There are trillions of dollars waiting to be tapped through energy efficiency measures. Way back in 2009, McKinsey estimated that in addition to the vast potential for emissions reductions through energy efficiency improvements (up to 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gases annually!), there exists a $1.2 trillion market opportunity through comprehensive energy saving measures.
Narrowing this down a bit to focus on commercial energy efficiency, the opportunity is still huge. Multiple studies (here’s one) project that the energy service company (ESCO) industry will reach $15 billion in 2020. Moreover, the economic benefits of energy efficiency are clear. For example, Energy Star highlights that EPA data illustrates amazing cost savings from cutting energy bills by seven percent over three years: from $120,000 in total savings for a 500,000-square-foot office building to $4.1 million for a hotel chain with 100 properties.
And now more than ever, technology will help realize the vast market opportunity that is just being cracked open. Take an exciting technology that may revolutionize energy efficiency. Science Daily recently wrote about how the Department of Energy is spearheading a new sensor technology that could result in 20-30 percent energy savings for commercial buildings by making these buildings “smarter”. What is significant here is that “buildings are responsible for about 40 percent of the energy consumed in the United States.” By creating a cost-effective method for collecting the data needed to better control the systems that use massive amounts of energy, the DOE is at the helm of massive cost savings through energy efficiency.
This is just a glimpse at this promising market- stay tuned to learn more!