Businesses from across the United States and the World are investing in energy efficiency in increasing numbers. These efforts mean more than just energy savings – they have the ability to generate economic opportunity as well.
A recent study from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) shows investments in energy efficiency can have a large impact on a state’s economy, in this case, Pennsylvania. ACEEE found that if electricity savings rose just 1.2% from 2021–2025 the state could create more than 30,000 jobs; a 50% increase compared to a scenario where a cap constrains them, and add $6.4BN in net savings back into the economy.
So what does this have to do with Tennessee? The industries that stand to benefit from energy efficient measures – manufacturing, warehousing, and real estate development & management – are all well represented in Tennessee’s economy. As efficiency generates utility cost savings businesses have a new stream of capital to invest in operations, which is why an influx of jobs is likely in the construction and supply chain sectors. Trades related to the installation and servicing of energy efficient systems are set to grow as projects take shape. Finally, ACEEE finds the retail and services sectors will see job creation, as people put their energy-savings to use.
At Pathway, we believe one of the most significant barriers in commercial energy efficiency building projects is the lack of available capital, due in part to owners’ reluctance or inability to fund expensive up-front costs, and in part to lack of ability to access capital because of collateral issues. Access to affordable capital makes the difference in getting these projects done, generating savings, and sparking job growth in communities across Tennessee.
Since 2010 Pathway Lending has originated over $43 million in loans to industrial, commercial, and private nonprofit facilities across Tennessee. We’ve helped locally-owned businesses like manufacturing facilities, hotels, auto dealerships, athletic and community centers, and schools save an average of $29,250 annually and keep over 15,000 jobs in the state’s economy.
In our mind, energy efficiency is a powerful economic development tool – one that more businesses should be investing in.
For more information about Pathway’s Energy Efficiency Loans, contact Brandon England, Energy Efficiency Loan Program Director.