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Duracell plans Quantum leap this summer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Duracell will launch new Quantum C, D and 9-Volt batteries during the summer of 2014. The launch will coincide with the first anniversary of the launch of the Quantum battery line.

The new batteries will have the same suite of exclusive features and technologies as Quantum AA and AAA batteries. All three new batteries include a Hi-Density Core to deliver more fuel and superior, unbeatable performance, the new Powercheck to instantly see the remaining power in the battery, and Duralock Power Preserve Technology to stay fresh for up to 10 years in storage. 

These features increase battery life and dependability, the company said. 

“We are excited to build on last year’s introduction of the Quantum battery,” said Paul Schacht, Duracell professional team lead. “Our customers need reliable, long-lasting batteries to help them perform critical jobs in the work place every day, whether they are plant managers, office managers or hospitality professionals. We are confident they will find the new C, D and 9-Volt Quantum batteries to be excellent additions to the Duracell lineup.”

The new Quantum batteries are part of a growing sector of the battery market. C, D and 9-Volt batteries currently represent more than a third of the battery market, and the share continues to grow. More than 300 million devices in the United States depend on the power of C, D and 9-Volt batteries. These devices include smoke detectors, flashlights and lanterns, among other critical devices.

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Report: remodelers seeing growth

BY HBSDealer Staff

A report from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) states that the second quarter saw an increase in remodeling market indicators.

The 2014 Remodeling Business Pulse (RBP) survey demonstrated growth compared to conditions in March, at which time market indicators had just declined.

On a scale of 1 to 9 — where 1 is "much worse than a year ago," 5 is "about the same as last year" and 9 is "much better," — current business conditions increased from 6.07 to 6.29. 

The number of inquiries increased from 6.24 to 6.38, and requests for bids rose to 6.29 from 6.16. Conversion of bids increased to 5.83 from 5.71, and the sales value of jobs went up to 6.20 from 5.84.

“This quarter didn’t show much change in conditions driving growth,” says Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning Committee. “People needing to do postponed projects remain the number one driver at 80 percent, and improving home prices, at 59 percent, continues at number two. What is encouraging — is that the value of jobs sold had a statistically significant growth.”

One factor that did decline: the three-month outlook for business, which dropped to 6.32 from March’s previous high of 6.51. However, only 8% of remodelers reported decline; 70% are still seeing some level of growth.

“As the industry slowly recovers from the 2008 downturn and comparisons are being made to healthier year-ago periods, we may see these ratings soften some,” O’Grady says. “Remodelers report that shortages are particularly acute for trained workers with basic carpentry skills to work in the field."

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EcoWater Systems Introduces HydroLink Plus Wi-F

BY HBSDealer Staff

St. Paul, Minnesota-based EcoWater Systems, a Marmon Water/Berkshire Hathaway company, is transforming how consumers interact with their water treatment systems with the introduction of HydroLink Plus Wi-Fi web-based technology. HydroLink Plus makes it possible to monitor and manage EcoWater water treatment systems and water usage via a smartphone, tablet or computer from virtually anywhere inside or outside the home.

A simple and secure online dashboard provides appliance information at a glance, such as number of days until the salt is empty, cycle schedule, average daily water usage, water used today, and gallons of treated water remaining. With the information, homeowners can track water usage patterns and adjust habits to save water and money on utility bills. HydroLink Plus also alerts homeowners via text or email when the salt is low and needs refilling, and sends alerts if potential issues are detected, such as a continuous water flow above normal usage threshold. Alerts can be customized according to personal preference via the online dashboard.

“Smart devices are becoming a central hub for monitoring and controlling appliances in today’s digitally-connected homes,” said Chris Wilker, president of EcoWater Systems Professional Products. “HydroLink Plus offers homeowners a new level of convenience and peace of mind regarding water treatment and usage, and can also help to extend the life of the appliance.”

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