Orion Energy Systems: Barrett: Innovation, like that of Orion Energy Systems, needed to boost economy

Barrett’s visit to Orion marks first stop in Northeast Wisconsin as candidate for governor

MANITOWOC, Wis. — Jan. 20, 2010 — Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett said today at Orion Energy Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OESX) that his No. 1 priority as governor would be the creation of quality jobs.

Barrett’s visit to Orion was his first to Northeast Wisconsin as a candidate for the state’s top post. The stop was part of Barrett’s Wisconsin Jobs Tour, where he visited companies in LaCrosse, Wausau, Eau Claire and Sheboygan.

“I wanted to travel the state looking at companies that exemplify the best of Wisconsin,” Barrett said. “And Orion is at the top of this list.”

Orion Energy Systems, based in Manitowoc, is a leading power technology enterprise that designs, manufactures and deploys energy management systems consisting primarily of high-performance, energy-efficient lighting platforms, intelligent wireless control systems and direct renewable solar technology for commercial and industrial customers.

In order to reverse the current economic downturn statewide, Barrett said Wisconsin will “have to be smart. We have to be innovative. And we have to create jobs.”

“There are companies like Orion that are light years ahead, who understand what you have to do to pull yourself out of this downturn,” Barrett said. “You have to be innovative, proactive and aggressive. And that’s what we have to do as a state.

“People want government to focus on creating jobs. People are scared and concerned economically. We need more jobs that can help people take care of their families.”

Barrett praised Orion for providing technology that helps improve the environment and reduces its customers’ energy costs by more than $710 million since 2001.

“The way we’re going to come out of this economic downturn is by emulating companies like Orion,” Barrett said.

Since 1996, Orion has created approximately 250 green manufacturing and blue-collar jobs for workers in eastern Wisconsin and has supported thousands of construction jobs for roofers and electricians. Orion feels strongly about creating jobs in Wisconsin. In 2004, when many companies were moving manufacturing operations overseas, Orion bought a 266,000-square-foot facility in Manitowoc, providing jobs for many workers laid-off by the pots and pans maker Mirro, which moved operations to Mexico.

“Creating quality jobs for workers in Wisconsin has always been a focus of Orion — not only at our facilities in Manitowoc, but for those installing our technology statewide,” said Orion’s Chief Executive Officer Neal Verfuerth. “Our dedication to creating innovative technology will help create more jobs, help improve the environment and save our customers money, which in turn will help our ailing economy recover.”

Currently, Barrett serves as Milwaukee’s mayor. Prior to his current position, Barrett held positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, state Senate and state Assembly.

A video of today’s event can be seen at http://www.oriones.com/tom_barrett_visits_orion.php

Orion has deployed its energy management systems in 5,082 facilities across North America, including 120 of the Fortune 500 companies. Since 2001, Orion technology has displaced more than 477 megawatts, saving customers more than $710 million and reducing indirect carbon dioxide emissions by 6.1 million tons.

Orion Energy Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OESX) is a leading power technology enterprise that designs, manufactures and implements energy management systems, consisting primarily of high-performance, energy-efficient lighting platforms, intelligent wireless control systems and direct renewable solar technology for commercial and industrial customers without compromising their operations. For more information, visit http://www.oesx.com.

Media Contact

Linda Diedrich

Vice President Corporate Communications

(920) 482-1988

[email protected]