VAEEC News: Energy Efficiency is $300M+ Job Creator, Economic Driver for Virginia

Virginia Energy Efficiency Council Releases Report on First-Ever Industry Census; Announces New Executive Director 

Richmond, Virginia – Energy efficiency is a robust if largely invisible industry that conservative estimates show generates $300M+ in economic activity and supports 9,400 jobs, according to a report released today by the nonprofit trade association Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC). Based on a census conducted last fall to which 300 firms responded, the report underscores energy efficiency’s critical role in meeting energy demand, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, cost savings, job creation and other state and national goals.

“2013 Virginia Energy Efficiency Industry Census: Report and Recommendations” is available online. 

The VAEEC also announced that Ken Rosenfeld, formerly of the National League of Cities, will be the organization’s first Executive Director. Read more about Mr. Rosenfeld.

Among the report’s key findings:

• Energy efficiency represents a $300M+ industry with an estimated 9,400 jobs in Virginia

• Companies cited consumer awareness and access to utility programs and incentives as primary factors they consider when deciding whether to hire additional employees

• Factors that would help catalyze the market include green building programs, rebates, performance based incentives, adoption or enforcement of enhanced building codes, and improved access to consumer energy usage data

“We’re not as sexy as solar or wind turbines or as well recognized as power plants, but this report confirms that energy efficiency is a critical part of the Commonwealth’s energy mix,” said Bill Greenleaf of the VAEEC Governance Board who oversaw the census.

The report closes with five key recommendations based on the census findings that VAEEC will pursue, with the help of Rosenfeld as Executive Director:

1. Expand state support for the residential Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program

2. Enable the creation of a statewide commercial PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program for nonresidential buildings based on national best practice standards for supporting legislation, program structure and implementation

3. Expand performance contracting in state-owned buildings

4. Adopt IECC 2012 building code for new residential construction without revisions

5. Convene a stakeholder session on increasing the breadth and depth of energy efficiency programs to help the state meet its voluntary energy efficiency goal

“These recommendations represent the first time policymakers and regulators have heard the collective voice of the energy efficiency industry,” said Greenleaf. “We’ve outlined specific ways we can further bolster the industry, spur economic growth and meet our energy demands.”

The VAEEC conducted the census in concert with other regional organizations as part of the four-state Southeast Clean Energy Industry Census (

The inaugural census will be the first of many and serve as a baseline by which we can gauge the growth of the industry and effectiveness of new policies and initiatives. The report will be presented at a statewide series of briefings, including sessions with policymakers and implementers in Richmond in the coming months.


The VAEEC is a nonprofit membership organization formed in 2011 with a mission to access and support programs, innovation, best practices and policies which grow the implementation of energy efficiency in Virginia and provide a forum for stakeholder interaction.

Contact: Annie Suttle, 434.249.9817,


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