Jobs and green growth: Canadians celebrate Energy Efficiency Day

Today, Canada is celebrating Energy Efficiency Day (EE Day 2019), an opportunity to salute the workers from coast-to-coast who help homes and businesses cut energy waste, save money, and reduce emissions.

Since 2016, the first Wednesday of every October has been celebrated as Energy Efficiency Day in the United States, where the sector currently boasts 2.3 million jobs nationwide in manufacturing, construction and other fields.

It is estimated that 436,000 Canadians — roughly one in 50 — are working in the energy efficiency sector, in diverse fields such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, professional and business services, utilities or other services. According to research published this year by Calgary-based ECO Canada, a nonprofit that trains and certifies environmental professionals across the country, employment in the sector grew by 2.8 percent between 2017 and 2018, which is almost three times the growth rate of the rest of the Canadian economy.

“There are so many reasons for professionals working in energy efficiency to stand up and be proud of their work,” said Corey Diamond, executive director of Efficiency Canada, which initiated the Canadian celebration this year of EE Day 2019 by obtaining pledges from over 100 organizations across the country to plan awareness-raising activities. “When you work in energy efficiency, you’re working to help save families and businesses money, all the while cutting down on our collective carbon footprint.”

“It’s a win-win for the economy and the environment,” he added. “With all of the action happening for the climate right now, we need to look at the solution that can get us 40 percent of the way there with simple, job-creating solutions like better insulation, smart home technologies, or thoughtful construction.”

Efficiency Canada identified 12 “Energy Champions” across the country whose diverse career trajectories exemplified the employment possibilities in this growth sector of the Canadian economy. The stories ranged from a former oilfield firefighter running an insulation business in Medicine Hat, Alberta, to a director of impact and sustainability at a made-in-Canada smart thermostat company in Toronto, Ontario, to the CEO of an energy-efficient construction and retrofit firm in Flatrock, Newfoundland.

“Energy efficiency is a massive sector in Canada’s economy: bigger than oil and gas extraction and telecommunications combined,” said Diamond. “It is important to celebrate how far we have come, and what we can achieve as a country in terms of green growth from this sector.”

The 100-plus organizations celebrating the Canadian Energy Efficiency Day event includes companies, universities, local governments, and nonprofit organizations. The full list of signatories is available here.

More on EE Day 2019 on twitter.

About Efficiency Canada

Efficiency Canada is the national voice for an energy efficient economy. Our mission is to create a sustainable environment and better life for all Canadians by making our country a global leader in energy efficiency policy, technology, and jobs. We conduct rigorous policy analysis; communicate compelling narratives; and convene and mobilize Canada’s dynamic energy efficiency sector. Efficiency Canada is housed at Carleton University’s Sustainable Energy Research Centre.

In late 2019, we will publish a comprehensive report card that will assess the energy-efficiency policies of all provinces. Subscribe here for updates.

For further information: Lynsey Grosfield, Communications and Media Lead, Efficiency Canada, 514-430-5203, lynsey.grosfield@efficiencycanada.org

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