The Economic Impacts and Macroeconomic Benefits of Energy Efficiency Programs in Washington

ECONorthwest for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council

[Puget Sound Business Journal] […The] report that a nonprofit called the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) commissioned takes the unusual step of looking at energy efficiency on a macroeconomic scale, and found improving the efficiency of buildings pumps an extra $216 million a year into Washington state’s economy and creates just over 3,800 jobs.

NEEC Executive Director Stan Price said what this means is that efficiency efforts save landlords and tenants money, which ultimately is freed-up capital that can be spent elsewhere…

What NEEC is saying with the study is there’s no good reason to cut back energy efficiency initiatives. In fact, Price said, there are good reasons to ratchet up efforts “because the implications to the broader economy are so significant.”…

Economic consulting firm ECONorthwest conducted the study by looking at data over five years, starting in 2008. The firm found that in an average year, almost $500 million was invested in goods and services to make buildings more efficient, and that $594.4 million of the state’s “gross regional product” and around 7,575 jobs can be linked to energy efficiency investments.

The study then looked at what would have happened had the $500 million not been spent on energy-efficiency initiatives but elsewhere. They did this to come up with the net impact of the energy-efficiency industry and found it is tied each year to 3,800 jobs and $216 million of Washington’s gross regional product.


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