Leon Prevost, the founder of Energy Saving Products Ltd. and manufacturer of Hi-Velocity Systems, couldn’t let his customers down. In the early 80s, he had been working for an American plumbing/heating wholesale company as a Canadian distributor for one of their speciality products. When that company pulled out of the Canadian market, Leon’s customers were left in the cold. Undeterred, the entrepreneur took out a loan, turned his garage into a workspace, and started manufacturing a heating system of his own design. His customers quickly warmed up to the product, and in 1983, Hi-Velocity Systems was born.
Hi-Velocity is a forced air system that provides heating, cooling, fresh-air, humidification control, and air purification in any type of building. The specialty small diameter duct system easily fits into projects that struggle to fit in a conventional duct. By moving air better with Hi-Velocity, indoor air quality is greatly improved.
“Leon later moved into a warehouse space in West Edmonton,” recounts Tim Prevost, Leon’s son and the director of business development at the company. “He started attending conferences and conventions in the US, and in very short order, that market really took off for us. It wasn’t long before he outgrew the warehouse and began searching for a larger space.
“Leon’s childhood was spent in a small house just off of Yellowhead Trail and 129 Street, near the big grain elevator, in an area known now as Hagmann Estate Industrial. Naturally, his instinct was drawn to this area, and he made the decision to buy our building located just off Yellowhead and 124 Street.”
Then things took a turn for the worse.
Tim explains, “In January, 2009, our building burnt down to the ground and was a complete loss. This disaster happened to coincide with the large housing market drop in America. But within three weeks of the fire, we had not only re-located manufacturing, but we had also shipped our first post-fire order! Nothing was going to stop dad from keeping his company afloat. However, at the same time, we learned that we couldn’t rely on the US market and needed to expand our business internationally. Now we have built a new manufacturing facility in our original location and sell our products on every continent worldwide.”
Hi-Velocity Systems are seen in all types of dwellings and commercial spaces, and they are popular in parts of Europe and China, where commercial office building owners strive to provide cleaner air for their employees.
“We have always been at the forefront of new technology and ahead of our competition because we put a ton of resources into research and development,” Daniel Prevost, Leon’s youngest son and the Director of Operations. “We would not be able to do this without the excellent funding programs shared with us from the Canadian government. We are also incredibly grateful for Erni O’hara, our general manager. She is directly responsible for the daily success of our operations. Her reliability allows us to focus on big-picture items, and that directly relates to our company’s growth.”
For the entire team, customer service is as important as the product.
“The feedback I receive the most from customers is that our level of support dramatically exceeds that of other companies in this industry. If you call us, you are going to speak with someone, and we thrive on supporting our customers all the way from the conception of a project to the final commissioning,” says Tim.
This year marks Energy Saving Products’ 35th anniversary. The company that started in a garage is now a thriving global enterprise that is making a difference in air quality around the world – and they are not content to stop there. The company continues to research and implement new innovations in energy efficiency. Leon and his wife Elaine, though long hinting at retirement, continue to be a big part of the day to day operations and events at ESP.
“Being a family-owned company, we know that our bread is buttered from the fruits of our labours. We share that family mentality with all our employees and do the best we can to help them understand that our success relies on everyone’s effort. You will find, from the starting position to the top, that everyone is proud of what we achieve on a daily basis,” concludes Tim, and he says to their many customers locally and abroad, “Thank you for being a part of our family.”