Polyiso Plant Tours Highlight Its Contribution to Responsible Energy Use and the Job Market

Two members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly from Westmoreland County have taken the opportunity to tour a polyiso manufacturing facility to learn about the impact of the insulation industry on the state. Representative Eric Nelson and, a few days later, Senator Kim Ward toured the Firestone Building Products plant in Youngwood, Pa.

“It’s great to see manufacturing here in our back yard,” says Representative Nelson. “The Firestone plant is an impressive facility!”

The visits were part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness among state legislators about the benefits that polyiso manufacturers bring to Pennsylvania communities and to discuss the challenges now facing America’s manufacturing sector. Both visits included an overview of the polyiso manufacturing process, a summary of product usage, and information about the importance of the insulation industry within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Westmoreland County.

“It is inspiring to watch skilled workers and advanced machinery turn raw materials into a product that is helping American companies decrease their energy costs and improve the resilience of their buildings,” says Justin Koscher, president of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA). “The cost savings and employment these products provide make them contributors to the economic health of Pennsylvania. PIMA is proud to showcase our manufacturers’ impact on local communities and highlight the resource polyiso insulation represents for improving building energy efficiency in Pennsylvania.”

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that more than 62,000 jobs in Pennsylvania are generated by the energy efficiency industry, surpassing the total number of jobs generated from the coal, natural gas, petroleum and corn ethanol industries combined. Insulation-related companies with facilities in Pennsylvania such as PIMA members – Atlas Roofing Corp.; Carlisle Construction Materials; Covestro; Evonik; Firestone Building Products and Johns Manville – bring more than 14,000 total jobs to the state.

“At a time when we hear so much about energy efficiency and preparing for the effects of severe weather events, it is so important to support the industries that are poised to help us safeguard our homes and workplaces from unanticipated changes in energy costs and unpredictable weather events,” adds Koscher. “One step toward resiliency is for states to adopt modern building energy codes. Pennsylvania is several cycles behind its neighboring states in updating its building codes that promote the use of advanced building products and construction practices. Visits from leaders like Senator Ward and Representative Nelson help showcase how Pennsylvania can pursue policies that would improve its energy efficiency trajectory, to the benefit of both the environment and the economy.”

Along with its role in boosting the economy through lower energy usage, insulation has become a driver of American prosperity. Across the country, the industry produces 400,000 jobs and $20 billion in payrolls. Economic activity from insulation manufacturing contributes $1.1 billion to state and local governments and $1.9 billion in federal tax revenues. The success of the insulation industry is vital to the welfare of the country.

Polyiso is an important part of that success. Polyiso benefits:

  • Made in the U.S. – there are more than 40 U.S. manufacturing plants that make polyiso and the raw materials used in its production
  • Thermal performance (high R-value) per inch of thickness
  • Recycled content (amount varies by product)
  • Recyclable through reuse
  • Zero ozone depletion potential
  • Virtually no global warming potential

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