In Missouri, Christian values guide energy efficiency company’s growth

One of One3 LED’s most recent projects is the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis. (Photo courtesy of One3 LED)

One of One3 LED’s most recent projects is
the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis.
(Photo courtesy of One3 LED)

In April 2011, three men from Chesterfield, Missouri, formed Ideal Energy Solutions, an energy consulting firm catering to utilities. As they gained experience with commercial energy efficiency incentives, they saw a big discrepancy between the energy efficiency incentives utilities were offering, and the number of consumers actually taking advantage of those incentives. “Plain and simple, we saw a big need in Missouri of people wanting to save energy, but not knowing how,” said Wes Tucker, an Ideal Energy principal. Leveraging prior relationships in the consumer retail sector, Ideal Energy’s found­ers began exploring other opportunities performing building retrofit projects featuring efficient lighting products. In June 2012, this morphed into a new business of its own: One3 LED.

One3 LED’s unique name comes from the company founders’ Christian faith – the title references Genesis 1:3: “And the Lord said, let there be light.” “Christian principles purvey into everything we do,” Tucker said. Tucker cites a Christian Land Ethic that motivates sustainable practices across the company. Not only does One3 LED market energy efficient products, the business also walks the walk by limiting plant energy consumption through the integration of automated controls for environmental systems, minimizing paper consumption by emphasizing digital text platforms, and practicing active recycling policies.

One3 LED partners with retail, commercial, transportation sector, and petroleum service clients. The company performs lighting audits and designs turnkey lighting solutions, partnering exclusively with U.S. manufacturers. “U.S.-made prod­ucts, those are the best out there in our industry,” Tucker said. One of One3’s largest endeavors is staying out in front of industry technology trends. “LED product technology changes every single day,” said project manager Michael Dorwart. Tucker added: “Most contractors, they don’t want to have to figure this stuff out.” At the same time, Tucker said growing customer awareness is a boon for the industry. “Over the last five years, we’ve seen energy efficiency become more and more socially acceptable,” he said. “In the last year alone, we’ve seen a huge increase in people who say, ‘Oh, why not LED?’ ” This growing consumer education has dramatically impacted sales: In the first two quarters of 2014, One3 LED has already done more businesses than it did all of last year.

— Environmental Entrepreneurs