Cutting energy creates jobs in tough times

Posted on March 27, 2009. Filed under: Economic development, Energy Efficiency |

From a post by Tom Content on JSonline:

The exception to a hiring freeze imposed in recent months by Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. has been the company’s building efficiency division.

In the last six months, the Milwaukee-based energy business, which provides energy controls and renewable energy consulting to its customers, has added 70 jobs, said Don Albinger, vice president of renewable energy solutions. That includes people in sales, energy engineers, project managers and construction managers, he said.

“And we have the capacity to double that when the economy turns around,” he said during an interview at the Renewable Energy Summit in Milwaukee. Don’t expect all that hiring to happen right away, given the economy, but the economic stimulus package’s focus on energy efficiency and renewable power will translate to more jobs over the next year or so, he said.

Albinger and Joe Jacobsen of Milwaukee Area Technical College, the institution hosting the energy conference, spoke at the conference about the need for consumers to think about the energy choices they make at home or at the office, often without thinking about it.

Turning off the power strip underneath the computer overnight can have a far-reaching impact if everyone did so, Albinger said.

Buildings account for 40% of electricity use by most estimates, and just reducing wasted electricity can help building owners save on electricity bills and on carbon dioxide emissions linked to energy use, energy efficiency experts say.

“There’s a huge disconnect,” Jacobsen said. “There are plenty of opportunities to make our buildings more efficient than they are.”


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