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GE Ecomagination program courts home builders

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Despite the soft housing market, General Electric has said its Ecomagination program for green builders has seen an increase in participants, and the conglomerate is moving forward to court more builders.

The GE Ecomagination Homebuilder Program was launched in May 2007 and aims to help builders and developers “design homes that are not only comfortable, but that result in the release of fewer household emissions and are more efficient in their energy consumption and indoor water consumption than industry-accepted average new homes.”

The program was launched in conjunction with Masco’s “Environments for Living” Certified Green program.

In a statement, Patrick McElhaney said that since its inception, various builders and developers have “committed to building more than 30,000 homes as part of the program. In a challenging economic market, energy-efficient building offers a competitive edge.”

GE has made central to the program its “SmartCommand Enviro Monitor” a product that helps homeowners track current and historical energy and indoor water use, which it has promoted as part of the certification program. The Enviro Monitor also serves as a programmable thermostat.

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Madison, Wis., True Value store holds grand opening

BY HBSDEALER Staff

North Side True Value Hardware, located in Madison, Wis., held a two-day grand opening Oct. 4 and 5, after relocating from a 12,000-square-foot to a 14,000-square-foot space, store manager Jeff Jacoby said.

During the weekend celebration, the store raffled off a patio set, gas grill, patio heater and lawn mower, and sold bratwurst, hot dogs and soda for $1 each, donating the proceeds to the American Red Cross.

“It was one of the biggest weekends ever for us,” Jacoby said.

The new store focuses on core hardware categories like hardware, plumbing and lawn and garden, and owner Tom Meikle has also added the Benjamin Moore line of paint and an outdoor furniture department. Meikle also owns a store in Columbus, Wis.

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Lincoln Electric acquires Brazilian manufacturer

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Cleveland-based professional tools manufacturer Lincoln Electric has announced the acquisition of a 90 percent interest in Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Brastak.

The $30 million deal increases Lincoln Electric’s worldwide operations. Brastak produces brazing products, used in the welding and repair of pipes and plumbing.

“The Brastak acquisition represents the expansion of our brazing product line as well as our continued expansion into developing international markets,” said John M. Stropki, chairman and CEO of Lincoln Electric. He said the move primarily will help the company serve professionals in South America.

Lincoln Electric is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of arc welding products.

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