Energy efficiency added more new jobs than any other industry in the entire U.S. energy sector in 2017 according to a new jobs analysis from E4TheFuture and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). A Kansas group thinks there are not enough of those jobs in the Sunflower State.
“Two point two five million Americans are working in energy efficiency,” said Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the Clean Energy Business Council. “In Kansas, that number, while substantial, 16 thousand, really lags behind our neighboring state of Missouri who has more than double that. We do have legislation that was passed in 2014 in Kansas, the Kansas Energy Efficiency Investment Act, that really, we believe laid out the Legislature’s intention for investments in energy efficiency.”
The law has not been approved for implementation by the Kansas Corporation Commission.
“They’re using antiquated cost-benefit analysis to figure out whether or not programs are cost-effective for Kansas,” said Barnett. “We think they need to take a look at their cost-benefit analysis that they’re using, their testing measures and perhaps revamp that.”
Barnett says her group is willing to take further direction from the Legislature if that would help.
“We certainly are willing, if necessary, to come to the Legislature and see what can be done to either strengthen the existing legislation, KEEIA, or to go a completely different direction,” said Barnett.
Kansas now has the highest electricity rates in the region. The Clean Energy Business Council believes that even though it will cost a little to implement these energy efficiency measures, the reduced usage can help with rates in the long-term in addition to creating jobs.