Eve Yen never expected her small business venture to get as big as it is today.
In 1994, Yen bought a machine and started making restaurant wet wipes because she says she had nothing better to do after moving to Southern California from Taiwan with her family.
A year later, she started to produce makeup remover wipes. Today, her company, Diamond Wipes International, Inc., manufactures more than 2,000 different types of wipes as well as beauty products for more than 400 major clients.
Diamond Wipes received the Energy Efficiency Participation Award at Southern California Edison’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebration of Asian business and community partners held recently in Garden Grove.
Yen embraced modern energy technologies early on during her company’s expansion in 2010 to a larger manufacturing facility in Chino.
“This was the largest facility we had at that time at 155,000 square feet, and I decided to put solar panels on it,” she said. Taking advantage of SCE and government incentives available at the time, Diamond Wipes installed solar panels that have produced about 547,700 kilowatt-hours so far, enough to power 51 homes for a year.
Last year, Diamond Wipes also installed energy-efficient exterior lighting in the parking lot of its newly added building in Chino. Working with SCE, Diamond Wipes participated in the Savings by Design project, resulting in savings of more than 160,200 kWh. That means energy savings of $22,441 and net incentives valued at $12,055 annually.
“I’m very grateful that SCE offers the opportunity for a lot of savings programs that not only help reduce our bills, but also help the environment for sustainability,” said Yen.
Ariel Fan never imagined she would run her own business at only 25 years old. Like Yen, she’s passionate about sustainability.
She founded her own hotel energy management company, GreenWealth Energy Solutions, last year following her stint as the energy operations manager at Brighton Management, a family-owned business that owns or operates more than 50 hotels. It’s also the previous year’s Energy Efficiency Participation Award recipient.
By participating in SCE’s energy-efficiency programs such as Energy Efficiency Express Solutions, Brighton Management reduced its annual power usage by 265,000 kWh, resulting in $42,400 in annual savings.
“Our department was taken seriously for the first time, and we realized there was a lot of interest from neighboring hotel management groups, including major hotel chains,” said Fan. “They were very excited that Brighton Management won the award because no other hotel management groups were doing green initiatives like this.”
After being approached by other hotel chains, she knew she had come across a really good business idea.
Fan cites SCE’s recognition for giving her the courage and merit to come out on her own. As CEO, she identifies opportunities to drive down energy costs and maximize utility rebates for hotels, including Brighton Management hotels.
“Winning the Edison award was everything to me as a young entrepreneur,” she said. “Before that, when I was working on these green projects that I thought were great to save energy, people didn’t really understand that sustainability and energy efficiency can actually save owners money.”
During the AAPI Heritage Month celebration, SCE also recognized the following award recipients:
- Diverse Business Enterprise Award: Red Kite Business Advisors
- Community Partnership Award: Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP)