Clean Jobs PA presents an in-depth look at clean energy employment in Pennsylvania. It is based on data from survey research conducted by BW Research, national leader in workforce and economic development research. Clean Jobs PA shows that while the clean energy sector is a significant employer in the state, it falls far short of its potential to drive economic growth and add jobs.

IT’S ALL AROUND US

Clean energy – defined as renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative transportation, and greenhouse gas management and accounting – is a significant and growing cluster in Pennsylvania, yet they have only scratched the surface of its potential.

ADVANCED TRANSPORTATION

It’s clean transportation like electric vehicles that can travel from Philly to Pittsburgh on a single charge or advanced biofuels grown from feedstock in the state’s rural counties.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

It’s energy efficiency measures like improved insulation in our homes that keep us warm during winters in the Poconos or windows that block the sun’s heat during a hot summer in Gettysburg.

MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTING

It’s managing and accounting for greenhouse gas emissions.

RENEWABLE ENERGY

It’s renewable energy like the solar panels on the schools in our communities or the wind turbines on our farmers’ fields in Somerset County or on ridges near Scranton.

The Pennsylvania clean energy industry – defined as renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced transportation, and greenhouse gas emissions management and accounting – employs more than 57,000 workers at more than 4,200 clean energy businesses.

4,200 BUSINESSES
8.5% PROJ. GROWTH RATE
65% ENERGY EFFICIENCY

It’s a manufacturing powerhouse with a skilled and talented workforce.

It’s home to world-class universities and technical colleges that can train next generation of leaders.

PENNSYLVANIA ACT 129

Enacted in 2008, it requires PA’s major electric distributing companies to meet savings targets. So far it’s delivered more than $750 million in energy savings, or $3 in benefits for every $1.

RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARD

The state’s RPS ensures that 18 percent of PA’s electricity comes from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2021.

SMART POLICIES = MORE JOBS

Pennsylvania Act 129 and the RPS have attracted growing businesses to Pennsylvania in a wide range of industries. The state should continue to build on these policies, and develop a strong state implementation plan for the federal Clean Power Plan.

CaseStudy-hdr
Honeywell, the Fortune 100 technology company, works in industries ranging from advanced avionics to control technologies for buildings, homes and manufacturing. But a little known fact is that over half of the products and services the company offers help drive energy efficiency. In fact, one specific business that focuses almost exclusively on intelligent energy management is Honeywell Building Solutions.

The Building Solutions business has both an energy services arm that develops and delivers projects that provide guaranteed energy savings in facilities and on campuses, and a smart grid services team that helps utilities connect with their commercial and residential customers to reduce energy use and create a smarter, more stable electrical grid.

Act 129, passed in 2008, provides the foundation for energy-efficiency and conservation programs in Pennsylvania. These in turn provide savings to homeowners and businesses, help create local jobs and diversify energy supply in the state.

Organizations such as Honeywell, which has approximately 1,200 employees in the Keystone State, are gravitating towards that market. Honeywell alone has completed almost 60 guaranteed efficiency projects in the state since 2000, work that is expected to deliver more than $226 million in energy and operating savings.

Organizations such as Honeywell, which has approximately 1,200 employees in the Keystone State, are gravitating towards markets like energy efficiency.
 

Supportive energy-efficiency policies help create the environment for both innovation and savings. Together, the state, utilities and technology providers can address the tremendous untapped potential for efficiency gains in Pennsylvania.

THE ENERGY WE DON’T USE!

Pennsylvania’s large energy efficiency workforce
– 37,000 STRONG –
means the state is well-positioned to unlock savings in thousands of large commercial buildings.

Philadelphia has taken a big step in saving money on energy bills by joining the
CITY ENERGY PROJECT

Energy efficiency measures like weatherization, energy use monitoring, adding insulation, etc. could save Philly building owners
$77 MILLION
annually in energy costs.

LearnMoreAboutCityProject

LowryHdr
Eric Lowry personifies many clean energy entrepreneurs—he made an opportunity for himself in the middle of the recession helping homeowners reduce their energy bills and access clean energy options. Lowry, a civil engineer for over twenty years, found himself out of work in 2009. When he couldn’t find a new job, he started looking to create one. He found work in energy efficiency at the perfect time: when Pennsylvania had “very little competition and lots of leaky old houses.” Lowry founded home energy audit company Lowry EcoSolutions LLC and has been working ever since to help clients use energy smarter.

“[Homeowners] realize hiring me is pretty small potatoes dollar wise and the return is much, much better.”
–Eric Lowry, on the growth of his business as clients recognize the value of energy efficiency investments
The biggest challenges Lowry has faced breaking into the industry are his clients’ misconceptions. Most homeowners don’t have the understanding of what simple things can be done to make their homes more energy efficient and comfortable, he says. Further, Lowry has found that many homeowners believe that energy audits are expensive and don’t yield much savings when, in fact, the return on investment of an energy audit can be realized often within months. Recently, Lowry has seen homeowners become more educated about energy efficiency and begin to “realize hiring me is pretty small potatoes dollar wise and the return is much, much better.”

As customers realize the benefits of Lowry EcoSolutions, Lowry hears more success stories from satisfied clients. Recently, a former client called him to let him know that Lowry EcoSolutions had helped him cut his home utility bills by 60-70% per month. Despite his success in saving his clients energy and money, Lowry recognizes that Pennsylvania and the nation could do a better job incentivizing energy efficiency, and believes that more people would take advantage of energy audits if there were better policies in place.

WIND

There are more than 25 wind farms across Pennsylvania. Together, they help generate more than 1,300 MW of power.

SOLAR

In the Keystone State, there’s more than 240 MW of solar capacity. These include utility-scale arrays in underutilized fields and rooftop solar arrays in residential housing developments in the suburbs.

RENEWABLES SAVE MONEY, DRIVE INVESTMENT

The combined capacity of wind and solar power in PA is already enough to power 330,000 homes. This has helped bring $2.8 billion in investment capital to Pennsylvania.

WindJobs
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EverPowerHdr
“We moved our headquarters to Pittsburgh because it was a great place to do business,” recalls Jim Spencer, CEO at EverPower Wind Holdings. Founded in 2002 in New York, the firm began placing employees in Pennsylvania in 2008 when it began operating projects along the wind-rich Alleghany ridge in the Southwest part of the state. Now, EverPower employs 36 people in its Pittsburgh headquarters and is the largest owner operator of wind farms in the Keystone State, with 307 MW in operation. The firm’s four Pennsylvania projects have created more than 400 construction jobs, 24 permanent jobs and more than $1 million in revenue to Pennsylvania towns, counties and schools each year.

“Community engagement is central to wind development,” explains Kevin Sheen, Senior Director of Development and Public Relations. Before developing a wind farm, EverPower staff will attend town hall meetings, hold information sessions, and other events to engage the local community on the project. Schools can be big beneficiaries of wind farms; for example EverPower’s 139.4 MW Twin Ridges Farm in Somerset County brought $223,000 in annual payments to local townships; $93,000 of which was directed to the surrounding school districts. But it’s not just local schools that see the values of wind.

“We moved our headquarters to Pittsburgh because it was a great place to do business” 
– Jim Spencer, CEO, EverPower Wind Holdings

While landowner payments can vary – landowners at EverPower’s PA wind farms can earn $15,000-$20,000 per year by housing a turbine on their property. Small farms often operate on the margin, with revenue varying each year based on economic forces and commodity prices. Despite annual variability, one thing remains certain: the wind will blow, and these farmers will earn income as a result. For small farmers this revenue represents an important component of their annual revenue and has helped many to upgraded equipment or even keep their farms. State level policies like the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard provide important incentives to develop wind energy projects in Pennsylvania. The federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) provided a per-kilowatt-hour incentive to developers of wind power, helped spur the initial growth of the industry. However, its expiration in 2013, and uncertain future, created boom-and-bust cycles for the industry. Moving forward, EverPower hopes to grow under stable, long-term federal policy, so it can continue to provide clean energy jobs to Pennsylvanians.

OF THE 57,000 PA CLEAN ENERGY JOBS…

40 percent work in construction

35 percent work in professional services and R&D

13 percent are categorized as “other”

10 percent work in manufacturing and assembly

From Navy SEALs and Air Force fighter pilots to Army soldiers and Marines, returning veterans are increasingly finding good jobs in clean energy.

IMPROVED NATIONAL SECURITY

Veterans understand the value of clean energy – for our economy and for our national security.

 

JOBS FOR VETERANS

About 10 percent of new clean energy hires in Pennsylvania are veterans.

 

CLEAN ENERGY ON PENNSYLVANIA BASES

Installations like the Tobyhanna Army Depot have invested in clean energy and energy efficiency measures.

JobOpportunities-hdr

IN EVERY PART OF THE STATE

Clean employment is spread across the state, from Philly to Pittsburgh and in the towns and cities throughout the Keystone State.

REGION CLEAN ENERGY JOBS PERCENTAGE OF JOBS
Greater Philadelphia 17,329 30.2%
Greater Pittsburgh 12,154 21.2%
Rest of Pennsylvania 27,847 48.6%
Total 57,330 100%

Support strong state-level implementation of the Clean Power Plan.

Ensure the Public Utilities Commission sets strong energy efficiency targets for 2016 and beyond when it renews Act 129.

 

For a copy of Clean Jobs Pennsylvania, click here.

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And for more information, please e-mail info@e2.org.