2016 Community Impact Awards: Green Products & Services

Winner: Optimum Energy, Itek Energy, Rice Fergus Miller

October 24, 2016

Karen West


Gold Award:
Optimum Energy
Location: Seattle | Employees: 60 | Top Exec: Bert Valdman, president/CEO | optimumenergyco.com

Being green is not a trend at Optimum Energy. The company, which enables campuses, health care facilities, pharmaceutical plants, data centers and other commercial buildings to cut energy costs by up to 50 percent, believes society must reverse the pace of climate change. The firms cloud-based platform and its associated technology optimize heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, the largest consumer of energy in most buildings. This technology has enabled customers to save about 500 million kilowatt hours of electricity, reduce carbon emissions by nearly 290,000 metric tons and save more than 100 million gallons of water. We have to reverse the pace of climate change, and we cant do that unless were able to do more with fewer economic and physical resources, without comprising the environment, says CEO Bert Valdman. Accepting the status quo is not an option. We must develop the tools and technology to become more sustainable. And we must do so on a straight-up economic basis, without subsidies.

Silver Award:
Itek Energy
Location: Bellingham | Employees: 88 | Top Exec: John Flanagan, founder/CEO | itekenergy.com

Itek Energy manufactures high-powered solar modules in Bellingham. The company also works with nonprofits to power low-income housing, the Bellingham Food Bank, homeless shelters and community buildings. In the past four years, Itek Energy has locally built and sold in Washington more than 160,000 solar modules, which will produce more than 50 gigawatt hours of renewable energy every year.

Silver Award:
Rice Fergus Miller
Location: Bremerton | Employees: 44 | Top Exec: Steve Rice, principal | rfmarch.com

Architectural, interior design, planning and visualization services to several markets, including senior living, fire and emergency services, health care, hospitality and community. For almost three decades, the firm has focused on projects that build and strengthen community. The company is housed in a reclaimed auto service center that is one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the United States.