Many would say building automation technology has paved the way for numerous changes in the way structures are monitored and maintained during their lifecycles. Among those changes is the way a building’s energy use is tracked, and subsequently adjusted to make it more green and cost-efficient. As time goes on, such practices may become more common.

A recent report from IHS Research, www.ihs.com, Englewood, Colo, entitled Building Automation Equipment, projects the U.S. market for the technology will grow 43% within a five-year period ending in 2017.

Breaking it down into specifics, IHS projects the market for U.S. building automation systems will reach $1.65 million by the end of this year. This figure represents a 5% increase from $1.57 billion in 2012. Growth ranging from 7 to 9% will reportedly follow within the next four years, leading to an expected $2.24 billion in industry revenue by 2017.

This growth will reportedly be spurred by the need for commercial buildings to be more efficient with their energy consumption. Sam Grinter, market analyst for the building technologies group at IHS, says buildings consume large amounts of energy through heating, ventilation and cooling. These elements can all be centrally managed via a building automation system, which can exercise more control over these elements to save costs.

In addition, the increasing cost of electricity will reportedly play a major role in the rise of building automation systems. IHS projects prices for U.S. retail electric power will increase by 8% between 2012 and 2020, with a sizable portion of that increase coming due to investments in renewable energy.

“With budgets cut and many large companies struggling to grow at more than 5% on an annual basis, the higher cost of electricity could prove to be a major headache for commercial and government building owners,” says Grinter.

In the end, perhaps it’s not so surprising to see building automation investments on the rise. In addition to making structures greener and more energy efficient, it can also make a company’s proverbial wallet a bit fatter.