Sustainability business on the grow in Ohio

OGW Energy Resources, a provider of sustainable energy solutions based in Tipp City, has served a growing number of clients in the Dayton area who are looking for sustainable energy upgrades.

It has quickly broken into the sustainability sphere, locally and across the state, said Kevin Mader, vice president of sales and marketing. For clients, these kinds of investments can mean significant cost savings.

A number of local entities have enjoyed the benefits from the sustainable construction boom — ranging from Dayton-based Advanced Machinery to Valicor Oil in Cincinnati and Tipp City's Schroeder Tennis Center.

Advanced Machinery, a dealer of machine and service equipment, installed new light fixtures in its 36,000-square-foot facility in a layout reducing its fixtures from 550 to 270. In the process it says it saved over $4,700 a year — and received a $13,500 rebate from the project. In a statement, company president Pete Schinaman said the design also significantly improved the quality of the light.

And Valicor Oil has seen a major cost savings thanks to a $43,000 project to retrofit lighting in one of its facilities. Dave Emrick, project manager at Valicor, said the company's efforts in recycling used oil made it a natural decision to invest in sustainable technology. The company invested in $40,000 in lighting overhaul — which has returned that much in energy savings since it was completed a year ago. "For us to be about sustainability, it makes sense to invest in this," Emrick said. "It's meant a big change to us as a for-profit business." And such efficiencies mean it's cheaper to do business, with the cost savings on energy covering the cost of the upgrades after a long enough time.

"The technology out there now means light will last six or seven years, compared to the one- or two-years before," said Bud Schroeder, who runs Schroeder Tennis Center in Tipp City. His business invested $12,000 in lighting upgrades and he says he is saving several thousand a year on energy savings.

The boom has seen demand for a litany of sustainability improvements — from more efficient lighting systems to solar panels and more airtight buildings, all of which mean lowered costs for businesses. "It's an increasingly common part of the construction side," said OGW President Raymond Davis. "We see companies looking at ways to reduce the energy usage, even as the standards for efficiency have changed."