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Growing a Greener Economy: Job and Climate Impacts from Energy Efficiency Investments

September 2, 2020

We analyzed the likely jobs created, energy saved, and carbon emissions avoided from several energy efficiency investments that have been proposed for inclusion in economic stimulus and infrastructure legislation. The proposed investments focus on homes and commercial buildings, electric vehicles, transportation infrastructure, manufacturing plants, small businesses, states, and cities. We estimate that, collectively, the proposed investments would result in 660,000 more people working for a year (job-years) through 2023 and 1.3 million added job-years over the lifetime of the investments and savings. Over time, the investments would result in more than 900 million metric tons (MMT) of reduced carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the emissions of almost 200 million cars and light trucks for a year; they would produce $120 billion in energy bill savings (present value), as well as other financial benefits, while simultaneously building the foundation for a green economy.

This paper analyzes the following programs and investments: 

1. Expansion of the Weatherization Assistance Program
3. Energy upgrades to low- and moderate-income housing
4. Updating the 25C tax credit for home energy improvements
5. Updating the 45L tax credit for efficient new homes
6. Updating the 179D tax deduction for efficient commercial buildings
7. Extending the 30D tax credit for electric cars and light trucks
8. New tax credit for electric trucks and buses
9. Extending the 30C tax credit for electric vehicle charging infrastructure
10. Transportation carbon reduction programs
11. Reviving and expanding energy audits for large industrial plants
12. Hiring industrial energy managers
13. Loans for small- and medium-sized manufacturers
14. Agile and resilient domestic manufacturing supply chains
15. Expansion of the State Energy Program
16. Reviving Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grants
17. Small Business Energy Efficiency Grants

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Suggested Citation

Ungar, L., J. Barrett, S. Nadel, R.N. Elliott, E. Rightor, J. Amann, P. Huether, and M. Specian. 2020. Growing a Greener Economy: Job and Climate Impacts from Energy Efficiency Investments. Washington, DC: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.


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Jobs Federal Funding Tax Policy Federal Industrial Policy Homes and Multifamily Buildings Federal Laws and Legislation
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