The History of Metro Lighting’s Energy Efficiency Program

By Nick Frisella

Working for a family business has its benefits and challenges. Growing up I worked in the warehouse sweeping floors and putting away stock during summer breaks. After college I quickly realized how hard it is to make it in the world and decided to return to the family business. Upon my return one of the biggest problems I faced was how to make my mark within the family business. After a few years of learning each aspect of the business it became obvious I needed to create a place for myself or leave the family business. Around this time LED technology was the direction our industry was headed. In 2006 I refocused my efforts at Metro Lighting to include one of my passions: environmental protection. What an opportunity this presented! I could help people reduce their environmental impact, save them money, and create a new source of income for our business. At first my coworkers may have thought I was just some crazy hippy. But I kept working with ENERGY STAR, Ameren Missouri, LED manufactures, and local environment advocates developing relationships. After cultivating those relationships I promoted programs that would allow Metro Lighting to help Missouri residents and business save money and reduce electrical consumption.

In 2009 I applied for ENERGY STAR’s award for “Excellence.” I remember distinctly a coworker saying, “Why are you wasting your time on something that we will never win?” Five national ENERGY STAR “Excellence” awards later I am grateful they said that to me. It was a driving force to prove them wrong. It brought our locally owned business national attention. Last year Metro won ENERGY STAR’s national “Climate Communicator” award. I am especially proud of this award. In 2013 Metro was named a Platinum Trade Ally which indicates we are a top performer in the program. The following year Metro won Ameren’s BizSavers award for “Top Performing Regional Electrical Distributor.”

Sometimes you need someone to tell you it cannot be done to motivate you. I didn’t do this myself; it took our entire company to become a leader in our industry. Metro saves our customers more than 20,000,000 kWh of electricity annually which is equivalent to the electrical use of 1897 homes. That is an annual savings to our customers of over $1,200,000!

Check out my blog about Energy Efficiency at metrolighting.wordpress.com. And come visit us at one of our seven locations and let us help you start saving energy. www.metrolightingcenters.com.