FINDING the "hidden treasure" in your business through light cost savings is the mission of Wickham-based firm LumaLED.
Founded by Terry Fox and Steve Fallon in 2003, the company recently hired former Newcastle City Council environment and climate change services manager Peter Dormand to build on an already burgeoning portfolio of LED products and energy efficient services, and grow the customer base.
Projects include replacing the lights at the University of Newcastle's Forum basketball courts, which will hand the facility a power saving of 62 per cent, while other clients include the NSW Police Force, Beresfield Bowling Club, Australia Post, The Junction Hotel and North Shore Private Hospital.
Mr Fox says LumaLED is a "pro-active lighting and energy reduction company" with a focus on an integrated turnkey solution, using products it imports globally which helps to keep its prices competitive.
"We specialise in the lighting field and we educate customers to understand they have a financial loss happening by not changing their lighting and uptaking this new technology to reduce their electricity consumption," he explains.
Adds Mr Dormand: "[Businesses] are sitting on hidden treasure, but they don't know it. Rather than tell people, 'By doing this, you can save this much in the future', we say 'By not doing it, this is how much you are losing'."
A 2011 McKinsey & Company report predicting the worldwide lighting market will grow to about $110 billion euro ($170 billion) in 2020, with the LED lighting market amounting to almost $100 billion within the same time, representing close to 60 per cent of the total lighting market.
Technically speaking, LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, a semiconductor device that converts electricity into light.
Put more simply, LED lights are super energy efficient, using about 85 per cent less energy than halogen or incandescent lighting - allowing big savings on power bills.
The cost of replacing fluorescent lighting with LED has become more affordable, and LumaLED introduces new products to assist business every three to six months and offers a five-year guarantee on most products.
In short, the company is capitalising on the "lighting revolution" while it can.
"LED lighting replacing all other lighting will be bigger than the IT and mobile phone era, when we couldn't have believed we'd have more mobile phones than Australian people," notes Mr Dormand.
SOLAR POWER HELPS MINER
WHILE on the subject of energy efficiency, progressive Beresfield drilling company Quarry Mining is doing its bit to save the planet, and reduce its power bills.
Headed by Kari Armitage, the company recently completed a 100kW solar power installation to produce renewable energy on site, offsetting energy usage for its 24/7 manufacturing activities.
Quarry Mining successfully applied for funds for the project via the federal government's Clean Technology Investment Program.
The program provided 50 per cent of the total investment.
Hamilton-based firm Superior Solar did the fitout.
For those readers who love a figure or three: Quarry's new solar power system will generate about $780,000 in savings over the life of the project.
This will give Quarry an internal rate of return of 42 per cent, a return on investment of 382 per cent and a payback period 3.6 years.
VETERAN JOINS HUNGERFORD HILL
MIKE Cutrupi is the new national sales and marketing manager for respected Hunter Valley winery Hungerford Hill.
His most recent role was sales and marketing manager at Tyrrell's Wines and he has more than 30 years' experience in management positions for Blue Pyrenees Estate, Rémy Australie, Yalumba Wine Company and Saltram Estate.
Hungerford's general manager and senior winemaker Adrian Lockhart said Mr Cutrupi's appointment was a significant step to realising the potential of the brand and its growth leading up to its 50th anniversary in 2017.
MORGANS WINS BROKER GONG
SOMEWHERE in the email avalanche on Christmas sales, we missed noting that leading retail stockbroking and wealth management provider Morgans was named Full Service Broker of 2013 in the Australian Financial Review's Smart Investor Blue Ribbon gongs.
Morgans has operated in Newcastle and the Hunter for well over 20 years and employs 27 people in its Charlestown office.
HUNTER FIRMS STAND OUT
MEANWHILE, the Lawler Alliance nationally has been nominated in seven categories in the 2014 BRW Client Choice Awards, including best tax services advisor.
Other firms with Hunter nominees include PwC, Pitcher Partners, Coffey and Aurecon.
SERVICE EARNS RECOGNITION
FORTY years is a helluva long time to be in one workplace these days, but Greater Building Society employees Gail Smith and Bill Brandon have achieved just that.
On Friday, Ms Smith, an executive assistant to the CEO and board, and Mr Brandon, the lending services' system and administration manager, received gift vouchers, a certificate of service and a plaque from chairman Wayne Russell and outgoing CEO Don Magin.
DEFENCE GROUP MEETS
A REMINDER that HunterNet's defence forum will be held from 9.30am-11am tomorrow at the co-operative's Wharf Road, Newcastle, bunker for members, regional defence and supporting industries.