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CEEA survey shows Canadian businesses miss out on big energy efficiency savings

Only 46% of Canadian businesses are aware of programs offered by utilities and governments to help them become energy efficient – fewer still (38%) are taking advantage of the savings for their bottom line

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TORONTO May 5, 2014 – CEEA’s 2014 survey Canadian Business Attitudes on Energy Efficiency  shows the business community is willing to reduce their energy footprint but much more is needed for them to follow through.

While 61% of Canadian businesses report having seen energy cost increases in the last year, only 27% believe they are doing all they can to save energy and 41% state initial cost as the reason they haven’t done more to boost their organization’s energy efficiency. To increase their participation 68% would support more stringent energy efficiency codes in building codes, even if it raised the cost of real estate.

“Essentially when you consider this and last year’s survey on Canadian residential consumers, we have clear evidence that Canadians need more information about the incentives that are available to them to embrace energy efficiency,” said Elizabeth McDonald, CEEA president and CEO. “Most interesting is the indication that businesses agree that codes and standards are essential to getting more Canadians on board. CEEA sees a real place for their messaging that being energy efficient is good for the company bottom line.”

The survey was commissioned by the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA), Canada’s leading, non-government, energy efficiency advocate. The Gandalf Group conducted interviews from March 21 to April 8, 2014; it represents a sample of 661 Canadian businesses, with a margin of error of 3.81% 19 times out of 20.

The results were released at CEEA’s Efficiency Matters Forum today in Toronto.

In the building sector specifically, 44% reported “cost” was preventing them from doing more; 26% said it was the customers’ preferences or demands that did not allow for energy efficiency improvements; and, 3% said owners or management did not support the move.

Key energy efficiency findings

Those that have invested in energy savings with upfront costs mostly invested in lighting and improved heating and air.

Of the Canadian businesses that invested in energy savings:
•    26% replaced or upgraded equipment, appliances or trucks
•    14% engaged in building renovations
•    13% installed vehicle or equipment trackers and usage meters
•    Very few have conducted energy efficiency audits, with the exception of the institutional/public sector

About CEEA
The Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA) is the country’s leading independent advocate promoting the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency. The not-for-profit works with the federal and provincial governments, and stakeholders, to ensure energy efficiency is a priority for all sectors of the economy. By monitoring, examining and developing energy efficient public policy ideas, programs and standards, CEEA is an effective resource for policy makers, businesses, consumers, energy companies and environmental groups.