Report says energy efficiency significantly boosted California’s economy
California’s energy-efficiency measures have created some 1.5 million jobs and saved residents about $56 billion in energy costs since 1972, according to a new study from the University of California at Berkeley. Overall, the study found that the state’s efficiency measures freed up billions of dollars that consumers would otherwise have spent on electricity bills and instead injected the cash into other areas of the economy that created more jobs. “Energy efficiency is very good for real incomes, purchasing power, and job creation,” said study author David Roland-Holst. What’s more, as a result of early action on efficiency, the average Californian now uses about 40 percent less electricity than the average American. The study also found that California’s current plan to tackle climate change would create over 400,000 new jobs and boost household incomes by up to $48 billion annually by 2020. “If the country can follow California’s example, it will have a dramatic effect on our future emissions and energy independence,” Roland-Holst said.