News & Announcements

Report: 1.9 Million Energy Efficiency Jobs in U.S.

Top 10 States: California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, New York, Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON (December 8, 2016)—As the United States heads into its coldest months, a new analysis finds that energy efficiency is one of the nation’s biggest job sectors, employing more than 1.9 million Americans across all 50 states.

The report, “Energy Efficiency Jobs in America,” available here, was unveiled today by the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and the energy efficiency advocacy group E4TheFuture. It is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as a comprehensive survey of tens of thousands of businesses across the country.

The report includes detailed state factsheets and breakdowns of energy efficiency jobs to the city, county, legislative and congressional district level—data not available previously.

“This report is important to demonstrate that energy efficiency is a significant driver of jobs in this country and often is overlooked because it involves so many small businesses that incorporate energy efficiency as part of their portfolio,” said Steve Cowell, E4TheFuture’s president. “These jobs have been and should be recognized as part of the overall plan for a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally beneficial energy strategy for our country and should be supported by policy and investment strategies at the local, state and national levels.”

Energy efficiency is by far the nation’s largest clean energy sector employer, outpacing the renewable energy, clean vehicles and clean fuels sectors. Energy efficiency provides jobs for Americans working in areas such as high-efficiency lighting, Energy Star appliance manufacturing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) services to reduce wasted energy in homes, schools and businesses.

California leads the country in energy efficiency jobs, followed by Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, New York, Georgia, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Factors such as population, the size of a state’s construction industry, and weather figure into the rankings – but so do state energy efficiency policies. California and Massachusetts have some of the best energy efficiency policies in the country, for instance. Other top states, such as Illinois and New York, recently passed policies that will encourage more energy efficiency deployment.

“Every newly elected lawmaker in Washington or in the statehouse needs to take note: If you truly want to create jobs and drive economic growth, you need to support strong energy efficiency standards and policies,” said Bob Keefe, E2’s executive director. “Smart policies helped create these 1.9 million energy efficiency jobs, and smart policies will keep these made-in-America jobs growing—reducing our electricity bills and improving our environment along the way.”

According to Keefe, policies that are key to continued job growth include the Paris international climate agreement and the federal Clean Power Plan; as well as federal, state and regional energy efficiency, lighting and appliance standards.

The Energy Efficiency Jobs in America analysis was done for E2 and E4TheFuture by BW Research Partnership, which has conducted similar studies for numerous state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy. The report was developed with survey responses from 20,000 U.S. companies BW Research Partnership contacted in late 2015.

“The sector is booming, and the thousands of employers we spoke with all across the country were definitely optimistic about the future,” said Philip Jordan, vice president and principal researcher at BW Research Partnership.  “Energy efficiency employers said they plan to hire more workers in the coming year, but they’re also closely watching state and federal policies.”

Additional report findings include:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) companies employ more than 814,000 workers who spend part or all of their time working on energy efficiency. Almost 328,000 Americans work in the energy efficient lighting industry, while another 292,000 work in advanced materials and insulation. About 162,000 Americans help build Energy Star appliances.
  • With 1.9 million workers, more Americans work in energy efficiency than major sectors like real estate or food manufacturing. Many more Americans work in energy efficiency than in oil and gas extraction (195,000 workers) or coal mining (66,000 workers). See here for more details.
  • Energy efficiency jobs are often part of the construction industry. Large states like Florida and Texas have major construction industries which support thousands of energy efficiency jobs, but they fall far short of their potential, according to the report. With stronger state-level policies, they could add thousands more jobs.

The report includes case studies of Carbon Lighthouse, a California company that has dramatically improved energy efficiency at more than 500 West Coast buildings; and Energy Optimizers USA, an Ohio company that specializes in upgrading lighting, HVAC and temperature control systems in schools and other buildings throughout the Midwest.

Earlier this year, E2 released “Clean Jobs America,” a report that tallied 2.5 million clean energy jobs coast to coast, including energy efficiency, renewable technologies like wind and solar, and advanced transportation like electric vehicles. E2 and its partners also have conducted in-depth jobs studies in numerous states and regions, including Clean Jobs Midwest; Clean Jobs New York and Clean Jobs Pennsylvania. In January, E2 plans to release detailed clean energy job reports in Colorado and Virginia.

For more information or to speak with clean energy business leaders in your state, please contact E2 press secretary Jeff Benzak at jeff@e2.org.

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Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.

E4TheFuture—formerly Conservation Services Group (CSG)—is a nonprofit organization that promotes residential clean energy and sustainable resource solutions to advance climate protection and economic fairness by influencing federal, state and local policies, and by helping to build a resilient and vibrant energy efficiency and clean energy sector. CSG provided low-cost energy solutions 1984-2015 in over half of U.S. states helping to improve over 3.8 million homes. Visit us at e4thefuture.org and follow us on Twitter @e4thefuture.

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