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Energy Efficiency Offers Many Reasons for Support, but One Not Mentioned Enough: Jobs!

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Utilities and consumers often see mutual benefits when utilities offer their customers energy efficiency programs, such as rebates or incentives to install energy efficient equipment, variable rates to efficiently shift times of peak demand, and more. The idea is that customers, of course, want to save energy so they consumer less power and their power bill subsequently drops, while for utilities the ability to manage a consumer base that is often growing in size and energy intensity through energy efficiency measures is much more affordable than simply building out new generation sources. 

While those reasons for pursuing energy efficiency reasons are incredibly important and worthwhile on their own, the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report that was released earlier this month has another great reason: energy efficiency is a top source of jobs in the growing energy sector and specifically the green job sector.

Highlights of this report include:

  • Energy efficiency products and services adding 76,000 jobs in 2018 alone, reaching 2.35 million American jobs. Those numbers were up from 67,000 efficiency jobs added in 2017 and are expected to continue to grow in 2019. These jobs included the manufacture of energy efficiency products and services.
  • 79% of employees working on energy efficiency in construction spend at least half their time on specifically energy efficiency work.
  • Professional services in the energy efficiency space added 35,000 jobs, while wholesale trade jobs added 13,000 jobs, and manufacturing jobs for ENERGY STAR products or other efficient building materials added 6,000 jobs.

This report is coming in conjunction with the article recently posted to Energy Central on ACEEE's new toolkit that helps states quantify economic benefits of energy efficiency programs, chief among them energy efficiency jobs. 

For people looking for careers in energy efficiency, it appears like now is the best time in history-- but tomorrow promises to be even better! Does this outlook align with what you've seen in your organization or sector of the industry?

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