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Decline in U.S. Manufacturing of Energy Efficiency Products Raises Concerns, Report Finds

by Anna

A recent analysis released by Building Clean, an initiative of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, has unveiled a concerning decline in the domestic manufacturing of energy efficiency products in the United States. In 2007, a robust 84% of energy-efficient products used in the U.S. were manufactured domestically. However, the latest data reveals a decline, with the U.S.-made percentage dropping to 79%.

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The report, titled “Energy Efficiency Should be Made in the United States,” emphasizes that while the U.S. still maintains a substantial share of energy efficiency manufacturing, the dip raises concerns, particularly in key sectors. The most significant declines were noted in Appliances (11%) and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Cooling (HVAC) systems (10%).

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BlueGreen Alliance Foundation President Jason Walsh underscored the broader impact of deindustrialization on families and communities, emphasizing the need to reverse this trend by investing in domestically produced energy efficiency products. The consequences of lost manufacturing extend beyond job losses in the energy efficiency product manufacturing sector, affecting economic activity and jobs throughout the supply chain.

The report emphasizes that a single 100-person factory supports an average of 455 induced jobs in the surrounding community, highlighting the interconnected nature of manufacturing and local economies. Historically, communities of color bear the brunt of the decline in domestic manufacturing, with a 30.4% decline in Black manufacturing employment observed between 1998 and 2020. Latinx workers, as the largest community of color working in manufacturing, are also disproportionately affected.

In response to these findings, the report authors advocate for a set of policies aimed at aligning energy efficiency investment with incentives for domestically produced products. The goal is to further boost investment in energy efficiency and provide direct support to the manufacturers of these products. The recommendations aim to address the economic, social, and racial disparities exacerbated by the decline in domestic manufacturing, emphasizing the importance of a holistic approach to foster a resilient and inclusive economy.

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