Orion Energy Systems: Kurth receives environmental award for 52 percent power savings in lighting system

For further Information contact:
Dave Cary, Communication Specialist
Orion Energy Systems
[email protected]

Kent Schroeder, president
Kurth Sheet Metal Inc.
Chippewa Falls WI
(715) 723-2211

Kurth Sheet Metal Inc., Chippewa Falls WI has been chosen to receive Orion’s environmental stewardship award for its recent annual 22,061 kWh lighting power reduction — better than 52 percent — that came as a result of a change in plant lighting to a system from Orion.

Environmentally, a power reduction this size means that over the 20-year life of the Orion system, some 430 tons of carbon dioxide, 117 tons of carbon, 1.9 tons of sulfur dioxide and .9 tons of nitrogen oxides will not be released into the atmosphere. It is also the air-scrubbing equivalent of a four-acre forest or removing four cars from the road permanently and is the conservation equivalent of saving 1,821 gallons of gas each year. The move also cut Kurth’s electric bill by a corresponding amount.

“I’d like to think we’re an environment-conscious company,” commented Kurth President Kent Schroeder, who recently succeeded Kurth’s retired owner, Richard Engel. “That’s not just because of the EPA rules for refrigerants and other things — there are a lot of them, and we do things properly — but in anything we do in trying to improve our company, we’re always looking at environmental implications in that part of our business. We appreciate the award very much.”
In the renovation project, Kurth replaced 33 outmoded 400-watt high-intensity discharge lights and two existing fluorescent fixtures in two buildings with 35 Illuminator fixtures from Orion Energy Systems Inc., of Plymouth WI.

“Orion’s is better lighting at half the energy costs,” Engel said. “If we had a momentary power outage we have light back right away – but if they’re hot, the old fixtures would sometimes take ten minutes to come back on. The guys in the shop also said it was easier to work under the Orion lights. It’s nice lighting.”

“Important as they are, the benefits of this project do not end with cost savings, positive environmental impact and a better quality of light,” commented Orion president Neal Verfuerth. “Taking 22,061 kWh off the power grid benefits our economy because it tends to lessen the upward pressure on electric power rates by decreasing the demand – and that is an issue we are all facing.”

These savings are real and permanent,” Verfuerth continued. “This sustainable savings of electrical consumption could serve as a model for other companies, and is especially important for smaller businesses who may not realize they are actually players in a global energy marketplace.”

“But best of all, Kurth didn’t have to give anything up or ‘do without’ to achieve all this. I see nothing but benefits in their move in any direction I look. And that is the way we think things should work.”

Kurth Sheet Metal Inc. has been meeting the heating and air conditioning needs of Chippewa Falls homes and businesses for some 67 years. A Carrier ® dealer, Kurth installs and services HVAC equipment in both new and existing construction, and offers repair work is offered on all makes. Kurth also does special-order decorative fabricating work in copper, stainless steel and aluminum. Visit the Kurth website at http://kurthsheetmetal.com./

Located in Plymouth, WI, Orion Energy Systems has been innovating in the energy and lighting business since 1996. Orion’s innovative Illuminator ® fixture, an energy-efficient lighting platform for industrial applications, has been awarded a series of 14 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Additionally, Orion has applied for numerous other patents related to metering and control technologies for lighting.

Neal Verfuerth, Orion President, received one of Wisconsin’s most prestigious awards, the Ernst & Young 2004 Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year.

Orion provides capacity displacement solutions for supply side management, transmission management, and demand side management for the electricity industry. Visit the Orion website at http://www.oriones.com/.