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Real Goods Solar updates brand identity

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Real Goods Solar, Inc. has gone through a bit of a rebranding process. Most significantly, it has changed its name to RGS Energy.

"The change of our brand from Real Goods Solar to RGS Energy comes at a defining moment in our company’s history and in the solar energy industry," said Kam Mofid, RGS Energy’s CEO. "Solar is commanding a much larger share of global energy production, and here at home in the U.S., solar deployments have grown dramatically as well. It is indeed remarkable to see that total installations have grown nearly 500% since 2010 to over 4 gigawatts last year."

In explaining the impetus behind the name change, Mofid also cited the company’s recent acquisition of Syndicatd Solar and Mercury Energy, as well as the development of new processes that have improved RGS Energy’s time-to-market and lowered customer acquisition costs.

"We believe ‘RGS Energy,’ which has long been our commercial-focused brand, better reflects the vision and capabilities of our entire company as a single source, end-to-end energy solutions provider for residential, commercial, and utility customers," said Bryan Conklin, VP marketing. "The strength of this brand has been opening doors in new and emerging markets, and through the unification under one brand we will also have a more cohesive and effective national marketing approach to support our growth."

The company’s NASDAQ symbol will also change from RSOL to RGSE, effective Monday, Feb. 24. It will maintain its old name for SEC filings and other legal and regulatory matters.

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LG expands HVAC contractor program

BY HBSDEALER Staff

LG Electronics USA has expanded its LG Excellence Contractor Program, which helps independent HVAC contractors sell, install and service its residential HVAC products.

The program, which was first launched last spring, is now being promoted by a team of distributors who will act as ambassadors to recruit local contractors. Other new benefits for the year include lead referrals from consumer outreach campaigns, access to LG materials and literature, ongoing training, customer-focused technical support and a rewards system that incentivizes contractors to sell LG duct-free products.

"As duct-free solutions become increasingly popular versus traditional heating and cooling systems, accurate and proper installations and services are necessary," said Mark Hatala, national distribution installer manager, LG Electronics USA Commercial Air Conditioning. "At LG, we know that long-term efficiency, comfort and reliability start with proper installation of the equipment, and we’re proud to work with our distribution partners to support residential contractors nationwide through our LG Excellence Contractor Program."

Contractors who wish to enroll in the program must be first nominated by a local distributor or LG sales manager. They then complete online training courses — or attend instructor-led courses in one of the LG Training Academies in Georgia, Texas, New Jersey or California.

In addition to new benefits listed above, participating contractors will now receive a one-year limited labor warranty.

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Toll Brothers and GTIS Partners acquire Sienna South

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In a joint venture with private equity firm GTIS Partners, Toll Brothers has announced its plans to acquire Sienna South, the last major undeveloped parcel of Houston master-planned community Sienna Plantation.

"We are thrilled to be joining with GTIS and Johnson Development to bring Sienna South to the Houston market," said Karl Mistry, Houston division president at Toll Brothers. "With Houston’s well-publicized shortage of available home sites in premier master-planned communities, we believe the project’s timing, Sienna Plantation’s stellar reputation, our experienced management team, excellent location, amenities and highly rated schools will attract home builders and home buyers across the price point spectrum."

The 3,700-acre Sienna South is situated in the southwest corridor of Houston and is fully zoned for up to 10,000 single-family homes, as well as 140 acres of retail and commercial use and 63 acres of civic use. Toll Brothers expects to develop 6,500 single-family lots and sell them to various home builders over the years; up to 1,750 of those lots may go to Toll Brothers’ own home-building operation.

"The Houston housing market has been one of the most dynamic and resilient housing markets in the country, fueled by strong fundamental employment and economic growth," said Rob Vahradian, senior managing director at GTIS.

Sienna Plantation will be connected to Houston’s Inner Loop 610 upon the completion of the Fort Bend County Parkway extension early this year. This will situate Sienna South at an approximate 30-minute commute to downtown Houston, with easy access to Sugar Land Town Square, the Texas Medical Center complex and the Houston Energy Corridor.

Toll Brothers and GTIS expect Sienna South to eventually realize gross home sales of more than $2.6 billion.

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