Honeywell: Putting Efficiency To Work In Ohio

Honeywell, the Fortune 100 company, doesn’t have a tagline. There’s no “We deliver for you” next to its name, or “Don’t leave home without it.” But at the risk of overstepping my role as an energy advocate, I’d like to suggest one to the CEO and the corporate board: “Putting Efficiency To Work.” 

That’s what Honeywell is doing here in Ohio, with great results. Partnering with municipalities, school districts, hospitals and businesses, it’s used energy-efficiency strategies that:

• create jobs in the energy efficiency field,

• save taxpayers money on energy, and

• reduce operating costs, thereby allowing employers to retain staff.

The energy-efficiency strategies they use—such as replacing inefficient lighting and insulating buildings—cut energy use, and, importantly, the pollution it creates, by as much as 10-30 percent. Honeywell believes so strongly in its work that, especially in publicly funded projects, it guarantees projected financial savings. “It absolutely gives us an incentive to do a good job,” says Keith Valiquette, a Honeywell energy performance contracting account executive. That’s good for Honeywell’s clients—they save money; good for the company—the performance guarantees inspire confidence; and good for all of us.

Honeywell isn’t doing all this alone, of course. Important state legislation, including Senate Bill 221 and House Bills 420 and 295, facilitate energy-efficiency upgrades in the state. “Over the last five years,” says Valiquette, “the reason our growth has been has been so strong in Ohio is we have excellent enabling legislation here.”

Let me give you an example of how this smart company and Ohio’s smart energy-efficiency legislation can work together, for everyone’s benefit. The City of Dayton’s energy bills were $10 million a year—a lot of money for a cash-strapped municipality.


Honeywell helped the City of Dayton save more than $330,000 a year on energy and cut its annual greenhouse gas production by 5,000 metric tonnes.

The city sought out the company’s advice. “We wanted to do the right things for the environment,” says Bryan Taulbee, the city’s public affairs manager. “And we do have budgetary challenges. We want and need to save money.” After reviewing bids by several companies that wanted its energy-efficiency business, Dayton chose Honeywell. “Having the performance guarantee was critical,” says Donna Winchester, the city’s recently-retired environmental manager. “It added a whole level of credibility to their program.” The city also got rebates from its electric supplier, Dayton Power & Light, to help cover the cost of new energy-efficient equipment. Those rebates that were made possible by SB 221. The House Bills allowed the city to finance the energy efficiency work over the lifetime of the project measures. 

Honeywell retrofitted 12 city buildings, replacing old lighting with new, efficient systems. They upgraded insulation and made sure the building envelopes—the barriers between the outdoor air and the indoor climate—were properly sealed. They swapped antiquated mechanical systems for new, more efficient ones. “They also convert the city’s traffic lights to LED technology,” Winchester explains. “The signals alone saved over $100,000 a year.” 

As part of that project, Honeywell retrofitted the many HVAC systems responsible for heating and cooling Dayton’s seven-storey, 107-year-old City Hall. The building is now so energy-efficient that it has earned a US Department of Energy Energy Star certification. “Getting an Energy Star certification for a 107-year-old building is quite a feat!” says Taulbee, proudly.

These retrofits alone have saved the city $330,000 annually. Enough to fill several budget holes. And money is not all the Honeywell retrofits have helped save. They’ve cut the city’s global-warming pollution by 5,000 metric tonnes. Definitely a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile, Honeywell’s energy-efficiency business has grown exponentially. “When the recession kicked in between 2008 and 2009, that was a 40 percent growth year for us,” says Ron Blagus, Honeywell’s Energy Market Director. Energy efficiency is what businesses need now to stay competitive, Blagus says. Similarly, it’s what healthcare systems need to cut costs And what governments and school districts need to reduce expenses and retain vital services.

Honeywell and smart energy legislation: Putting Efficiency to Work. After all, “We deliver for you” is already taken.