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Published on June 14th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


Obama’s Energy-Efficient Buildings Initiative Will Create 114,000 Jobs, New Report Finds

June 14th, 2011 by  


Piggy-backing on my article from a few hours ago on how energy-efficiency standards for lights will create thousands of jobs, a new report out on Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative finds that energy-efficiency policies for commercial buildings under this program will create 114,000 jobs.

“The President’s Better Buildings Initiative will make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by catalyzing private sector investment through a series of incentives to upgrade offices, stores, schools and other municipal buildings, universities, hospitals, and other commercial buildings,” the White House wrote when announcing the program in February.

Some of the key points other than the 114,000 jobs, from Lane Burt, Technical Policy Director at the U.S. Green Building Council, are as follows:

  • The greatest jobs-creating impact – over 77,000 new jobs – would derive from a revised tax incentive to encourage building retrofits.
  • New job creation would ripple throughout the economy. New jobs would be created directly at construction sites, which in turn would spur more jobs in the manufacturing and service sectors.
  • The Better Buildings Initiative’s federal incentives are an investment to trigger private sector spending, which in turn produces widespread benefits. For example, tax incentives would encourage at least three times as much private investment to make buildings more efficient.
  • Businesses would save over $1.4 billion in energy bills as a result of retrofit projects spurred by the tax incentive, which would in turn be re-injected into the economy.

The full report, created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Real Estate Roundtable, and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is available here: A New Retrofit Industry.

Burt also highlights the findings of a number of other reports also showing that energy efficiency programs and policies for commercial buildings can create a ton of jobs.

  • McKinsey found 600,000 to 900,000 new jobs in energy efficiency over all sectors.
  • ACEEE found 333,000 new jobs in proposed energy efficiency legislation last year. Over 150,000 of these jobs were from the bi-partisan yet now politically infeasible HomeStar program for home retrofits.
  • UC Berkeley found that California’s energy efficiency policies on the books will create 200,000 jobs by 2020, with more jobs of higher quality possible with some additional measures.

Now, if we could only get leading members of the Tea Party to stop falsely claiming that green policies kill jobs (and working to crush them).

Photo via Justin Sloan 
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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the CEO of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he offers no investment advice and does not recommend investing in Tesla or any other company.

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