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California Takes The Lead In Energy Efficiency Jobs

Carrie Hodousek
September 07, 2018 - 11:18 am

(KCBS Radio) There are 2.25 million Americans working in the field of energy efficiency and more of them are in California than any other state, according to a new report. 

To put the size of the industry into context one of the executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs, also known as E2, compares it to another popular profession. 

"That's as many people as there are school teachers in America," said E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe. "That's twice as many people as there are working in law enforcement in America." 

In California, there are 310,000 jobs in the energy efficient sector, according to the study that E2 co-authored with E4theFuture. 

These positions include Energy Star and efficient light jobs, as well as work in HVAC, renewable heating and cooling, advanced building materials and insulation. The report says these jobs account for more than one in six construction workers in the U.S.

Keefe credits pending legislation in California — including a bill that would require a switch to one hundred percent clean energy —for fueling economic opportunity and job growth in the state's energy efficiency sector. 

"It's creating jobs that are needed all across this state, and that's very important," Keefe said. "These jobs are driving innovation. States that have the best clean energy policies are going to create the most jobs in clean energy sectors." 

Workers aren't the only winners here, according to Keefe. 

"California's energy efficiency standards and building standards are some of the best in the nation under something called Title 24, which requires buildings to be more efficient, and has the other advantage of saving a lot of money for the owners of those buildings," he said. 

Twice as many workers in the United States are employed in energy efficiency jobs than are employed by all fossil fuel sectors combined, according to the report's findings.  

Keefe summed it up. "If you listen to some people in Washington, the only jobs that seem to count are jobs in coal and oil, but guess what. There are lot more Americans that are working in clean energy."

Written by Diana Shook