According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the energy efficiency services sector is poised to become an increasingly important part of the U.S. economy. Energy supply and climate change concerns, volatile and increasing energy prices, and a desire for greater energy independence have led many local, state and national leaders to support an increasingly prominent role for energy efficiency in U.S. energy policy. The national economic recession has also helped to boost the visibility of energy efficiency as part of a strategy to support economic recovery.1
Energy efficiency jobs can be for building retrofits and smart grid, home weatherization, lighting upgrades, and grid infrastructure. Those trained in energy efficiency might have careers in construction, manufacturing, consulting, HVAC installing/servicing, control systems, or other sectors. Some graduates might use their training as a foundation to start a business in energy efficiency consulting.
Products and services that improve energy efficiency include energy-efficient equipment, appliances, buildings, and vehicles, as well as systems that improve the energy efficiency of buildings and the efficiency of energy storage and distribution, such as smart grid technologies.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide salary or other data for this specialization, but according to "Clean Tech Job Trends 2010," the Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency category is third only to solar power and biofuels & biomaterials as the hottest clean-tech job sectors in the U.S.
Ecotech Institute provides an atmosphere for students to develop the needed experience and skills to pursue a career in this emerging field by applying theory and real-world training—all while earning an Associate in Applied Science degree.
1"Energy Efficiency Services Sector: Workforce Size and Expectations for Growth." Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 2010.