|Energy efficiency added more new jobs than any other industry in the entire U.S. energy sector in 2017, and now employs nearly 2.25 million Americans. As the fastest-growing part of the energy sector, efficiency now employs twice as many workers as all fossil fuel industries combined and accounts for 35 percent of all U.S. energy jobs overall. There are more energy efficiency workers than there are elementary and middle school teachers.
Efficiency jobs are distributed across the country (there are energy efficiency workers in 99.7 percent of all U.S. counties), with the top ten states in terms of total jobs including California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. More than 315,500 of all energy efficiency jobs are based in manufacturing, and such jobs experienced a 10 percent increase in 2017 alone. Efficiency jobs encompass contractors, factory workers, and professionals and can be found in lighting, HVAC, renewable heating & cooling, building materials/insulation, and manufacturing Energy Star–labeled appliances. The E2 report also lays out recommendations for federal policymakers, including approaches to funding infrastructure investments, renewing the commercial and residential building tax credits, maintaining the federal State Energy Program and Weatherization Assistance Program, and continuing EPA’s Energy Star program.
The National Association of State Energy Officials and the Energy Futures Initiative published their U.S. Energy and Employment Report in May 2018, pproviding additional insight into jobs in all energy supply and demand sectors including efficiency, as well as state-by-state snapshots. The report found that total U.S. energy employment increased in 2017 by two percent, representing seven percent of all the jobs added to America’s workforce during that period.