Energy Efficiency Employment Growing
IN its annual State of the Industry report, the U.S. Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) report that employment in the energy efficiency field is expected to increase in 2013.
The report, based in part on a survey of members of the association and interviews with industry thought leaders, found that in 2012, 66 percent of the respondents reported that the number of employees involved in energy efficiency and demand response activities had grown.
The survey also found that 63 percent projected an increase for 2013. One thought leader commented that more states are going to increase energy efficiency, and no state has peaked in energy efficiency potential, so the number of workers needed will continue to rise.
AESP's State of the Industry report follows on the heels of Friday's press release from the White House elaborating on President Obama's plan to put the U.S. on track for a more secure energy future. "When we conducted our survey in December, the measures proposed by the President - such as $200 million dedicated to a 'Race to the Top' challenge, and making the renewable energy Production Tax Credit permanent and refundable - were not public knowledge," said AESP President and CEO Meg Matt. "So it is exciting to see that energy efficiency is forecasted to move ahead, even without federal mandates."
Energy efficiency will undoubtedly receive a huge boost if President Obama's initiatives come to fruition. However, what remains unchanged are the skills needed to support continued industry growth which was underscored in the report.
Business leaders cite a need for analytical skills for big data; energy engineering for design, implementation and evaluation; market research and management; project management, tracking, and reporting. The most promising trends continue to be increased energy efficiency activities at the state level, and changing customer attitudes and interests about energy efficiency.
While challenges remain in converting consumer behaviors toward acceptance of energy efficiency and demand response programs, the commercial and industrial sector remains a largely untapped market with the greatest potential for expansion.
According to the report, "many in the commercial sector are looking for cost savings in the sluggish economy and energy can be a substantial percent of their operating costs. An increasing number of these customers are putting in place corporate sustainability or energy efficiency policies."
Picture of Mohave Generating Station by Kjkolb reproduced under CCL.
Friday 22nd March 2013