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Acuity Brands Forms New Businesses

Acuity Brands Inc., Atlanta, is establishing two new businesses to capitalize on the emerging opportunities in turn-key building renovation and the lighting, energy and maintenance management markets. Acuity Brands Inc. will operate the new businesses within its wholly owned subsidiary, Acuity Brands Technology Services Inc.

SAERIS, one of the new businesses, provides lighting renovation and energy services with a special focus on turn-key lighting projects for major corporations, building owners, municipalities and schools. SAERIS' services will support Acuity Brands's existing sales channels to enhance pursuits of renovation and relighting business opportunities. Another new business, ROAM, provides monitoring and control of indoor and outdoor lighting infrastructures utilizing a combination of intelligent photocontrols, machine-to-machine communications, wireless communications and network management services.

Crawford Lipsey has been named president of Acuity Brands Technology Services. He most recently was executive vice president and general manager of Acuity Brands Lighting's Solutions Group. Larry E. Smith has been named general manager for SAERIS.

Lipsey said SAERIS will perform many of the same services as energy service companies (ESCOs) that focus on the design, installation and financing of energy-efficient building systems, but said SAERIS's services will go beyond the interests of ESCOs. He sees SAERIS as more of an “energy renovation company.”

“If you look at the approximately $100 billion relight marketplace in a triangular shape, the bottom of the triangle would be the lower end (just lamp and ballast replacement), and up toward the pinnacle would be more of a relight/renovation approach. We're separating ourselves in some ways there, not as an ESCO, but as an energy renovation company.

“As an energy renovation company, we're focusing more on the upper end of that triangle; more on how we bring products and services together to create a different experience for the customer that includes energy-savings and energy management. It doesn't exclude that. But it does something more than just saving them dollars.”

With its broad product portfolio, Acuity does not anticipate needing product from other manufacturers.

Acuity, through SAERIS, intends to work with local distributors and contractors, and doesn't anticipate any pushback from contractors or distributors, said Lipsey. SAERIS will require an extensive reference check for contractors and will also look for contractors who have the ability to perform in the relight marketplace as opposed to the new construction marketplace.

In related company news, Acuity announced on May 8 that it had inked a strategic alliance with Dallas-based Lighting Services Group to enhance its existing LED portfolio. Acuity and Lighting Services Group will jointly develop selected new products for architectural, commercial, industrial and public infrastructure use.

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