Although few business leaders are fond of government regulation of their industry, 75% of real estate and construction leaders say that building energy-efficiency legislation is beneficial to their business, according to a global survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN).
There is clear evidence, the survey found, that the message of energy efficiency being good for business is gaining momentum across the building sector. 63% of respondents say that energy efficiency influences their investment decisions. More than 50% of respondents are ready to tolerate payback on efficiency measures that takes five years or longer.
Legislation is a way to level the playing field, thus strengthening the business case for energy investments, the survey suggests. 68% of respondents say that carbon taxes are helpful to drive investments in efficient buildings. And the same proportion believes that global agreements limiting carbon emissions would create a level playing field. More than a third of respondents (34%) say a lack of enforcement of existing regulations is a leading obstacle to investments in energy efficiency.
Another interesting finding: Many companies are ill-informed about energy realities and the true cost of energy consumption. One-third of respondents underestimated the financial significance of energy consumption in their own businesses. Many are also unclear about the costs of constructing highly energy-efficient buildings. While the actual additional costs vary between 5% to 15%, two-thirds of respondents overestimate the cost, saying that energy-efficient buildings cost 15% more than a standard construction.