Ecova 2016 Energy and Sustainability Outlook Survey Reveals Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Adoption Is Catching On

35 percent of respondents have invested in DER

Spokane, WA — December 16, 2015—Ecova, the total energy and sustainability management company, today released a report, 2016 Energy and Sustainability Predictions: Findings from Leading Professionals, that includes the results of its third annual survey. The report aggregates findings from a survey of more than 700 energy, facility, finance and sustainability professionals from numerous industries across North America and reveals important shifts in the way companies approach energy and sustainability management.

While cost savings remain the number one driver of energy and sustainability management decisions, this year’s survey results indicate that professionals responsible for reducing resource consumption and costs are looking to new alternatives. Half of survey respondents indicated that they are leveraging meters, energy/building management systems (EMS/BMS) or other data collection/monitoring devices to manage resources at a more granular level. One-third of respondents are currently considering including distributed energy resources (DERs) in their energy management strategies while another 35 percent of respondents are already leveraging DERs in many of their sites.

“Companies are faced with complicated forces and challenges. In many ways we are at a turning point – the easier changes have been made and companies have gotten very sophisticated regarding managing resource consumption,” said Jana Schmidt, president and CEO of Ecova. “But bigger challenges lay ahead and there will be high value in solving them.”

The report discloses additional challenges and opportunities that energy and sustainability management professionals will face in 2016:

Adoption of new alternatives to manage energy and resource consumption will increase as companies become more sophisticated and low-hanging fruit is captured.

  • Asked for the first time this year, the adoption of DERs is catching on. Our 2016 Outlook Survey reveals DERs as a growing investment priority among facilities management and procurement professionals. Asked if their organizations have invested in DERs, a full one third of respondents said DERs are currently being considered. Another 20 percent have already implemented DERs in pilot sites and 15 percent say they’re leveraging DERs at a majority of their sites. Thirteen percent of respondents indicated that DERs are the smartest investment made in 2015, up from just eight percent in 2013.
  • Up five percent from last year, companies are investing in connected solutions to gather energy data in near real-time, with over 30 percent of respondents indicating they have meters or EMS/BMS installed and another 20 percent with pilot programs in place.
  • For all three years that Ecova has conducted this survey, LED (Light Emitting Diode) retrofits have been the best investment made by respondents. While it’s encouraging to know that companies are still benefitting from this, the trend is expected to slow as more companies complete these retrofits.

Water conservation and management is no longer a choice, it is becoming an imperative.

  • Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents implemented multiple measures to reduce
    water consumption.
  • Quick serve restaurants led the way in implementing multiple conservation measures, with 64 percent of quick serve restaurant respondents suggesting a strong push for water conservation.

There’s a clear move underfoot toward waste optimization and zero waste initiatives.

  • 47 percent of respondents indicate multiple priorities for waste data and multiple waste initiatives.
  • Among those whose roles relate to waste, we see a significant uptake of strategic waste disposal and diversion efforts, including optimizing service levels or “right sizing”, zero waste programs, and improving pricing and terms through procurement activity.
  • In the grocery and convenience store segments specifically, a commanding 60 percent of organizations report support for zero waste strategies such as reporting landfill diversion.

Ecova will present the findings from this year’s survey during a webinar on Thursday, January 7, 2016. Those who are interested in learning how to best address the energy and sustainability challenges and opportunities in 2016 can register here.

For more information on the survey and Ecova’s 2016 predictions, download the complete report or view the infographic.



The Ecova 2016 Energy and Sustainability Outlook survey was conducted by Ecova in October and November 2015. The results are based on responses from more than 700 professionals that are involved with their company’s energy and sustainability efforts. Respondents represent a broad spectrum of job roles and functions—such as C-Suite executives, energy managers, facility managers, accounting and finance—and were drawn from a wide range of company sizes and industries.



Ecova makes businesses and utilities more successful through energy and sustainability management. Ecova blends data and technology, with people and insight, to drive powerful results. Using insights based on consumption, cost and carbon footprint data spanning thousands of utilities, hundreds of thousands of business sites and millions of households, Ecova provides fully managed, technology-optimized solutions for saving resources, which in turn increase returns, lower risks and enhance reputations. Ecova is the total energy and sustainability management company whose sole purpose is to see more, save more and sustain more for its clients. Ecova is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ENGIE, a worldwide global energy player. For more information, visit the company’s website, on LinkedIn, or follow Ecova on Twitter at @EcovaInc.