New analysis unveils state and county level employment data; 99 percent of U.S. counties are home to energy efficiency workers
Nearly 2.2 million Americans now work in energy efficiency —more than any other sector of the U.S. energy industry, including oil, gas and coal (but not motor vehicles) — according to the newest Energy Efficiency Jobs in America from E4TheFuture and E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). The sixth annual report highlights the need for state and federal policymakers to prioritize energy efficiency if they want to create quality local jobs, foster equitable economic recovery and growth, and curb climate change. The report comes as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) bring unprecedented investments in energy efficiency to all sectors of the U.S. economy.
Despite growing more slowly than the energy industry overall, energy efficiency businesses added nearly 60,000 jobs in 2021 – accounting for almost half of the 132,000 jobs the overall sector added in 2021. California and Texas claimed the most total energy efficiency jobs again with nearly 450,000 jobs between the two states alone, while Nevada (7 percent), New Mexico (7 percent), Oklahoma (5.3 percent), New Jersey (5.2 percent), and Colorado (5 percent) led the country in year-over-year job growth.
“Energy efficiency jobs are in nearly every county nationwide. Some of your neighbors are likely to be energy efficiency workers whether you live in a rural, suburban, or metropolitan area. These inherently local jobs cannot be outsourced,” said Pat Stanton, executive director of E4TheFuture. “In 2023 the sector is ramping up significantly—and that’s good news because it brings benefits to everyone in every community.
Energy efficiency’s impact at the state and local level is also heavily detailed in the final report, including individual factsheets for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
As benefits from the landmark Inflation Reduction Act take effect beginning this year, it will spur growth in energy efficiency in every state, the report indicates. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, consumers and businesses can receive tax credits and rebates for a wide range of energy efficiency upgrades, from improving their attic insulation to installing high-efficiency appliances and HVAC systems.
“What this report shows is that energy efficiency is already a big and important employer in every state,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of E2. “The Inflation Reduction Act and other federal and state policies will turbocharge job growth in energy efficiency manufacturing and installation, while also helping our environment and our overall economy through energy savings and new investments.”
Among the key local findings are that nearly 290,000 Americans living in rural areas work in energy efficiency with more than 40 percent of all workers living outside of America’s top 50 metro areas.
According to Energy Efficiency Jobs in America, investments advancing energy efficiency may be more important than ever. Buildings are responsible for 30 percent of all energy used in America and 80 percent of U.S. buildings are already more than 20 years old. With costs from climate change and weather disasters increasing more and more every year, making critical improvements to the nation’s building stock will be essential for not only combating the worst impacts from disasters, but also to bolster the resilience of U.S. infrastructure. That means hundreds of thousands of workers will be needed to retrofit buildings across every state and county—designing, installing, repairing, and manufacturing insulation, energy controls, ENERGY STAR® appliances, upgraded HVAC systems, and more.
Other highlights from Energy Efficiency Jobs in America:
- Construction workers employed in energy efficiency now account for nearly one out of every six construction jobs nationwide
- 482,000 American manufacturing workers produce energy-efficient products that are installed and maintained by professionals in every part of the country
- Professional services workers account for 514,000 energy efficiency jobs, including engineers, designers, architects, financial services, and legal professionals who help create concepts and plans, and finance projects
- Only 26 percent of energy efficiency workers are female.
- Black workers make up 12 percent of the overall nationwide workforce, but only 8.4 percent of workers in energy efficiency.
- Hispanic or Latino workers make up 16 percent of energy efficiency’s workforce, compared to 18 percent of all jobs nationwide.
- There are 381,527 energy efficiency businesses in the U.S.
- 7 percent of all U.S. counties are home to jobs in energy efficiency.
- Small businesses are the drivers of energy efficiency, with three quarters of businesses (75 percent) employing fewer than 20 employees.
Previous Energy Efficiency Jobs in America Reports
- Energy Efficiency Jobs in America 2021 | E4TheFuture + E2
- Energy Efficiency Jobs in America 2020 | E4TheFuture + E2
- Energy Efficiency Jobs in America 2019 | E4TheFuture + E2
- Energy Efficiency Jobs in America 2018 | E4TheFuture + E2
- Energy Efficiency Jobs in America 2016 | E4TheFuture + E2
E4TheFuture works for clean, efficient and safe energy solutions. A nonprofit organization, we promote energy efficiency, renewables, demand management, energy storage and electric vehicles to advance climate protection and economic fairness. We work to achieve an energy economy that is sustainable, lower cost, and resilient. Our “Faces of EE” initiative shines a light on energy efficiency professionals nationwide. Visit www.E4TheFuture.org; Twitter @E4TheFuture and @FacesofEE.
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. See www.e2.org; Twitter @e2org.