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Beazer Homes launches eSMART program

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Beazer Homes USA has launched eSMART by Beazer Homes, a comprehensive program designed to increase energy and water efficiency and improve indoor air quality in new housing.

The program combines high-performance products from General Electric, Honeywell, Moen and others with industry-approved green building practices, and is designed to reduce the home’s annual operating costs. The new eSMART features will be made available at no additional cost to buyers.

“Our goal is to provide affordable everyday solutions that can make a difference right now in terms of environmental impact and operating costs,” said Tony Callahan, senior vp-purchasing, planning and design at Atlanta-based Beazer Homes, one of the nation’s 10 largest single-family home builders. “Consumers want to do their part for the environment, but they also need to save money. With our eSMART homes, they can do both.”

Every new Beazer home will include products designed to increase energy and water efficiency, including Honeywell FocusPRO Programmable Thermostats, GE EnergySmart compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), GE Energy Star dishwashers and MOEN water-saving bathroom faucets and showerheads. Additionally, each new Beazer home will incorporate products designed to improve indoor air quality, including air filters with a higher minimum efficiency rating value (MERV) and carpets and paints that emit lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

eSMART by Beazer Homes will provide homeowners immediate annual energy savings when compared with a similar home built without these features, the company said. For example, converting the typical 3-bedroom, 2-1/2-bath Beazer home to EnergySmart CFLs will save homeowners approximately $331 in annual energy and replacement costs.

According to Callahan, 66 percent of consumers polled by Beazer Homes in March 2008 report being more conscious of the environment and the need to conserve natural resources today than they were five years ago. And nearly three-quarters (73 percent) said that builders need to do more to make an affordable “green” home available to the average American. In addition, two-thirds of survey respondents ranked the importance of energy-saving features, such as programmable thermostats and CFLs, on par with higher-end kitchen features when making a new home purchase decision.

“As a national home builder, we have a responsibility to find practical, sustainable and affordable solutions for our home buyers,” Callahan said.

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The NKBA names new head

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced Don Sciolaro has been named CEO of the trade organization.

Sciolaro joined the NKBA in 2006 as director of member services, where his initiatives included increasing membership and strengthening the NKBA’s local chapter programs. He oversaw the recruiting, retention and recognition of NKBA members worldwide.

Prior to his service at the NKBA, Sciolaro spent 15 years with the National Association of Manufacturers, most recently as senior regional manager for the group’s New York/New Jersey region. He was responsible for membership and organizing grassroots public affairs efforts.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association is a non-profit trade association that owns the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference and includes more than 41,000 members.

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Sears eliminates 100 HQ jobs

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sears Holdings has announced it will eliminate 100 jobs at its headquarters, a move sparked by lagging sales combined with a corporate restructuring plan at the parent of Sears and Kmart stores.

According to the Chicago Tribune, jobs affected by cuts came from several different departments, including operations, logistics and store support.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company has been struggling of late, with fourth-quarter earnings down 47.5 percent year-over-year and sales down 6.8 percent. To spur sales, the company launched a new ad campaign last month called “ReImagine You,” which is slated to run through May.

In February, the company cut 200 jobs, and some key home channel executives departed the company, including Tina Settecase, vp-Kenmore appliances, and Greg Inwood, vp-Craftsman tools, hardware and paint.

In March, the company appointed some new key executives, including Douglas Moore to the position of senior vp and president-appliances and John Froman as head of the retailer’s tools and lawn and garden divisions.

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