COVID-19 outbreak slows down residential energy efficiency industry in the US

Around 20 states stopped residential energy efficiency retrofitting at the end of April to low-income households. In these states, all residential energy efficiency work was suspended by utilities, states, service providers and small businesses as it was deemed non-essential unless an emergency.

Somik Das, Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Energy efficiency activities are treated as non-essential work and hence were stopped in some US states. A home inspection is vital to implement energy efficiency measures, and homestay orders and social distancing practices resulted in the stoppage of retrofitting activities.”

Some companies are raising loans to pay their workers while some are providing a stipend to their workers for training at home. To secure the safety of the energy efficiency sector, many regulators are approving advance cash payments to energy efficiency contractors.

Das added: “In these tough times, the employees of the energy retrofitting sector are facing the fear of unemployment. Once normalcy is restored, the focus of authorities should be to ensure the well being of this sector as it has the potential of bringing about significant energy savings.

“The well-being of the sector is of critical importance. In 2019, 3,736TWh of electricity consumption had taken place in the US. In 2020, it is expected to be 3,750TWh. In a normal scenario, retrofitting helps understand the wastage of electricity in a given sector leading to energy efficiency, which has direct implications of safeguarding the environment. However, in times of crises like this, it ensures a smoother and more stable shift in the load from one sector to another.”

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