FPL solar farm in the Redland.

FPL solar farm in the Redland.

Energy efficiency is the fastest-growing segment of U.S. energy-sector employment, now employing more than 2.3 million Americans—including 118,412 in Florida— according to a new analysis from E4TheFuture and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).

Energy efficiency workers now account for 36 percent of all energy workers in Florida, and 28 percent nationally.

The new report, Energy Efficiency Jobs in America, finds energy efficiency jobs grew 3.4 percent nationally in 2018 –more than double the rate of growth for overall jobs nationwide — with 7.8% growth projected for 2019. In Florida, employers added over 5,700 jobs for a 5.1 percent growth rate in 2018 while statewide employment increased 2.1 percent. The overall national employment growth rate was 1.5 percent.

California led the nation in energy-efficiency employment with 318,500 jobs, followed by Texas (162,800), New York (123,300), Florida (118,400), and Illinois (89,400). Thirteen states saw efficiency jobs increase by more than five percent in 2018, led by New Mexico (11.6%), Nevada (8.1%), Oklahoma (7.2%), Colorado (7.2%), and New Jersey (7.1%). Not a single state saw declines in energy efficiency employment in 2018.

Efficiency businesses added 76,000 net new jobs in 2018, accounting for half of all net jobs added by America’s energy sector (151,700). The sector also employed twice the number of workers in 2018 as all fossil fuel industries combined (1.18 million) and in 41 states, including Florida, energy efficiency employs more workers than fossil fuels. There are now more than 360,000 energy efficiency businesses operating across the U.S., including 14,800 in Florida.

Energy efficiency jobs include positions in manufacturing, such as building ENERGY STAR® appliances, efficient windows and doors and LED lighting systems. They include jobs in construction – retrofitting buildings, offices and schools to make them more efficient. Efficiency careers are found in high-tech design and software and professional services, as well as at the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) companies that upgrade outdated inefficient HVAC systems, boilers, ductwork and other equipment.

Energy efficiency jobs aren’t limited by geography, geology or political persuasion. There are workers in energy efficiency in every state and in virtually every U.S. county, the report shows. Florida is home to 5,000 of the nation’s 317,000 rural energy efficiency jobs while the Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Miami metro areas combine for nearly 70,000.

Looking at legislative districts, 21 of Florida’s 27 congressional districts are home to at least 3,000 energy efficiency jobs. In the state legislature, 37 of the state’s 40 senate districts along with 48 house districts had at least 1,000 energy efficiency jobs.

• 10% of energy efficiency jobs are held by veterans — nearly double the national average of 6%

• Construction and manufacturing make up more than 70% of US. energy efficiency jobs

• Energy efficiency jobs account for 17% of all construction jobs in Florida and more than one out of every six construction jobs nationally (1.3 million workers total)

• More than 12,000 Florida energy efficiency businesses are involved in construction or manufacturing

• Nationwide, 321,000 energy efficiency jobs are in manufacturing

• Efficient lighting technologies employ 370,000 workers nationwide

• Energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and cooling technologies employ 41,300 Florida workers and over 1.1 million nationwide

• ENERGY STAR appliances and efficient lighting firms employed 32,500 Floridians in 2018

• Energy efficiency employers are projecting 7.8% job growth nationwide in 2019

• Small businesses are driving America’s energy efficiency job boom, with 75% of Florida workers employed by businesses with fewer than 20 total

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