How Does Energy Efficiency Create Jobs?

At a time when politicians in Washington and local state legislatures are bickering about the best way to create green jobs, it is important to understand how jobs are created, who creates them, and what can help.


This article by Casey Bell of the ACEEE sheds some light on the process of job creation, and is a must read for anybody interested in today's politics.

Here are two excerpts from the article:

"With unemployment hovering at a stubborn 9%, it is no wonder that job creation has become a hot topic. It is nearly impossible to read the news without encountering an article describing how a policy or industry creates a given number of jobs. Often, job creation is used as a justification for public sector investment in a program, policy, institution, or project. You may also see numbers from the energy industry proclaiming the ways their particular resource creates jobs. These claims, however, rarely or clearly explain how job creation assessments are carried out and what the jobs numbers actually mean."

"An investment in energy efficiency will first create opportunities for workers in industries that are more labor intensive than average (as you’ll see in our example, a retrofit project will create jobs in the construction sector, which supports approximately 20 jobs per $1 million, compared to the all-sector average of 17). Then, it will continue to support jobs year after year by saving energy. The energy savings generated by the investment diverts spending away from power generation and distribution, which supports just under 10 total jobs per $1 million (see Figure 1) back into the overall economy (which supports 17 jobs per $1 million)."