CES, OES Recognize Environmentally-Friendly Lighting Project At Plant
BY BRIAN CUTSHALL
DIRECTOR OF ONLINE OPERATIONS
Meco Corporation received an Environmental Stewardship Award on Wednesday, in recognition of an environmentally-friendly lighting project that is expected to save the plant approximately $117,000 per year.
Contemporary Energy Solutions (CES) and Orion Energy Systems (OES) presented the honor to plant managers and members of Meco's Cost Savings Team during an informal ceremony at the facility on Industrial Road in Greeneville.
CES had recently replaced more than 1,400 inefficient metal halide and obsolete fluorescent lamps at Meco with 1,200 high-efficiency fluorescent fixtures made by OES, which is headquartered in Wisconsin.
By using less electricity, the maker of furniture and barbecue grills will indirectly remove more than 700 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, said Romano Vlastelica, vice president of Knoxville-based CES.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gases, so the Meco initiative "is equivalent to planting 226 acres of trees annually," Vlastelica said.
Additionally, CES installed motion controls in the Meco warehouse to turn off lights when there is no occupancy for set amounts of time.
"Our employees are well pleased with the new lighting," said Carl Metcalf, operations manager of the Greeneville manufacturing plant.
Mark Proffitt, president of Meco Corporation, added, "This was just a really good opportunity to take advantage of some green technology."
CES had "worked with TVA and Greeneville Light & Power to help Meco apply for and receive a substantial rebate incentive for the project," a news release stated.
"The rebate offset 70 percent of the total system investment, helping Meco realize a return on investment of less than one year," the release continued.
Meco's Cost Saving Team, consisting of about six employees, had studied and recommended the lighting upgrades.
"It's going to be a huge cost savings," team member Karen Duke said.
Meco was founded in 1959, and Operations Manager Metcalf said continuing efforts by his Cost Savings Team would help the company "remain strong -- stronger than ever."