and regulatory affairs at Johnson Controls. “When we fielded this survey in 2010, we found that the economic recession had a surprisingly limited impact on energy efficiency investment.”

Key findings include:

  • Sustainability issues continue to drive investment in building technology around the world.  Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents noted that greenhouse gas footprint reduction is extremely or very important, up from 71 percent last year.  Green building certification continues to grow, with 76% planning to achieve voluntary certification compared with 58% in 2018.
  • Resilience is becoming a greater priority and we anticipate this will continue as the economy rebuilds.  When making energy and building infrastructure investments, the vast majority (82 percent) rated it extremely or very important. Germany, Japan and the U.S. are the countries placing the highest priority on resilience.
  • Smart building technology again showed increased investment. 70 percent of organizations invested in building control improvements, the highest percentage of any measure and an increase of three percent from the previous year. The integration of fire/life safety systems, building management systems, security systems and distributed energy resources with other building technology systems were the most popular improvements.  Looking ahead, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity were predicted to be the most impactful technology trends on smart buildings over the next five years.

“As we reset from COVID-19, we have the opportunity to rebuild smarter and better, this includes how we think about our infrastructure. As the world enters a period of economic recovery, investment in building infrastructure will be important to increase resilience, improve public health and protect the environment,” continued Nesler.

In order to drive efficiency investment in these difficult and uncertain times, a number of challenges need to be addressed.  This year, respondents noted that the greatest barrier to investment is lack of funding to pay for improvements. Last year the greatest barrier was lack of technical expertise to evaluate or execute projects.

For more information about the 2019 Energy Efficiency Indicator survey, see


The 2019 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey included more than 1,300 facility and energy management executives in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, UK/Ireland, United Arab Emirates and the United States.  The survey was administered anonymously by Navigant Research from November 22 to December 10, 2019.

About Johnson Controls

At Johnson Controls, we transform the environments where people live, work, learn and play. From optimizing building performance to improving safety and enhancing comfort, we drive the outcomes that matter most. We deliver our promise in industries such as healthcare, education, data centers and manufacturing. With a global team of 105,000 experts in more than 150 countries and over 130 years of innovation, we are the power behind our customers’ mission. Our leading portfolio of building technology and solutions includes some of the most trusted names in the industry, such as Tyco®, York®, Metasys®, Ruskin®, Titus®, Frick®, Penn®, Sabroe®, Simplex®, Ansul® and Grinnell®. For more information, visit or follow us @johnsoncontrols on Twitter.