Research Assistant, Local Policy Program

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Closing Date: 
Fri, 06/22/2018

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a leading national research organization based in Washington, D.C., seeks a qualified research assistant for its Local Policy program. ACEEE is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1980 that acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. 

ACEEE’s organizational culture is collaborative and team-oriented with a strong commitment to its mission. Staff work at an energetic pace within a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment with an emphasis on professional growth and development. There is a high degree of workplace flexibility, with focus on results, making ACEEE an enjoyable and fulfilling place to work. 

Position Description:

ACEEE seeks an entry-level research assistant to focus on local energy efficiency policy. The position provides a balance of research, analysis, and program support on a broad range of issues related to energy efficiency in local communities, often coordinating with the State and Utility Policy programs. This is an exciting position for someone looking to have real world impact in improving the efficiency of local communities and advancing programs and policies that encourage greater uptake of energy efficiency improvements.

The research assistant will have a variety of research opportunities working with a well-respected and widely recognized team of local policy experts and collaborating with other programs across a dynamic organization. Energy efficiency policy issues within the scope of the position include those related to buildings, transportation, affordable multifamily housing, low-income communities, and utility ratepayer-funded programs, among others. ACEEE’s local policy work also emphasizes issues of local job creation, community development, environmental justice, and the environmental health benefits of energy efficiency. 

The core responsibilities of the position include:

  • Co-authoring and assisting in the management of ACEEE’s City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which provides peer comparisons among US cities on energy efficiency policy and performance metrics, and updating the companion local policy database
  • Performing research and supporting technical assistance efforts for local governments and other community partners, and other local implementation partners, such as energy utilities
  • Tracking local energy efficiency policy developments
  • Supporting peer groups of utilities and local governments to help them advance energy efficiency in their communities, especially among low-income households
  • Coordinating with other ACEEE subject-matter experts
  • Providing administrative support to local policy program staff including data collection, data entry, and meeting logistics

The research assistant will work on projects of high visibility and credibility in the energy efficiency, technology, and policy communities. The position offers unmatched access to national authorities in energy efficiency, as well as an opportunity to develop expertise and experience on one or more energy efficiency topics related to local policy.

Expectations and Responsibilities:

  • Highly analytical and attentive to details. The assistant will conduct research dealing with complex quantitative and qualitative data; good spreadsheet analysis skills are essential.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills. The assistant will contribute to detailed research reports, white papers, fact sheets, and regulatory comments, and to presentation materials including formal presentations, webinars, and blog posts.
  • Organizational and project coordination skills. The position requires skills in coordinating work on complex, long-term projects. The assistant should also be able to balance multiple projects and deadlines.
  • Strong social skills. He/she will coordinate and collaborate with numerous ACEEE staff members on cross-cutting research projects as well as external colleagues and partners.
  • Highly motivated, self-starter. The assistant must show initiative and be able to work independently.
  • Tech-savvy and quick learner. The assistant will need to consult with other ACEEE staff to stay apprised of energy efficiency policies and programs. The assistant will also supply content to pages on ACEEE’s website and the Local Policy Database.



  • Bachelor’s degree in social, political, or natural sciences
  • Rigorous coursework in public policy analysis, environmental justice, urban planning, energy policy, affordable housing policy, and/or economics
  • Interest in cities and local policy

Strongly preferred:

  • Experience with, or sound knowledge of, energy efficiency
  • Demonstrated passion for clean energy, environmental issues, and/or engaging with local policymakers

Preferred start date: on or about July 1, 2018, based in Washington, DC  

Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience, and includes ACEEE’s generous benefits package which includes health, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage; a 403(b) retirement plan; transportation benefits; three weeks of vacation in the first year and four weeks thereafter.  

To apply: Send cover letter, resume, and brief (1-2 pages) writing sample to and use “Local Policy Research Assistant” in the subject line. We do not accept phone calls.

ACEEE is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination with regard to race, sex, color, age, religion, creed, class, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability.