Green energy manufacturing jobs are getting a boost in Louisville, Kentucky with General Electric’s $600 million investment in their 900-acre Appliance Park. GE has added three energy efficient product lines including energy efficient water heaters, clothes driers, and dishwashers as part of the retrofit. Factory improvements were also paid in part with $24.8 million in federal stimulus dollars from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
The new energy efficient water heater utilizes 62 percent less energy than conventional water heaters and is estimated to save the average household $320 per year. According to the White House, which highlighted the project as an example of good green manufacturing, the energy efficient water heaters being produced here are the first new product line in Appliance Park in almost 50 years. GE projects that they will add about 800 new green manufacturing jobs in Louisville through 2013.
The hope is that even though these energy efficient appliances will cost more than typical energy-sucking appliances, government energy rebates (also through federal stimulus dollars) will help offset the cost for the average American family. Whether it’s due to the energy rebates or just more people interested in energy efficiency, GE reports that sales on these appliances are rising. Our hope (fingers crossed, folks) is that supply and demand kicks in – i.e. more people buying helps bring the cost down so that energy efficient appliance adoption won’t be dependent on government subsidies.