Community Development Innovation Review

March 2014

Understanding the True Benefits of both Energy Efficiency and Job Creation


Investments in energy efficiency spark opportunities for employment that draw on skillsets that are prevalent in the United States. Moreover, evidence suggests that as companies’ investments in energy efficiency improve their bottom line, their competitiveness increases, which can help bring jobs back to American soil. Furthermore, cost savings from energy efficiency can eventually translate into additional productive spending, creating economic development opportunities and increasing job creation. However, the means through which investment in energy efficiency stimulates net job creation are complex and often misunderstood. Discrepancies between approaches to modeling job creation and measuring it after implementation can lead to conflicting ideas about the effectiveness and value of energy efficiency programs. Thus, in order to increase and maintain support for energy efficiency policies and programs, it is important to flesh out the underlying economic argument and assumptions that drive preliminary analyses. Such efforts can also help us to set appropriate goals and realistic expectations for program implementation and job creation measures.

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Other articles in this issue

Mixing Asset Building with Energy Efficiency: A Recipe for Financial and Environmental Sustainability

The Future of the Clean (Green) Economy

Cleaner Energy and Health: Household, Local and Global Benefits

Financing Energy Efficiency Retrofits of Affordable Multifamily Buildings

Manufactured Homes Help Both Save the Planet and Save Money for Low-Income Owners

Utilities and Community Developers Partner to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Affordable Rental Housing Nationwide

Integrating Energy Efficiency into Mortgage Financing: Promising Efforts in the New York City Multifamily Building Sector

Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks: An Extended Abstract

Charter Schools Ripe for Green Investments

Financing Energy Efficiency in Low-Income Multifamily Rental Housing: A Progress Update from the Low Income Investment Fund

Neighborhood Health: A New Framework for Investing in Sustainable Communities

Bringing Down Green Financing Costs: How a State-sponsored Bank Might be the Key

Can Cities Lead the Way in Innovative Energy Retrofits for Single-Family Homes?

Lenders’ Property Standards and Energy Efficiency: The Vital Link for Affordable Housing

Energy to Heal: Health Care, Climate Change, and Community Resilience