A white paper released by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE – www.aceee.org) demonstrates through hard figures that energy efficiency generates equal or better local economic benefit, and provides better job opportunities, than traditional fossil fuel development. The new paper, “Energy efficiency and Economic Opportunity Fact Sheet” provides the following facts:
- Fact 1: Energy efficiency provides a positive value chain through local economies. Companies that provide services for energy efficiency – energy assessments, weatherization, insulation services, and more – reduce energy bills for local consumers while generating income for themselves. Local dollars stay significantly local instead of traveling out of state. Dollars saved by consumers are then spent locally elsewhere, which adds an additional ripple effect.
- Fact 2: Energy efficiency serves the poor. Economic analysis by ACEEE shows that for each $1 spent on improved weatherization of homes and apartment buildings generates $2.53 of positive cash impact within a low-income community.
- Fact 3: Local workers and local businesses benefit from energy efficiency. Each $1 avoided being spent on utility costs is shown by the ACEEE to create 2.24 times positive cash impact on the local community.
- Fact 4: Energy efficiency jobs create accessible jobs to low-credentialed workers. Of all energy efficiency jobs, 48% are estimated to be filled by people with limited credentials (education, work experience, and similar) as compared to an estimated 42% of utility sector jobs.
- Fact 5: Further, energy efficiency jobs are better paying. ACEEE estimates that 29% of energy efficiency jobs have above average earnings for low-credentialed employees compared to an estimated 13% of fossil fuel sector jobs.
How can you use this information? Share these white paper results with your local assemblymen and state senators as you present your views on interests and concerns on energy development and energy use in your community. In local community discussions, bring a copy of this white paper as you raise these facts to allow people to see that support of home weatherization, energy efficiency programs, and enforcement of building energy codes provides a positive economic impact to your community.