published Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Company helps businesses cut energy consumption

by Brittany Cofer
  • photo
    Contributed Photo Steve O'Neil, owner of Applied Energy Conservation Systems, gathers name plate information from a motor control panel during a recent energy audit at Baylor School. O'Neil's company focuses on making small-scale energy efficiency upgrades that have a payback for businesses.

* What: Energy conservation equipment installation and auditing services for commercial and industrial clients, providing a way to reduce electricity dependence.

* Company: Applied Energy Conservation Systems

* Location: 3914 St. Elmo Ave. Suite J;

* How it's green: Though clients won't see a 50 percent reduction in their electricity costs, they will be able to get a 10 percent to 20 percent kilowatt hour savings in about a three- to four-year payback with most upgrades, said the company's President Steve O'Neil. "Efficiency is really doing the same job with less electricity, so we don't have to reinvent a lot of things," he said. "We just try to make their equipment more efficient."

* How long will it last? Most upgrades or retrofits last between 10 and 20 years.

* Why do it this way? O'Neil said he wants to be able to provide businesses a way to make intelligent decisions regarding practical and economical ways to reduce their reliance on electricity.

* Plans for expanding: The company is a small operation, but with future collaborative efforts with other local businesses, O'Neil said he'll be able to "offer a broader menu of services."

* Is environmentalism an essential part of the business and why? Though the goal is to reduce energy consumption, O'Neil said financial feasibility is also key. "If it doesn't make sense economically, we can't do it," he said. "The feel-good aspect of doing the right thing is a bonus to the economic driver."

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about Brittany Cofer...

Brittany Cofer is a business reporter who has been with the Chattanooga Times Free Press since January 2010. She previously worked as a general assignment Metro reporter. In the Business department, she covers banking, retail, tourism, consumer issues and green issues. Brittany is from Conyers, Ga., and spent two years at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., before transferring to the University of Georgia. She graduated from the university’s Grady College of Journalism in December ...

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