What is happening to energy efficiency businesses⏤
& what do they need to survive?
Before COVID-19, energy efficiency employed 2.38 million Americans and was growing faster than any other energy sector.
According to the 2020 US Energy and Employment Report, energy efficiency grew by 20% in the past year. At the beginning of 2020, Pennsylvania boasted 71,000 EE jobs, and New Jersey was rebounding with 38,000. These career-launching jobs pay well, span a diverse set of skills, and cannot be outsourced.
Since March of this year, the economic crisis claimed nearly 600,000 clean energy jobs nationwide, with a commanding 70% of these losses to the energy efficiency sector.
Bans on in-person work have effectively halted operations for energy efficiency companies serving the residential sector. Pennsylvania is among the hardest hit states, according to a report from E2. In every state, reports of companies furloughing all or most of their employees have become all too commonplace.
Energy efficiency can and should be the backbone of a swift, equitable economic recovery.
The Great Recession and Recovery Act of 2009—which made an historic investment in energy efficiency through the Weatherization Assistance Program—proved that energy efficiency can play a starring role in creating millions of local jobs, lowering energy costs, and reducing emissions.
EEA-NJ & KEEA are collaborating with regulators, legislators, and other stakeholders to find a reasonable path forward.
We’ve surveyed our membership to learn the full scope of the impact and launched a virtual event series for our full network to share their struggles and successes in the time of COVID-19.
KEEA and EEA-NJ are then weaving these stories into our interactions with regulatory and legislative bodies in both states: in memos to the Governors, official requests for action to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and as the opening frame of KEEA’s public Phase IV comments to Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission.
Schaedler Yesco Distribution
A Harrisburg-based electrical distributor turned their operations inside out in order to keep staff safe while supplying pop-up hospitals and other essential businesses. Schaedler Yesco’s swift and thorough tactics serve as a model for how other companies could get safely back to work.
"Now that we've shown that our strategies can adhere to published guidelines and keep customers and staff safe, we ask legislators to let more of us do what we do."
Kim Downs, Director of Marketing
Data analytics from companies like Oracle can help utilities identify more customers eligible for energy efficiency programs, which in turn can mitigate the impact of the current crisis for a lot more people.
"Energy affordability is an urgent and unfortunately growing issue. Energy efficiency companies can help! Providing utilities with data allows them to expand savings to more customers."
Mary Sprayregen, Director of Regulatory Affairs and Market Development
Driven by their mission to enhance the utility customer experience, Uplight helps utilities adapt existing digital channels to better serve isolated, anxious, and economically vulnerable customers.
"To protect customers and encourage job growth, we need policy incentives that prompt utilities to see energy efficiency as a strategic imperative."
Martha Blakely, Associate Director of Market Insights & Engagement
TEN wants everyone to know that C-PACE manifests meaningful energy efficiency retrofits and could be a key part to our economic recovery.
"C-PACE provides flexible & cost-effective funding for energy efficiency projects & long term financing to address critical infrastructure needs. C-PACE creates jobs, improves building performance, and better positions us for the future."
Troy Geanopulos, CEO