MEEA Unplugged

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Six Months In, EE Workforce Slow to Rebound from COVID-19

hanging hard hats

While no one expected full recovery for the energy efficiency workforce at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer’s job numbers point in a negative direction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job numbers from March through August reveal where the energy efficiency and broader clean energy workforces stand six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. While the energy efficiency workforce recovered 71,786 jobs nationally in June, the gains in July and August—6,836 and 8,116 respectively—were nearly flat.[1] Unemployment in the EE workforce was 14.6% in August compared to a peak of 18.3% in May.[2] That means there are still over 345,000 EE workers out of jobs.[3] The Midwest has seen modest job growth in line with the national figures: its…

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The Best Tools for Understanding Benefit-Cost Analysis Just Got Better

cost-benefit analysis

Since 2017, MEEA has been promoting the National Standard Practice Manual for Energy Efficiency (NSPM for EE) around the Midwest. We’ve held webinars, spoken on conference panels and included information from it in numerous presentations. The NSPM for EE provided the collective expertise of nationwide experts to create a framework for benefit-cost analysis (BCA) that incorporated the lessons we have learned from using the old California cost-effectiveness testing models for three decades.   Now there is a new version, and it is even better. After a thorough development process with a larger pool of experts across a broader range of subject areas, and a review process with the steering committee (in which MEEA participated), the summer of…

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New MEEA Study Quantifies Societal Health Benefits Associated with Updated Energy Codes

health exam

How our buildings are constructed determines indoor environmental quality, which can significantly influence our health. The energy code regulates the components and systems that affect the interior environment: for example, it specifies that buildings have tight thermal envelopes to reduce the infiltration of pollutants and appropriate mechanical ventilation to bring fresh air into the home, ensuring healthier indoor air quality. Studies show that stronger energy code provisions can lead to reduced instances of asthma and allergies, as well as improved mental health and productivity in building occupants. However, the benefits don’t stop there. Adopting and enforcing strong energy codes also has broader community advantages, and the…

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