Washington state has been forced to scramble to find more than 40,000 new and refurbished electric appliances a month as it struggles to keep up with demand, according to a new report by a trade group.
The electric appliance market is one of the fastest growing in the country, and Washington state ranks No. 1 for the number of electric appliances sold in a given month, according the Association of Washington State Electrical Installers.
The market has seen a surge in new entrants as the number and cost of electric appliance products have increased dramatically.
And it is an area where many businesses have found themselves out of work.
In fact, Washington’s electric-powered appliance market has become a major drag on the state economy, with jobs lost in the industry estimated at more than 1,400,000, according a December report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The report estimated the state lost nearly $6 billion in revenue due to the electric appliance industry over the last two years.
The association’s latest report, released Tuesday, highlighted the state as the “world leader” in the electric-related industry, but also noted that Washington State’s overall electrical supply chain could be in danger.
The electric appliance manufacturing industry employs nearly 200,000 people, the report said, and more than half of those are located in the Seattle area.
The group’s report, however, did not detail how it came to its conclusion that the electric industry is the “leading driver” of the states supply chain.
The state’s power supply is in some ways more precarious than that of many other states, with electric utilities working on behalf of a vast array of power companies.
Many states require utilities to buy their electricity from a power supplier.
In Washington, that has become increasingly difficult, the group noted.
Some utilities have been forced into bankruptcy, while others have lost thousands of jobs.
The problem is that there are no laws protecting the public, the association said.
The latest report comes on the heels of a similar report from an independent consulting firm that concluded that the state had a “major energy supply chain” problem.
In a recent report, the firm said the state is “overinvesting in renewable energy and not investing enough in the energy infrastructure to meet energy needs.”