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Sutherland Lumber Company wins environmental award

When Sutherland Lumber Company moved into what was previously a 94,900 square foot Walmart building in Raytown, Mo., there were more than1,000 light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, according to Innovative Facilities Solutions sales manager Wayne Schmidt.

After an energy-efficient retrofit project reduced thenumber of fluorescent fixtures to 420, Sutherland received an EnvironmentalStewardship Award from Wisconsin-based power technology company Orion Energy Systems.

The project, carried out by Orion partner Innovative Facilities Solutions, is expected to save the Raytown Sutherland store $32,000 annually in electricity costs and projects to save 376,468 kWh each year. The return on investment for Sutherland is a little more than two years, after which time the savings will become pure profit.

Orion presents ESAs to companies that significantly save energy through lighting retrofit projects like the one Sutherland chose.

“As a family owned company, we are focused on customer care, product selection and employee satisfaction,” said Sutherland store manager Mike Weber. “By replacing the lighting in our store, we have not only created a better shopping and working environment, but are reducing our utility bills and our carbon footprint. We are always mindful of our impact on the environment.”

“We are very pleased about the reduced energy,” added Bob Harmes, assistant manager at the Raytown store. “We try to reduce our footprint while also saving money. Anything to help the environment, while also helping our bottom line.”

Schmidt said despite the significant reduction of light fixtures, the Sutherland store is “much brighter” than it was before the project.

“And the cost to operate them is significantly less,” Schmidt said.

“They’re great,” said Harmes of the lights. “We’re very pleased. The lights are very bright and inviting, and we receive a lot of positive comments about them.”

Sutherland Lumber Company Raytown store manager Mike Weber, left; Sutherland’s head buyer Vern Anderson, center; and Wayne Schmidt, sales manager at Innovative Facilities Solutions pose with the Orion Energy Systems Environmental Stewardship Award plaque. The ESA was presented on March 31 during the Sutherland store’s grand opening.

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