BlueGreen Alliance | New Report Finds Decline in Domestic Manufacturing of Energy-Efficient Products

New Report Finds Decline in Domestic Manufacturing of Energy-Efficient Products

December 13, 2023

A new analysis released today from Building Clean—an initiative of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation—has identified a decline in domestic manufacturing of energy efficiency products. In 2007, 84% of energy-efficient products used in the United States were manufactured domestically. The data found that today the U.S.-made percentage has fallen to 79%. The new report, Energy Efficiency Should be Made in the United States, showed the U.S. share of energy efficiency manufacturing is still strong, however the decline is a cause for concern. The biggest declines are seen in Appliances (11%) and Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Cooling (HVAC) systems (10%).

“Deindustrialization has hurt families and communities and cut off pathways into the middle class,” said BlueGreen Alliance Foundation President Jason Walsh. “Sending these jobs overseas has gutted manufacturing communities across the nation. These findings highlight the importance of turning this statistic around by investing in domestically produced energy efficiency products.”

The effects of lost manufacturing are far reaching. Not only does this decline affect jobs in the energy efficiency product manufacturing sector, it also impacts economic activity and jobs throughout the supply chain. A single 100-person factory supports an average of 455 induced jobs at the stores, restaurants, and other businesses where the factory workers spend their money.

Historically, communities of color are most heavily impacted by the decline in domestic manufacturing. For example, there has been a 30.4% decline in Black manufacturing employment between 1998 and 2020. Latinx workers are also disproportionately affected as the largest community of color working in manufacturing.

The report authors recommend a set of policies to pair energy efficiency investment with incentives for domestically produced products, to further increase investment in energy efficiency, and to provide direct support to the manufacturers of these products.

“Outsourcing and disinvestment is pushing the manufacturing of appliances, HVAC components, and other needed technologies outside the United States,” said BlueGreen Alliance Foundation National Program Manager Dana Saylor. “The domestic manufacturing of energy efficiency products is integral to building a strong, clean, fair economy for all.”