Podcast with Jim Schafer

Rhonda Courtney is the Director of ESCO Business Development at Eco Engineering. Ms. Courtney is based in Opelika, AL and joined Eco Engineering to help expand their energy efficient lighting business on a national platform.

Ms. Courtney brings over 27 years of experience in the Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) and lighting industries. Prior to joining Eco Engineering, Ms. Courtney served as Vice President of Business Development for Energy Focus and the Stones River Companies where she led ESCO market development for the public sector.  She carries strong expertise in the new technologies which characterize today’s lighting design and advanced lighting controls marketplace and has helped her clients save millions of dollars by implementing energy efficient solutions.

 

Chris Lockard, LC
Video Blog Product Review
Acuity – LBK LightBar Kit LED Retrofit System

 

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

 

Living in a new world where in-person interactions have been drastically reduced has forced many companies across various industries to transform their business models more rapidly than one would have ever thought possible six months ago. The pace at which companies have scaled their online commerce platforms, curbside pickup and delivery businesses, and remote working capabilities has shown the technology to make tectonic shifts to the status quo can happen in record time.

With transportation needs shifting because of workers no longer being required to go to an office in a centralized district, the financial strain that will be placed on our cities’ mass transit systems will be huge. Coupled with the fact that many still view mass transit as unsafe because of many people in a small area point to a long recovery before we see crowded subway cars and buses again. Gathering with coworkers for lunch will no longer involve an elevator ride followed by a walk to a nearby restaurant. It will now consist of multiple people getting into their individual cars and meeting somewhere. Other tasks that may have been done on the way home by commuters will be short trips from home and back.

Those alone point to increases in dependence for personal vehicles but when you add in the increased demand for delivery services using light duty vehicles and ride sharing like Uber and Lyft, the potential increase in emissions could be huge. Studies already show that Uber and Lyft generate up to 50% more emissions than if that rider took themselves from point A to point B in their own vehicle. Because of this Lyft recently announced their goal of having 100% of their US “fleet” to be electric by 2030. Traditional delivery services like UPS and Amazon have already placed large orders for electric delivery vehicles however these orders still only represent a small percentage of their overall fleets. Short trips to the grocery store, to lunch, to get a haircut, to go to a place of worship, and the like, are all ideal for being able to say yes to becoming an EV owner.

However, to drive adoption of electric vehicles there needs to be a tremendous increase in charging infrastructure. Germany has recently announced a requirement that all gas stations to install an EV charging station thereby making charging locations equally as convenient as filling up with gasoline or diesel. Germany, also a large adopter of renewable energy, will be able to fulfill this increased electricity demand largely without increasing carbon emissions. In the US, renewable energy investment is projected to top fossil fuel exploration investment for the first time ever. While this is a good start, the amount of future investment needed to meet the goals set forth by many cities, states, and businesses has to keep increasing at a record pace.

The piece that ties this all together though is cost effective energy storage. Being able to build a coast to coast network whereby people don’t suffer “range anxiety” when thinking about taking a trip beyond their local grocery store will require that some charging stations exist in remote locations which may not have the necessary electrical infrastructure today. Also, to ease congestion on the electricity grid it may be necessary to switch between grid supplied power or power stored in batteries (or some other system) to allow for reliability of charging.

We have a once in a generation opportunity to reshape the future of transportation. Policymakers, traditional and non-traditional automakers, the private sector, and utility companies are all headed down this path already. We have proven that what seemed like monumental tasks in other industries where they were happy to settle for incremental change over the next many years was possible to effect step function type change in a matter of months. Global emissions are down leading us to see wildlife in new places, clear water where it had been dirty as long as anyone could remember, vegetation growing where it hadn’t in years and people breathing cleaner air. Let us not let this opportunity to keep a lid on those emissions slip away.

 

Doug Golden

Director of C&I Business Development

Eco Engineering, the largest independent design-build engineering firm in the US energy efficient lighting industry, announced today that it has completed a pro-bono project for the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati, OH valued at over $40,000.

 

(February 27, 2020 Cincinnati, Ohio)  Nearly 100 Eco Engineering employees from locations across the country, including those working in the company headquarters in Cincinnati, volunteered their time to upgrade the lighting system for the Cincinnati-based Freestore Foodbank. Nearly 400 interior and exterior fixtures in the 110,000 square foot Mayerson Distribution Center were either retrofitted or fully replaced with energy efficient LED lighting technology during the all-day project. Freestore Foodbank President & CEO, Kurt Reiber stated,

 

“Eco Engineering is helping to set the tone for our region. As we look to find new ways to not only feed the lines, but also shorten them, we need the business community to continue to work with us on new ways to support our shared mission. Following what is unique to their business, Eco Engineering is helping us save over $12,000 per year by upgrading our lighting at no cost to the Freestore Foodbank. This upgrade reduces our energy costs, makes the facility safer for our employees and partners, and allows us to better support families in the region. The impact of the project is that we will be able to provide 375,000 more meals over the next ten years!”

 

Eco Engineering provides energy efficient lighting upgrade services to both Fortune 1000 firms and Energy Services Companies (ESCOs). The company has a unique profile in that they are a national engineering firm which designs innovative lighting systems to replace the existing lighting infrastructure of major facilities and installs these products and control systems to optimize energy savings. In 2019, the Company implemented more than 250 projects across 46 States, 5 Provinces of Canada, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

 

The Eco Engineering company vision is to be a force for good while valuing employees, delighting customers, supporting communities, and conserving the world’s natural resources. Tom Kirkpatrick, President and CEO of Eco Engineering said:

 

“This project upholds our values to support a community where we live and work, while providing a benefit to our environment that makes us proud. The reduction in energy consumption could be compared to planting 17 acres of trees, removing 19 cars from the road, or saving 8,427 gallons of gasoline each of the next ten years,”

 

 

About Eco Engineering, Inc.

For over 25 years, Eco Engineering has helped its customers reduce operating costs through deployment of more efficient lighting systems. Eco Engineering is a national design-build engineering firm specializing in upgrading large facilities with innovative, energy efficient lighting and lighting controls. Eco Engineering has completed thousands of projects for organizations such as Adidas Group, AT&T, Johnson Controls, and Siemens, among others. Visit www.ecoengineering.com for more information.

 

About Freestore Foodbank

The Freestore Foodbank is the largest emergency food and services provider to children and families in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. The organization distributes 33 million meals annually to low-income individuals and families. The Freestore Foodbank supports 511 community partners in 20 counties throughout Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, including food kitchens, homeless shelters, emergency food pantries, social service centers and program sites. By providing emergency food distribution, the Freestore Foodbank responds to the issue of poverty and food insecurity in our community and provides an array of services (emergency clothing, housing services, SNAP assistance, Medicaid outreach and others) aimed at creating self-reliance. The Freestore Foodbank is a member of Feeding America. Visit www.freestorefoodbank.org for more information or to make a donation.

 

Industry expert to join Eco Engineering as Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives

 

(December 9, 2019 Cincinnati, Ohio) – Eco Engineering, the largest independent design-build engineering firm in the US energy efficient lighting industry, announced today that industry veteran Frank Agraz has joined the Company as Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and a member of its leadership team.

 

Since 1993, Frank has been active in the lighting industry in a variety of engineering and business development roles. He has worked with companies such as Amtech Lighting, MetalOptics, Honeywell, and Aqualine Resources. Frank also co-founded and served as Executive Vice President of Maneri-Agraz Enterprises, a turnkey lighting services company, for 10 years prior to its sale to OSRAM Sylvania where Frank served throughout its transformation to SLS Energy Solutions, a WESCO business. Frank has been an active member of Illuminating Engineering Society and a frequent speaker on a range of lighting design topics.

 

In his new role at Eco Engineering, Frank will be focused initially on optimizing the Company’s core processes with primary focus on its auditing and engineering processes. He will also lead the Company’s efforts in maximizing its use of tools and technology in support of its processes. Frank will continue to be a visible spokesperson on the trends and best applications of lighting technology in the marketplace.

 

“The addition of Frank Agraz is an important step in the continued plan for Eco Engineering to be a leading provider of energy efficient lighting and lighting controls services to companies in North America,” stated Tom Kirkpatrick, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eco Engineering.  “The opportunities to deploy properly designed lighting technology that also generates maximum energy savings across large facilities and exterior settings are endless.  Having Frank on the Eco Engineering leadership team strengthens our ability to deliver superior services to our customers.”

 

Eco Engineering provides energy efficient lighting services to both Fortune 1000 firms and energy service companies (ESCOs). The company has a distinctive profile in that they are an engineering and design firm which comprehensively audits the existing lighting infrastructure, designs replacement systems best suited for the facility, performs all project implementation phases including product supply, and follows EPA compliant disposal services. In addition, the firm helps clients qualify for federal, state or local utility incentives to reduce project expense and boost return-on-investment.

 

Eco Engineering completed over 135 projects in 2018 involving commercial office buildings, industrial facilities, schools, municipal buildings, retail stores, hospitals, hotels and distribution centers. The combined impact of these projects was a reduction of 85 million kilowatts of electricity per year and more than $8 million in annual energy savings for Eco Engineering customers. The company has been growing rapidly in recent years and expects continued double-digit growth as more and more businesses recognize the importance of sustainability and the huge potential for saving money on their electric bills.

 

About Eco Engineering

For more than 25 years, Eco Engineering has helped its customers reduce operating costs through increased energy savings while playing a part in preserving the environment for generations to come. Eco Engineering is a national design build engineering firm which specializes in providing energy efficient lighting and lighting controls upgrades in large facilities. Eco Engineering has completed thousands of projects for customers such as Adidas Group, AT&T, Johnson Controls, Kroger, Performance Services, Siemens among others. Visit www.ecoengineering.com for more information.

 

 

Strategic acquisition expands Eco Engineering’s expertise in the movie theatre customer segment

(April 23, 2019 Cincinnati, Ohio) – Eco Engineering, the largest independent design and build engineering firm in the US energy efficient lighting industry, announced today that it has successfully completed the acquisition of InVision Technologies, Inc, a lighting services firm headquartered in Coppell, Texas. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

InVision Technologies, Inc. was founded in 2014 to provide lighting design, upgrade services, and product supply to commercial entities across the United States. The company, under the leadership of founder Kent Hafemann, developed a deep understanding of lighting products pricing structures and global sources. This understanding, combined with Kent’s expertise in sales, design, lighting/fixture specification, project installation services, and distribution operations formed the bedrock of InVision Technologies, Inc.

Eco Engineering has executed an asset purchase agreement with InVision Technologies which includes the absorption of specific personnel and lighting contracts with customers. The acquisition gives Eco Engineering increased capacity and specialized skills to offer expanded lighting services for its customers in the Fortune 1000 commercial and industrial segment, particularly in the movie theatre and cinema market. In addition, the acquisition provides additional resources to support its growing number of projects in the Texas region.

“Eco Engineering remains committed to helping our customers reduce their energy operating costs while making a positive impact on the environment,” said Tom Kirkpatrick, Eco Engineering President and CEO. “The acquisition of InVision Technologies strengthens our ability to better serve the commercial and industrial markets.” Kirkpatrick added that “continued advances in LED lighting technology and advanced lighting control systems provide opportunities for up to 75% reduction in energy required to operate lighting systems.”

“Joining forces with Eco Engineering provides InVision Technologies customers additional capabilities,” said Kent Hafemann, CEO of InVision Technologies, who becomes Senior National Accounts Executive for Eco Engineering following the acquisition. “Our combination immediately adds increased purchasing power and expanded manpower, which translates into an even stronger value proposition going forward. With the entire InVision team now part of Eco Engineering, we look forward to having a wider and deeper ability to meet customer needs.”

Eco Engineering provides energy efficient lighting services to both Fortune 1000 firms and energy service companies (ESCOs). The company has a distinctive profile in that they are an engineering and design firm which comprehensively audits the existing lighting infrastructure, designs replacement systems best suited for the facility, performs all project implementation phases including product supply, and follows EPA compliant disposal services. In addition, the firm helps clients qualify for federal, state or local utility incentives to reduce project expense and boost return-on-investment.

Eco Engineering completed over 135 projects in 2018 involving commercial office buildings, industrial facilities, schools, municipal buildings, retail stores, hospitals, hotels and distribution centers. The combined impact of these projects was a reduction of 85 million kilowatts of electricity per year and more than $8 million in annual energy savings for Eco Engineering customers. The company has been growing rapidly in recent years and expects continued double-digit growth as more and more businesses recognize the importance of sustainability and the huge potential for saving money on their electric bills.

About Eco Engineering
For more than 25 years, Eco Engineering has helped its customers reduce operating costs through increased energy savings while playing a part in preserving the environment for generations to come. Eco Engineering is a national design build engineering firm which specializes in providing energy efficient lighting and lighting controls upgrades in large facilities. Eco Engineering has completed thousands of projects for customers such as Adidas Group, AT&T, Johnson Controls, Kroger, Performance Services, Siemens among others.

Eco Engineering wins top honors in the 100+ employee privately-held category at the 18th Annual Family & Private Business Awards
Cincinnati, Ohio – September 15, 2017 – Eco Engineering, the largest independent design and build engineering firm in the US energy efficient lighting industry, was awarded the top honor as the region’s best privately-owned company (100+ employees) at the annual Goering Center awards ceremony.

Read more

Eco Engineering was named one of the fastest growing private companies in the Greater Cincinnati area by the Cincinnati Business Courier for the second straight year. An energy efficient lighting upgrade services provider, Eco Engineering designs, implements, and manages large scale projects for its Fortune 1000 and energy services company (ESCO) clients across North America. The Cincinnati Business Courier recognized Eco Engineering’s most recent +70% two year growth in its annual Fast 55 ranking of the firms with the greatest two year revenue increase.
Read more

Sustained growth in the municipal, state, federal, K-12 and university market segments prompts new affiliation with national trade association

(May 3, 2017 Cincinnati, Ohio) – Eco Engineering, the largest independent design and build engineering firm in the US energy efficient lighting industry, announced today that it has joined the National Association of Energy Services Companies (NAESCO). Rhonda Courtney, Eco Engineering’s Director of ESCO Business Development, will continue as Chairperson of the Affiliate Advisory Committee for NAESCO. Read more