A report from Cadmus and the Midwest Energy Alliance concluded that 2014 energy efficiency investments in the Midwest region have yielded, and will continue to generate, net benefits for the economy. The report, Economic Impacts of Energy Efficiency Investments in the Midwest, shows in 2014 alone, these benefits included over 18,600 new jobs, nearly $1.2 billion in increased regional income, over $1.8 billion in total net economic value, and more than $3.3 billion in net sales.
The report describes the net economic impacts of energy efficiency programs funded by utilities in 13 Midwest states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Specifically, the report estimated the net impacts of utility program activities on four economic sub-regions: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Rest of the Midwest.
Midwest utilities’ energy efficiency programs create jobs, boost personal income, and increase spending. Utility energy efficiency programs are estimated to create nearly 105,000 regional jobs, increase regional income by almost $8.8 billion, add over $13.7 billion of value to the regional economy, and could generate about $23 billion in regional sales between now and 2038.
There are four economic indicators that are used to determine program impacts; employment, personal income, added value and sales. Findings suggest that program year activities generate substantial positive net impacts on all four economic indicators analyzed, and that additional positive net impacts result from sustained energy savings through most of the study period.
Analyses of the Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Rest of the Midwest economies reveal that a majority of economic impacts from utility efficiency programs are local, although spillover impacts from activities in other areas are also positive to varying degrees.
In 2014 utilities in Nebraska reported spending $20.3 million on energy efficiency programs, saving Nebraskans 2,351 Gwh of energy, and avoiding 2.72 million tons of CO2 emissions. Energy efficiency investments affect the flow of money through the economy in three ways. Direct economic effects represent impacts on industries directly involved with utility programs, such as firms that manufacture energy technologies or provide project services. Indirect economic effects account for impacts on industries in the energy efficiency supply chain, such as firms that supply raw manufacturing inputs to the directly affected industries. Induced economic effects lead to additional impacts on other industries as utility program participants and employees of directly and indirectly affected industries spend money in the economy.