Analysis of Job Creation from 2013 Expenditures for Energy Efficiency in Rhode Island
National Grid commissioned Peregrine Energy Group, Inc. (Peregrine) to conduct a study of the job impacts of National Grid’s energy efficiency programs and services delivered to Rhode Island electricity and natural gas customers in 2013. The objective of the research was to count or estimate the number of direct jobs attributable to National Grid’s 2013 energy efficiency programs to meet the requirements of General Law 39-2-1.2, enacted by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 2012.
While job creation is not a formal goal of energy efficiency, this study illustrates the additional economic benefits that investments in energy efficiency contribute to Rhode Island and to the businesses participating in National Grid’s programs. Peregrine was commissioned to find and count the full-time equivalent (FTE) employees engaged in all aspects of National Grid’s 2013 energy efficiency programs. Peregrine assumed that one FTE equals 1,760 work hours, or the equivalent of one person working 8 hours a day for 220 work days in an average year.
Unlike the energy savings resulting from these programs that are analyzed, measured, and recorded, the labor component of energy efficiency improvements is only tracked, if it is counted at all, as an expense. Types of employees and number of hours worked to deliver programs and services are not captured, except by employers themselves for payroll and business planning purposes. For this reason, calculating job impacts can be more art than science.
The study’s findings were developed through interviews with managers at energy services companies, equipment vendors, and contractors identified by National Grid for Peregrine or identified as sub-contractors by companies that Peregrine interviewed. These companies voluntarily shared information on how they staff their contracts and services and even researched payroll records to provide FTE counts. Where possible, the study names the companies that provided information to Peregrine.
Peregrine also completed a detailed review of National Grid’s records of all energy efficiency measures installed in homes, apartment buildings, businesses, and industrial facilities throughout Rhode Island in 2013. Peregrine then calculated typical labor hours required for each installation, based on industry standards and discussions with the contractors themselves and other experts, and extrapolated total FTE employment using total counts of measures installed.
Peregrine found that an estimated 544.73 full-time equivalent jobs or “FTEs” resulted from National Grid’s Rhode Island energy efficiency programs in 2013. The report summarizes the job impacts of electric and gas energy efficiency programs, by program and by program sector. Program Support Service Provider FTEs have been allocated and integrated into individual program FTE counts and program sector FTE counts based on budgets. Smaller programs with limited FTE counts, including pilots and community initiatives were combined into the category titled “other”. Community Action Weatherization Assistance program staff and National Grid staff are counted in the 544.73 total.
Based on interviews with companies directly involved in the implementation of National Grid’s energy efficiency programs and an analysis of field delivery, Peregrine found that the number of individual workers employed as result of Rhode Island energy efficiency programs is far larger than the total FTEs. While counts of the numbers of individuals participating could not be developed, many companies, as described in the Energy Efficiency Program Delivery section, employed multiple individuals with specialized skills or discrete roles for only a portion of their annual hours.
For example, National Grid calculated that it had 38.47 FTE employees who worked on Rhode Island energy efficiency programs in 2013. This total is comprised of employees dedicated to Rhode Island, and also included numbers of National Grid employees with system-wide responsibilities and others whose primary responsibilities were in other states and contributed fractionally to the FTE total.