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COVID-19 Costing N.H. Jobs In Energy Efficiency, But Advocates See Hope For Recovery

Dennis Schroeder
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

New Hampshire’s energy efficiency sector is shedding jobs due to COVID-19, but advocates also say that industry could help the state dig out of the recession.

The state lost more than 750 energy-related jobs in March, according to the research firm BW. New England lost nearly 15,000 energy jobs overall that month, mostly in Massachusetts.  

Within this sector, the advocacy group Clean Energy New Hampshire says one of the hardest hit types of jobs was for people who work on making buildings more energy efficient – a result of construction jobs being put on hold.

At a panel discussion the group hosted Wednesday, analyst David Foster with the Energy Futures Initiative said the efficiency sector could also be a solution down the line, creating new jobs to lower energy costs and boost other parts of the economy.

“That’s why it makes so much sense to focus in a little harder on stimulus spending in energy infrastructure and in energy efficiency,” Foster said.

Energy efficiency makes up the majority of New Hampshire’s 17,000 jobs in “clean tech” fields, according to a new report from Clean Energy New Hampshire. The group says they hope to push for job-friendly energy policies and investment at the state level after the pandemic.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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