Calling All Energy Efficiency Professionals…We Need You!
The Energy Efficiency Jobs in America report emphasizes the importance of prioritizing energy efficiency to create good local jobs, foster equitable economic recovery and growth, and curb climate change. However, the industry is currently facing a workforce challenge, with energy efficiency companies struggling to find skilled workers that stay.
By: Macie Melendez
October 6 was energy efficiency day! And just in time, as E4TheFuture and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) released their fifth annual Energy Efficiency Jobs in America report yesterday. The report highlights the need for policymakers to prioritize energy efficiency if they want to create good local jobs, foster equitable economic recovery and growth, and curb climate change. The report’s release comes at a moment when infrastructure, the climate crisis, and job recovery are at the heart of the national debate on economic priorities.
Also yesterday, I was able to attend a webinar about the release of this report where Congressman Peter Welch addressed the group. He said a lot of powerful things, but one of my favorites was that he’s seen “a growing acceptance that we have to act” on issues like climate change. He also said, “We don’t have time to fail to act.” It’s truly the reason why the work we do in the home and building efficiency industry is so important. We have the ability to lower our carbon footprint and emissions right inside our homes.
As the E4TheFuture stated, “At home, efficiency reduces energy burdens for individuals. Writ large, the efficiency sector holds the power and promise of solutions for climate and economy. Paired with renewable energy, it’s enormously impactful.” However, our industry is currently facing a workforce challenge. Energy efficiency companies are having a hard time finding skilled workers that stick around. As Ideal Energy’s Elena Chrimat said on the webinar yesterday, “Workforce issues are our number one problem.”
Increased workforce development and training is one of the policy solutions recommended in the report. And there’s so much promise. In this year’s report, E4TheFuture and E2 were able to calculate the number or job creation we’re talking about. E4TheFuture’s Pat Stanton said, “If we invest in the climate goals for 2030 and focus on just residential…of the 12 million residences in the country, 80% are excellent candidates for retrofits that would dramatically reduce the energy consumption.” And with retrofits, homes would see an average of 32% energy savings per residence. If we made such an investment to retrofit 80% of homes, it would create more than a million jobs around the country. In the report, you can even see what that means for your state specifically.
“Everybody wants bodies in these jobs,” said Stanton. “If we weren’t short staffed, we would be able to make America more energy efficient more quickly.”
Congressman Welch stated it well: “By employing efficiencies, we can grow the economy.”
So, this Energy Efficiency Day, let’s allow our voices to be heard. Get involved, view the report, and make a change.
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