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The White House doubles down on solar power

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Obama administration announced last month that it would put $68 million in federal funding toward boosting renewable energy and the implementation of solar power in homes and businesses, particularly those in rural areas of the U.S.

The $68 million will go toward 540 energy-efficiency projects, 240 of which are solar energy initiatives.

The planned actions are projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 300 million metric tons by 2030 — the equivalent of taking more than 60 million cars off the road for one year — and to save $10 billion in energy costs.

The planned executive actions include creating a veterans solar job training program, strengthening building codes, setting a new commercial unit air conditioner energy conservation standard, commissioning research on solar energy, and more.

In addition to the White House’s announcement, 50 companies, states, communities and multifamily housing leaders have announced their commitment to solar initiatives and energy efficiency. All together, the 50 entities will account for more than 35 megawatts of solar energy, which is enough to power thousands of homes. The District of Columbia Housing Authority and 3M are among them. 

The White House was also outfitted with solar panels back in May of this year.

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AHMA CEO sees positive environment

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s survey of members found 78% of respondents said sales were higher in September versus year-ago levels, up from 71% in August. For September, 22% reported sales were even, and 0% said sales were below year-ago levels.

Looking forward six months, 61% of September respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 53% in August. In September, 39% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 0% expect sales to be below current levels. 

“After two months of decline, it is encouraging to see both the current and future components of the confidence index improve in September,” said Timothy Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA. “And with the recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing unemployment at its lowest level since July 2008, we would expect a positive business environment going forward.”

Looking forward one year, 72% of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 59% who felt that way in August.  Twenty-eight percent of September respondents project sales will be even one year from now, and 0% project sales will be below current levels.

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Trex adds Havana Gold to Transcend Collection

BY HBSDealer Staff

Trex Company has expanded its Trex Transcend offerings with the addition of Havana Gold, a warm, golden color with pronounced wood-grain patterns and streaking.

 

"The warm glimmer of Havana Gold offers yet another distinctive choice to consumers and contractors looking to customize an outdoor living space," said Ronald W. Kaplan, chairman, president and CEO of Trex. "This new shade delivers a rich, exotic aesthetic without the maintenance or environmental impact of using true tropical hardwoods."

Trex Transcend is now available in 10 colors, which span earthy tones, dark bronzes, neutral grays and reddish hues.

Like other Transcend decking options, Havana Gold will coordinate with existing Trex Transcend Railing options.

Trex Transcend first came onto the market in Spring 2010 with its value proposition of lasting performance, low-maintenance upkeep, natural appearance and smooth finish. It’s also made of 95% recycled content and is backed by a 25-year Fade and Stain Warranty.

"We kicked-off the season with silver when we introduced Island Mist (a silvery shade) and we’re closing out the season with gold," Kaplan said. "By adding Havana Gold to our product portfolio, we reinforce Trex’s category leadership and commitment to providing high-performance beauty to any backyard."

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