WASHINGTON, D.C. – Pittsburgh businessman Richard W. Taylor, CEO of Imbue Technology Solutions, Inc., (ImbuTec), today told the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that a proposed bill to cap carbon emissions that are blamed for climate change would have a significant, positive effect on job creation in his industry and many others located in western Pennsylvania.
“A policy shift encouraging reductions in carbon emissions will create jobs in this business because one of the simplest ways to reduce carbon emissions is to reduce demand for electricity,” Taylor testified to the committee during a hearing on the cap and trade idea. “The light emitting diode, or LED, lighting products ImbuTec distributes and installs require, on average, 80% less energy to produce the same level of light as conventional lighting sources.”
By dramatically reducing the amount of energy needed to accomplish the same task, there is less demand for electric generators to meet, Taylor said. “The electricity that is required to power lighting is the most constant energy load in commercial buildings, often greater than heating, ventilating, and cooling demands, and reducing that energy load with LED lighting sources will have a significant impact on overall energy demands.”
Taylor said this will lead to significant energy cost savings for businesses, with companies often able to see a payback in their LED lighting investment in just five or six years.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is gathering information on a proposal that would cap the amount of harmful carbon emissions large emitters, such as power plants and certain industries, can put into the air. This cap would then be lowered over time, reducing pollution. Companies would be able to choose the most cost effective method for them to reduce emissions, either by installing technology to directly cut their carbon output, or by purchasing “allowances” from other companies which are under their target. Either way pollution is reduced, but this market-based system helps cut expenses for businesses and consumers.
“As companies look to cut energy costs, and utilities and other large emitters look to cut energy generation and thus carbon emissions, there will be more demand for LED lighting products. That means ImbuTec will hire more skilled electricians and electrical subcontractors to make sure the work is done right,” Taylor said.
But, Taylor told senators the job increases won’t be confined to his company or industry sector alone. ImbuTec contracts exclusively with another western Pennsylvania firm, Appalachian Lighting Systems, Inc., of Ellwood City, Lawrence County, because of Appalachian’s superior quality products.
“So, as we find more customers who want LED lighting fixtures installed, we will need more of the fixtures from Appalachian. That means they will create more manufacturing jobs in western Pennsylvania,” Taylor said.
But, the job creation doesn’t stop there, either. Appalachian purchases supplies from ten companies in six states, including Illinois, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. “As demand for Appalachian’s products grows, so will the need for not just Appalachian, but all of its suppliers, to hire more skilled workers to produce the components and assemble the finished products,” Taylor testified.
The significant cost savings businesses can reap using the LED lighting fixtures will also figure into the increasing demand and job creation throughout the supply chain. Taylor pointed to two examples of this.
“The Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh recently converted lighting in the prison pods, parking garage, and recreational areas to LED fixtures, and has realized a reduction of 83% in energy consumption to light those areas,” Taylor said. “While this project cost $954,000, the annual savings are projected to be $178,000, meaning county taxpayers will see a return on investment in just over five years, and reap the savings every year thereafter.” Taylor noted the fixtures have a maintenance free expected life of 20 to 25 years.
Taylor also said the borough of Ellwood City, home to Appalachian Lighting, converted 135 of its street lights to LED fixtures two and a half years ago, and is seeing a savings of greater than 80%.
“For many years now, debates have raged about how advances in environmental policy result in greater domestic job losses. As it relates to LED lighting fixture technology, this old construct does not hold,” Taylor told senators. “Limits on carbon emissions will create additional demand for energy efficient technology solutions, and will create more customers for ImbuTec and Appalachian. This will spur investment and job creation in the manufacturing supply chains for our products, as well as in the skilled trades that deploy them.”