An energy efficiency program in Rhode Island has resulted in the creation of 529 jobs while helping businesses and homes across the state lower their overall energy expenditures. The program, which has a budget of $83 million, was the subject of a report published by National Grid, Rhode Island's main utility company. The company stated that the program has a $27 million payroll, and that each of the jobs it created resulted in an annual income of $51,410.
A recent story in the Providence Journal highlights the efficiency improvement project undertaken by Citizens Bank, which has been replacing the lighting in all of its branches with more efficient bulbs. Each bank is enjoying about $5,000 in annual savings from lower electricity costs. That's not much for each facility, but if you add up the bank's hundreds of branches, it amounts to several million dollars a year.
"For more than 25 years Rhode Island has led the way in creating innovative energy-efficiency programs that have cut our customers' energy costs and benefited our environment," Timothy F. Horan, president of National Grid in Rhode Island, said in a statement. "Now we have data to prove energy efficiency is helping to drive the state's economy."
In the grand scheme of things, the Rhode Island program only amounts to a small part of what is needed to make the country more efficient. But as communities hear more about these types of projects and programs and mimic them, it could lead to improvements on a macro scale that would have a major impact on the environment.