Alliance Urges Obama to Include Energy Efficiency Initiatives in Speech on Job Creation
Washington, D.C., September 8, 2011 – The Alliance to Save Energy is urging President Obama to include energy efficiency initiatives among the proven job-creating approaches in tonight’s address to a joint session of Congress. The Alliance said energy efficiency programs have a strong track record of creating jobs and saving money for American families and businesses while safeguarding the environment and national security.
Energy Efficiency: Unique Bipartisan Opportunity
The Alliance added that energy efficiency is a rare issue that crosses party lines, citing as an example the Shaheen-Portman energy-efficiency bill (S. 1000, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act) recently approved on a bipartisan vote by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. By strengthening building energy codes, providing energy efficiency financing options for manufacturers and building owners and pushing the federal government to improve its energy management, the bill will have a significant impact on job creation.
“Energy efficiency programs that create jobs while saving energy and money offer smart, cost-effective and ‘no regrets’ opportunities for Democrats and Republicans alike to help their constituents and the nation at large,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan.
She continued, “Energy efficiency is not defined by party lines or right/left dichotomies and is embraced on both sides of the congressional aisle – a critically important consideration in today’s contentious political climate.”
Job Growth From Energy Efficiency Programs
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst estimate that for every $1 million invested in energy efficiency about 15 jobs are created. And a study by that university along with the U.S. Green Building Council, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Real Estate Roundtable claims a federal investment of $1.4 billion in upgrading commercial buildings could leverage $7 billion in private spending, creating a total of 114,000 jobs.
The Alliance pointed to several examples of the federal government and the private sector working together on energy efficiency programs that are adding jobs and growing businesses:
- In June, President Obama visited LED manufacturer Cree for a meeting of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to highlight the ability of energy efficiency to accelerate hiring and spur economic growth.
- On August 3, another lighting company, Philips, was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy’s prestigious L Prize for developing a 10-watt light-emitting diode (LED) that uses 83% less energy than the traditional 60-watt incandescent light bulb. In creating the winning LED, Philips invested its own funds in excess of the $10 million cash award.
- At Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) – a partnership of the federal and state governments, corporations and academia – will create jobs as it increases the energy efficiency and operability of new and existing buildings, reduces carbon emissions and stimulates private investment.
Callahan concluded: “Energy efficiency creates jobs twice, first with investments that generate good domestic jobs – after all, you can’t outsource installing insulation – and then by leaving more money in consumers’ and businesses’ pockets that, when spent, creates additional jobs while strengthening the economy for years to come.”