Orion Energy Systems was founded in 1996, a startup focused on delivering high-efficiency lighting.
According to founder Neal Verfuerth "his first challenge was to counter the all-too-prevalent conventional wisdom about the energy efficiency of fluorescent systems. Typical prospects, having already progressed from incandescents to high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, do not readily accept Verfuerth's claim of energy savings of 50% or more.Now that must be an example of what Amory Lovins meant when he said, metaphorically, that $10,000 bills are still laying on the floor. Not only with electricity, but also with water and other industrial inputs, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up more of the long green. The more the purchasing department regards something as a commodity, the greater the likelihood that the big savings will come from surprising re-designs.
About five years ago that credibility gap was dramatized as he arrived at a sales call. "As I drove in the parking lot, I met a forklift bearing all my sample fixtures with the driver announcing, ‘There's no meeting today.'"
Fortunately, Verfuerth was able to proceed with the demonstration. The result: "Several months later we won the contracts for all the plants, and today their annual energy savings total $2 million." Those savings reflect both reduced power use by the lighting system as well as reduced air conditioning heat loads.
Here's a snippet from the full Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article (linked below), which is really excellent, and deserves a full read by you green entrepreneurs.
After Bemis Manufacturing Co. replaced all of its lights with Orion's bulbs, the company got a call from the local utility, wondering what had happened - the factory's lighting switch had cut power use in the city of Sheboygan Falls by 8%.
Via::Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, "Businesses seize green initiative" Image credit::Orion, opening graphic