Report: Energy efficiency employs 2.25 million Americans
Energy efficiency added more new jobs than any other industry in the entire United States energy sector in 2017, and now employs 2.25 million Americans, according to a new jobs analysis from E4TheFuture and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).
The new report, “Energy Efficiency Jobs in America 2018,” finds energy efficiency workers now outnumber elementary and middle school teachers, and are nearly double the number of Americans who work in law enforcement.
“This good news buoys us beyond politics to unite a focus on the positive,” said Steve Cowell, president of E4TheFuture. “We have long known that energy efficiency is a major source of jobs, and by conservative estimates, about one in every hundred US adults now works in energy efficiency. Efficiency is also a key strategy for meeting multiple policy objectives. It saves money, improves health, lowers carbon emissions and creates local jobs that cannot be outsourced.”
The report highlights energy efficiency’s growing economic importance. Efficiency added 67,000 net jobs in 2017, making it the fastest-growing job category in the energy sector. Energy efficiency employs twice as many workers as all fossil fuel industries combined. Efficiency workers now account for 35 percent of all US energy jobs.
“We all know energy efficiency creates savings for consumers and businesses with every month’s electric bill,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of E2. “We also now know that energy efficiency creates millions of jobs all across America. These are good-paying jobs at your neighborhood construction company, upgrading windows and installing insulation; at your hometown HVAC contractor, installing heat pumps and high-efficiency air conditioners; at your local factory, manufacturing Energy Star appliances and LED lighting systems; and at thousands of related companies nationwide.”
Among the states, California leads energy-efficiency employment with 310,000 jobs, followed by Texas (154,000), New York (117,000), Florida (112,000), and Illinois (87,000). Seventeen states now employ more than 50,000 workers and the 25 states with the most energy efficiency sector jobs all now employ over 30,000 workers (1.9 million total). Only four states saw a decline in energy efficiency employment in 2017.
With workers in 99.7 percent of US counties, energy efficiency has become a nationwide job engine integral to state and local economic growth. More than 300,000 energy efficiency jobs are located in America’s rural areas, and 900,000 jobs are found in the nation’s top 25 metro areas. One out of every six US construction workers are involved in energy efficiency, as are more than 315,000 manufacturing jobs, according to the report.
More detailed breakdowns of energy efficiency jobs for all 50 states and the District of Columbia – including job totals for every state’s congressional and legislative district, and maps of each state’s top counties — can be found here.
In other key findings, 11 percent of energy efficiency jobs are held by veterans, nearly double the national average for veterans’ share of employment. In 40 states and the District of Columbia, more Americans work in energy efficiency than work with fossil fuels. Construction and manufacturing make up over 70 percent of US energy efficiency jobs. More than one-million energy efficiency jobs are in heating, ventilation, and cooling technologies. Energy efficiency employers are expecting nine-percent job growth in 2018. Energy efficiency now employs workers in 3,000 of America’s 3,007 counties. Small businesses are driving America’s energy efficiency job boom, with 79 percent of energy efficiency businesses employing fewer than 20 workers.