3Center for American Progress | A Star Turn for Energy Efficiency Jobs
o U.S. conen han oher producs, wih he domesic share o producion or allproducs in he Unied Saes hovering jus above 76 percen. When you build green, you are ar more likely o be buying American. Ta is very goodnews or he hard hi U.S. manuacuring secor, especially in building and consrucionmaerials, which desperaely need a boos during his down real esae marke.Finally, clean energy jobs are beter or U.S. small businesses. In ac 91 percen o he rmsinvolved in reros are acually small businesses, according o research conduced by heEnergy Fuure Coaliion. Insulaion, or example, is insalled by more han 22,000 rms,85 percen o which employ less han 20 people. Roong insulaion is insalled by nearly 20,000 conracors around he counry, 88 percen o which employ less han 20 people. Windows are manuacured and insalled by more han 130,000 people working or nearly 7,000 rms in he Unied Saes, 82 percen o which employ less han 20 people. Te pro-ducion and insallaion o heaing, venilaion, and air condiioning equipmen employsaround 2 million people in he Unied Saes, and nearly 90 percen o hem work or rmso less han 20 people. While nearly 850,000 people manuacure or insall inerior or exe-rior lighing equipmen in he Unied Saes—nearly 90 percen work or rms o less han20 people. Tis is a big deal or sruggling small and amily businesses in he Unied Saes, who provide he real engine or new hiring in our economy.Te macroeconomic argumens behind his issue are seadas. We have a problem–leaky and inecien buildings ha wase money and energy—and he soluion will beme wih domesic, labor-inensive work ha can be achieved oday a low cos wihexising echnology. Energy eciency is, and will coninue o be, he “low-hanging”rui by which he Unied Saes can save money and creae susained jobs in srugglingindusries crippled by he Grea Recession and coninuing housing crisis. We can dohis while improving and upgrading our inrasrucure and qualiy o lie, wih healhier,more comorable, and more economical buildings. Te real quesion hen is how ounlock hese benes eecively a a momen o economic downurn.
Building on successful Recovery Act investments
Te energy eciency indusry is a a criical poin in is developmen, and real esaeinvesors recognize his emerging marke as a poenial brigh spo in a roubled mar-ke or consrucion jobs. While criics ofen asser ha he American Recovery andReinvesmen Ac o 2009 has no lived up o i’s promise, his assessmen is bohgrossly premaure and conradiced by he acs. In ac, he recen waves o new inves-men in clean energy and building eciency, while slow o ake hold have gained rac-ion and his marke is growing.