A new report 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,” was published in December by the 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.
The report includes detailed state fact sheets and breakdowns of energy efficiency jobs to the city, county, legislative and congressional district level – data previously not available.
“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.
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 in areas such as high-efficiency lighting, ENERGY STAR® appliance manufacturing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) services to reduce wasted energy in buildings and homes.
California leads the nation
California leads 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. Other top states, such as Illinois and New York, recently passed policies that will encourage more energy efficiency deployment, according to E2.
Additional report findings
• 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 workers 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 work in energy efficiency than in oil and gas extraction (195,000 workers) or coal mining (66,000 workers).