Energy-efficient buildings can help owners go green—both reducing the overall carbon footprint of a structure and minimizing operational costs significantly. But is this enough to make owners want to retrofit existing facilities with advanced building systems and new technologies?

According to a recent report from Pike Research, www.pikeresearch.com, Boulder, Colo., the answer might be yes in many circumstances. The research shows the market for energy-efficiency retrofits in commercial buildings will double by 2020, reaching $152 billion across the globe.

Specifically for North America, energy-efficiency revenues will more than double through the remainder of this decade, increasing to $35.3 billion by 2020.

Energy-efficient buildings allow owners to reduce costs through decreased consumption. Throughout time, being able to reduce expenses related to energy can save a significant amount of money, making the retrofit project well worth the investment.

Not to mention the cost of upgrading to a building automation control system has become much more affordable in recent years. As energy costs continue to rise and budgets remain tight, an energy-efficient retrofit project might be just the solution to reduce expenses and run buildings more effectively.

Some key building components that can be retrofitted to improve energy performance include HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), lighting, and other control systems.

“Retrofitting existing buildings offers one of the most cost-effective ways for a business to reduce its operating expenses,” says Eric Bloom, senior analyst, Pike Research. “Many energy conservation measures can be implemented within strict investment criteria, and a growing number of financial instruments are deepening the scope of energy-efficiency retrofits, driving continued investment in energy-efficient HVAC, lighting, and control systems.”

While the initial investment in new building systems and automation technologies can be a big undertaking for owners, the ultimate value of being able to better monitor and control HVAC and lighting can pay off in the long run.