Jan 31, 2024
New Report: Energy Efficiency Should be Made in the United States
Many of the products used for energy efficiency and other building retrofits are made in the United States. Strong industrial policy is necessary to keep it that way.
By: BlueGreen Alliance Foundation
Analysis released in December of 2023 from the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation identified a decline in domestic manufacturing of energy efficiency products. In 2007, 84% of energy-efficient products used in the U.S. were manufactured domestically. The data found that today the U.S.-made percentage has fallen to 79%. Our new report, Energy Efficiency Should be Made in the United States, showed the U.S. share of energy efficiency manufacturing is still strong, however the decline is a cause for concern. The biggest declines were seen in Appliances (11%) and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Cooling (HVAC) systems (10%).
The effects of lost manufacturing are far reaching. Not only does this decline affect jobs in the energy efficiency product manufacturing sector, but it also impacts economic activity and jobs throughout the supply chain. A single 100-person factory supports an average of 455 induced jobs at the stores, restaurants, and other businesses where the factory workers spend their money.
Historically, communities of color are most heavily impacted by the decline in domestic manufacturing. For example, there has been a 30.4% decline in Black manufacturing employment between 1998 and 2020. Latinx workers are also disproportionately affected as the largest community of color working in manufacturing.
The report authors recommend a set of policies to pair energy efficiency investment with incentives for domestically produced products, to further increase investment in energy efficiency, and to provide direct support to the manufacturers of these products.