Orion Energy Services: Energy reduction earns environmental award for Weyco Group from Orion Energy Services

For further Information contact:


Dave Cary, Communication Specialist

Orion Energy Services

1204 Pilgrim Rd.

Plymouth WI 53073

(920) 892-2935

[email protected]


Dick Stone, Facilities Manager

Weyco Group, Inc.

333 W Estabrook Blvd.

Glendale, WI 53212

(414) 908-1693

[email protected]



Energy reduction earns environmental award

for Weyco Group from Orion Energy Services


The environmental benefits stemming from a welcome 52 percent reduction in the amount of electric power used to illuminate its two Milwaukee distribution centers has earned Orion’s Environmental Stewardship Award for the Weyco Group. The power reduction benefits the environment because power reduced does not have to be generated at all, which means specific amounts of pollutants do not enter the atmosphere.


Weyco replaced 429 400W high-intensity discharge (HID) lights with 429 6-tube 224-watt Illuminator fixtures from Orion Energy Services of Plymouth. Power usage fell, as a result, from 674,399 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually to 324,872 — a 52 percent power and lighting energy cost reduction of 349,527 kWh.


This reduction, according to figures developed by the federal EPA, will also mean that each year 341 tons of carbon dioxide, 93 tons of carbon, 1.5 tons of sulfur dioxide and seven-tenths tons of nitrogen oxides — all ‘greenhouse gas’ pollutants — will not enter the atmosphere.


The reduction is also the air-scrubbing equivalent of a 64-acre forest or removing 56 cars permanently from the road, and is the conservation equivalent of saving 28,854 gallons of gasoline each year.


As a result, the Weyco Group has earned Orion’s Environmental Stewardship Award. Orion presents this award to companies who provide significant environmental benefits through use of Orion products on the general idea that since a substantial segment of the public seems to feel business and industry are indifferent to environmental issues — which Orion feels is not accurate — it seems fitting to call attention when the opposite is provably the case.


“We appreciate being selected for the award,” said Facilities Manager Dick Stone. “I would say Weyco is environmentally aware. Being a straight distribution center, of course we don’t have to deal with discharges or emissions, but we recycle all our used cardboard and recycle our scrap office paper, which is put in special hampers. We also recycle old light bulbs and computers and things like that. What does go out as straight garbage is exactly that — garbage that no one could really use.


Stone said the lighting makeover came about after an Orion representative called on Weyco “… and offered to do a survey of our lighting needs and situation. One thing led to another, and we were going to put in a new section for our Quality Control area anyway, so that was where we started. From there, we decided to replace all the HID lighting both in both buildings with Orion products. It all fell in line.”


Stone said the change had been well received throughout the facilities. “As far as I know everyone is fine with the change,” he said. “We have plenty of light and I haven’t heard a word of complaint from company employees. Although I don’t check the bills myself, I understand we are saving a considerable amount — saving money, saving energy, that’s the name of the game.”


Weyco’s savings and the related environmental benefits are possible because Orion Illuminator ™ fixtures have been engineered to use a specially formed, highly reflective surface to ‘harvest’ light emitted from all sides of a fluorescent tube and direct it downward. As a result, an Illuminator™ fixture typically gives half again as much light at half the operating cost of metal halide lighting or two-thirds the cost of older fluorescents.


The Illuminator ™ fixture is used with T8 full-spectrum fluorescent tubes and electronic ballasts. As a result, Orion systems turn on instantly, provide a more natural type of light, and operate at a relatively cool 110 degrees F.


The Illuminator ™ fixture has helped Orion Energy Services win several awards, including the 2004 Wisconsin Partners for Clean Air Award, given by the Wisconsin DNR, and the 2002 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Grand Award, given by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Association It also helped earn for Orion president Neal Verfuerth the 2004 Ernst & Young Wisconsin manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year award and a Small Business Times’ Bravo! Entrepreneur award in 2005.


“Of course we like to see companies benefit through using our products,” commented Orion president Neal Verfuerth. “What makes this especially nice is that there are quite a few sides to the benefits involved, with really no downsides. Weyco benefits from substantial financial savings every minute their lights are on, and their employees seem to like the change. We benefited because our products were used.”


“And obviously, all of us benefit from the environmental pluses of the project. But we also benefit because Weyco took a substantial chunk of power off the grid; that tends to reduce the upward pressure that exists on electric power and energy pricing — and that’s an issue we’re all facing.”


“We congratulate Weyco group on this many-faceted achievement.”


The Weyco Group designs and markets moderately priced and better-grade men’s branded footwear for casual, fashion and dress lifestyles. The principal brands of shoes sold by the Company are Florsheim, Nunn Bush, Nunn Bush NXXT, Brass Boot, Stacy Adams and SAO by Stacy Adams. Customers include some of the nation’s largest and most successful department store chains, shoe store chains, specialty stores, and shoe boutiques. The company also operates 30 retail stores in the U.S.and three in Europe. Visit the Weyco website at http://www.weycogroup.com/


Orion Energy Services, Plymouth WI, manufactures and markets energy efficient lighting solutions for the manufacturing, distribution center, warehousing, commercial, school, and gymnasium markets. Orion provides capacity displacement solutions for supply side management, transmission management, and demand side management for the electricity industry. Neal Verfuerth, Orion President, received one of Wisconsin’s most prestigious awards, the Ernst & Young 2004 Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year, and Orion has won numerous awards as a company. For more information, visit www.oriones.com.


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