Submetering Sales Soaring

Submeter Sales Soaring

E-Mon, LLC projects a second straight year of double-digit sales growth and has inked a seven-year lease for a larger facility, says company CEO Don Millstein.

Businesses looking to save money in the down economy or improve their "green" credentials are giving a Middletown business that produces electric submeters quite a boost.

Submeters allow skyscrapers, office buildings, shopping centers, malls and airports to measure the electrical use of individual tenants or departments. Landlords use the meters to accurately bill tenants, but businesses also install them to track usage and become more energy efficient.

E-Mon, LLC, which makes submeters and sells them to distributors, projects a second straight year of double-digit sales growth and has inked a seven-year lease for a larger facility, said company CEO Don Millstein.

"We see the environmental and green movement taking us to the next level," Millstein said.

Founded in New Jersey in 1981, E-Mon has been in Middletown since 1991. Its submeters are everywhere, from the Oxford Valley Mall to the new Comcast Center skyscraper in Philadelphia.

Installing the submeters also helps businesses earn points towards LEED certification. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program rates buildings based on a variety of "green" principles. The program is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization.

LEED certified buildings tend to run more efficiently and cost effectively and provide a healthy environment for worksers, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. LEED certified buildings can also take advantage of some government incentives for energy conservation.

The submeters also can help businesses spot places where energy can be saved and to monitor the success of conservation efforts. "You can't save energy if you don't know where it is being used," Millstein said.

Demand is also rising with the federal government's plan to have all of its buildings metered by 2012, he added. In some cases, a closely aligned set of government buildings can be monitored by a single meter, Millstein explained. With the new standards, that will no longer be the case by 2012.

Meanwhile the economy has slowed and, as profits shrink, many companies look to save energy as a means of saving money, Millstein said.

In Pennsylvania, rate caps have controlled what utility companies can charge for power, but those caps are set to expire in 2010 and 2011 and electricity prices are expected to rise. Some estimates project increased costs of 30 percent or more. Millstein expects that to only increase the need for submeters.

E-Mon employs about 40 people though Millstein predicts that number will double by the time its seven-year lease is up.

The company had used office space at One Oxford Valley, located next to the mall, and run production in a nearby office park. The two locations gave it about 10,000 square feet of office space. The new building on Town Center Drive gives it 17,000 square feet.

Steven Capanna of the Alliance to save Energy, a Washington, D.C. organization that promotes energy efficiency, said his group supports increased use of submeters and agrees that the market for submeters should grow in the coming years.

"If it's tough to track what the individual business or office is using, they are less likely to care about their consumption," he said. "It takes the incentive away to conserve. Energy efficiency is definitely something we expect to be expanding in the next few years, especially if energy prices go back up to where they were a year or two ago."

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