A Survey of Corporate Energy Efficiency Strategies

This paper summarizes the results of a 2009 survey of corporate energy efficiency strategies, conducted by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Forty-eight companies, ranging in size from $8 billion to $99 billion in revenues, completed the survey. Key results included an average energy savings target of 20%, or 2.2% on an annualized basis. The three leading motivations for companies’ energy efficiency strategies were reducing carbon footprint, responding to rising energy prices, and demonstrating commitment to corporate social responsibility. 60% of respondents had full-time energy managers, 87% built energy performance into the compensation review systems for facility/plant management, and 38% reported energy performance criteria at the senior management level. Almost all respondents used specific financial criteria for energy efficiency investments, simple payback and internal rate of return (IRR) being the most common. Simple payback criteria were mostly three years or less, though two were as high as 5 years. IRR criteria were mostly in the 10-15% range, though one reported a 35% IRR threshold. Respondents also reported a variety of qualitative factors affecting their internal operations, supply chains, and product and services, and summarized the lessons learned and ongoing needs for their energy efficiency strategies.