New U.S. DOE Report Highlights Energy Efficiency Job Growth and Potential
Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its first Annual United States Energy and Employment Report (USEER) providing the first national summary of energy related jobs in the U.S. The USEER study confirmed what many members of the Building Performance Association already know - that with almost 1.9 U.S. million jobs, Energy Efficiency firms are a significant and growing segment of the national energy economy. In addition, of the four market segments analyzed in the USEER study, Energy Efficiency firms projected the highest growth rate over the coming 12 months, expecting to add another 257,000 jobs to the sector for a projected growth of 14% in 2016-2017.
Confirms Business Opportunity in Residential Buildings
The first annual USEER Report confirmed what other studies have pointed out already about the enormous opportunity available through investments in energy efficient retrofits of U.S. buildings. For example, a March 2012 Rockefeller Foundation/Deutsche Bank Report concluded that a $279 billion investment in U.S. residential, commercial and institutional building efficiency could yield more than $1 trillion of energy savings over 10 years, create an additional 3.3 million jobs and reduce total U.S. carbon emissions by 10%. The Rockefeller Foundation Report noted that more than half (approximately 60%) of these financial returns, jobs and carbon reductions could be realized in the U.S. residential building market.
Unlocking the Potential for Residential Retrofit Investments
The Rockefeller Foundation Report noted that despite this promising potential, because the U.S. residential building stock is very diverse, scattered across the country in a variety of climates and subject to a confusing mix of regulatory jurisdictions many potential investments have been held back. Consumer awareness, access to financing, measurability of energy savings and incentives for utilities are critical components which vary by state and often present multiple barriers to investment.
Regulatory and Policy Reforms to Unlock the Investment Potential in Energy Efficiency
The Building Performance Association is a leading advocate for home performance in Washington, DC and the states. We are closely engaged with key decision makers in the Administration, Congress and state agencies and commissions to educate them on the importance of home performance, the obstacles facing the home performance industry, and the policies that can break down barriers and advance home performance at the federal, state and local levels.
Key Findings of DOE's USEER Report
The first Annual United States Energy and Employment Report (USEER) found that 1.9 million people work, in whole or part, with energy efficiency technologies:
- 1.2 million of these U.S. EE jobs are in construction;
- 482,000 U.S. EE jobs are in Energy Efficiency business and professional services; and
- Some 35,000 Americans manufacture Energy Star products.
Written by Joe Cullen
Building Performance Association
Director of Policy & State Outreach