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Energy Efficiency Created 1.5 Million Jobs in California; Points to National Economic Recovery Program

Can investments in green jobs and energy efficiency revive our national economy?  A new study, which assesses job creation as a result of energy efficiency policies in California over the last thirty years, argues that it can.

Looking at changes in the California economy since the state adopted key energy efficiency policies in 1978, the study, by UC-Berkeley's Center for Energy, Resources and Economic Sustainability, found that 1.5 million new jobs were created between 1977 and 2007 due to those policies, while eliminating fewer than 25,000 jobs previously in existence.

By cutting energy use and costs, consumers in the state were able to shift spending and create additional economic growth in a range of other sectors, including the retail, industrial, and service sectors.  Overall, employee compensation increased $44.6 billion due to California's policies tightening efficiency standards.

Green Jobs Nationwide:  This is just the direct job and income gains from energy efficiency policies.  Adding in the jobs that would be created from other green job goals, from building new transit, investing in alternative fuels and expanding green technology spinoffs, and America has a clear pathway to economic revival and renewal. 

The Apollo Alliance estimates that spending $50 billion per year over the next ten years will create 5 million good-paying permanent jobs nationwide.  Learning the lessons from California and other states that have pioneered clean energy policies, “We can launch our nation’s economic recovery, keep jobs here in America and, at the same time, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and make our nation more secure,” said Phil Angelides, the Apollo Alliance’s chairman and former California treasurer, who helped prepare the strategy.

A report from earlier this year, Greener Pathways: Jobs and Workforce Development in the Clean Energy Economy, provides guidance to states on the quality of jobs in the clean energy economy and the skills needed to make greater energy efficiency and cleaner energy the centerpiece for revitalizing state economies around the country.

Resources

Center for Energy, Resources and Economic Sustainability, Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California
Apollo Alliance, The New Apollo Program
COWS, Workforce Alliance and Apollo Alliance, Greener Pathways: Jobs and Workforce Development in the Clean Energy Economy