Acuity Brands Issues 2020 State of Energy Management Report

Acuity Brands Issues 2020 State of Energy Management Report

Sustainability and energy leaders report a significant impact from COVID-19 on managing building systems, as well as a major shift from efficiency-only tasks toward a building and system wide optimization approach that focuses on continuous measurement and verification.

ATLANTA – January 12, 2021  -- Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) issued today its second annual State of Energy Management report, which offers the insights and trends identified by more than 240 energy, facility and sustainability leaders during an unprecedented year. The report is sponsored by Acuity Brands through its BuildingOS® energy management information software team, with research support from Smart Energy Decisions, an industry-leading information resource dedicated to addressing the needs of large electric power customers.

Among the report’s key findings, respondents projected that occupancy for the spaces they manage will see a 44-point decrease for January 2021 compared to January 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19 on facility use. In connection with this reduced occupancy, respondents anticipate an increased need for higher efficiency HVAC systems and the ability to remotely manage energy programs to address occupancy reductions and other challenges as they adapt system wide performance. 

“This past year has shown many industries that it is no longer enough to focus on ‘set it and forget it’ energy efficiency tasks,” said Acuity Brands Lighting’s Sarah Diegnan, Vice President of Customer Success and Operations - Atrius Enterprise Solutions. “Instead, the focus must continue to shift toward operational efficiency by automating manual, time-intensive tasks. This will allow teams to spend more time on higher value activities that have a direct impact on top line growth. An Energy Management Information System (EMIS) enables energy teams to begin this transformation by providing the framework critical for designing processes to maximize building performance, the ability to track and report out on program success and continuously optimize building systems. With an EMIS in place, energy teams can focus on the activities needed to power their organizations safely and cost-effectively.”

Additional topline survey findings include:

  • Among those surveyed, 91 percent said reducing energy, water, and waste consumption remains a top priority for the new year. 
  • The top three requirements for managing building performance and protecting occupant health are higher efficiency HVAC (87%), better lighting (79%), and improved access to analytics derived from actionable data (77%).
  • The most significant barriers to successfully implementing an EMIS solution include the lack of time to review findings (19%) and the costs of upgrading or adding new meters (17%). Respondents also noted how limited internal support for an EMIS complicates funding (18%). 

“Several interesting shifts in responses came up when we compared the 2020 State of Energy Management report to the 2019 report,” said John Failla, Founder and Editorial Director, Smart Energy Decisions. “For example, the number of teams manually collecting data has shrunk to 41% in 2020 compared to 55% in 2019. While a positive shift, a large number of teams still rely on manual instead of automated data collection, proving there’s room for significant increase for adoption of building management systems and automation.  In addition, 23 percent of respondents in 2020 said they were submetering data for greater building performance visibility, a 9-point increase from last year’s survey, indicating advancement in their energy optimization journey.

To read the full report, please visit: State of Energy Management. A webinar on the State of Energy Management survey results will take place on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 2:00 PM (EST). Those wishing to attend can register here: Webinar Registration

About BuildingOS and Acuity Brands  

BuildingOS® is a leading enterprise building energy management solution that provides a highly accurate and complete picture of building performance. The solution provides and actionable data and analytics platform to help building, energy, and sustainability professionals achieve more ambitious energy goals, reduce costs, and maximize the performance of their buildings. As part of Acuity Brands’ intelligent buildings offering, BuildingOS solutions are employed by more than 350 organizations with over one billion square feet across over 10,000 buildings in market segments such as education, commercial offices and government, and through collaboration with industry providers and allied partners. Visit at

Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) is a market-leading industrial technology company. We design, manufacture, and bring to market innovative products and services that make the world more brilliant, productive, and connected including building management systems, lighting, lighting controls, and location-aware applications.  Based in Atlanta, Georgia, with operations across North America, Europe, and Asia, we are powered by approximately 11,000 dedicated and talented associates. Visit us at

About Smart Energy Decisions

Smart Energy Decisions is a web-based information resource dedicated exclusively to addressing the needs of commercial, industrial, institutional, and municipal electric power customers. We deliver events, news, analysis, research and opinion to help our readers make better decisions. Our goal is to serve as a catalyst for change in support of the dramatic energy transformation taking place in the electric power market impacting large electric power customers, utilities and suppliers. Visit at

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