(Among those attending the International Builders Show were representatives of the PERC Builder Award winners and their propane marketers. Bruce Bylsma (second from right), sales and marketing manager for Sable Developing, the winner in the under $250,000 category, was on hand with his propane marketer, James Zuidema (second from left) of Shell Gas (LPG). Presenting the awards were Richard Tretheway (left) of This Old House and Roy Willis (far right), president of PERC. )
Energy Efficiency in the Spotlight at International Builders Show
Theres a lot to take in at the annual International Builders Show. The convention, which is one of the largest trade shows in the world, attracted more than 1600 exhibitors and more than 105,000 attendees to Orlando in mid-January. Among the news gleaned from this year's massive event are:
With high energy prices, energy efficiency is a hot topic, again; the new home builders market may be sliding toward a slowdown, but the remodeling industry remains in the fast lane; and rebuilding in storm-ravaged areas is creating a lot of headaches.
Not only were the propane and natural gas industries promoting energy efficiency, but so were hundreds of other exhibitors. Working together at the show, the propane industry, led by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), the American Gas Association (AGA), and other related groups, organized a large display area that
(Several gas Industry manufacturers and vendors provided volunteers and products for the propane/natural gas booth, including Tod M. Corrin, senior vice president of R.H. Peterson. )
showcased the benefits of gas-fired appliances as well as an underground propane tank and propane-powered standby generators. Booth sponsors included PERC. AGA, the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association. American Public Gas Association, Florida Natural Gas Association, Gas Technology Institute. Southern Gas Association, and five natural gas utilities.
The booth garnered plenty of attention, not only because of the showcased products but also during introduction of the winners of the PERC Builder Awards. On hand to present the awards was Richard Trethewey, the plumbing and heating expert for the This Old House TV show and magazine, and Roy Willis, president of PERC. The awards recognize builders in two categoriesbuilders of homes valued at more than $250,000 and builders of homes valued at less than $250,000 (BPN, January. p. 22).
Propane marketers were asked to nominate their builder customers last fall. Real Estate Services of Connecticut (Middletown) was honored in the over-$250,000 category and Sable Developing Inc. (Rockford, Mich.) was the winner in the under-$250,000 category. Bemer Petroleum (Glastonbury, Conn.) nominated Real Estate Services and Shell Gas (LPG) (Freemont, Mich.) nominated Sable.
A number of propane industry members volunteered their time to help staff the booth, including Jim Hitzemann of Ray Murray inc., chairman of PERCs Consumer Education Advisory Committee homebuilder subcommittee; Randy Chitty and J. Sells, both with Heritage Propane; Tom Jaenicke of aTomiK Creative Solutions; Greg and Julie Shaus; and Dave Donahue of Donahue Gas.
Tax Credits Encourage Efficiency
In showcasing the appliances, PERC and AGA provided information on the new federal tax credits available to encourage consumers to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Between 2006 and 2007, consumers are eligible for a 10% investment tax credit (up to certain maximums)
(In the over $250,000 category, Robert C. Fusari, president (center), and Kristian J. Cole (right), vice president, and other representatives of Real Estate Services of Connecticut joined their propane marketer, David DeTuccio Jr. (left) of Bemer Petroleum, in accepting the award. )
for the money they spend on energy efficiency improvements. The Internal Revenue Service is finalizing the details on credits and deductions on improvements such as more efficient furnaces, hot water boilers, and water heaters.
The Energy Policy Act encourages contractors to build more efficient homes that are ready and available for use during the same two-year period. Federal tax credits are being offered for homes that meet certain standards. Homes that qualify can use a wide range of efficiency measures, including high-efficiency heating and cooling systems better-insulated foundations, walls, and ceilings; and other methods.
The gas industry booth featured products from Robert H. Peterson Co., Rheem, Trane, Sure Heat Manufacturing, International Comfort Products, Lennox, Peerless, Bradford White Corp., Rinnai, State Select, A.O. Smith, Suburban Manufacturing, Hot Dawg, Charleston Gas Light. Maxitrol Co., the Copper Development Association, and Viega North America.
Hot Products at the Builders Show...
Robert H. Peterson has several new products available this year, including the Fire Magic Monarch Magnum grill, which is being introduced this month at the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo. The Monarch features a newly-designed body style with a seamless face and rounded corners for strength, longer wear, and simple cleaning. A built-in digital meat and grill thermometer with remote receiver allows a chef to check the temperature from a distance, while dual internal halogen lamps in the hood allow grilling long into the night. (Circle 1)
The vent-free Sure Heat Savannah Outdoor Series universal firebox is manufactured of polished commercial-grade 20-gauge Type 304 stainless steel and includes remote control capabilities, 60,000-Btu burner, fully-automatic ignition, weather protection doors, adjustable flame height, and is available with 36-in, or 42-in. openings. The Sure Heat Charleston vent-free firebox is designed for larger rooms and comes in 32-in., 36-in., or 42-in. openings. Three log sizes are available, along with a choice of electronic ignition with digital remote, millivolt remote-ready, and manual models. (Circle 2)
Bringing gas-fired appliances to a new convenience level, Maxitrol Co.s Plug1 is a simple and convenient gas outlet. With the Plug1, moving, switching, storing, and disconnecting gas appliances is as easy as pushing a standard gas plug into the Plug 1 and flipping the sleek, flush-mounted outlet. The Plug1 also acts as an integrated excess-flow valve, and an integrated high-temperature-activated shut-off device shuts off the gas when a predefined temperature occurs. (Circle 3)
Tankless water heaters were popular items in the booths, especially with attendees looking to qualify for the new federal energy tax credit worth about $300. Rinnai has several models, including indoor and outdoor models that have Btu capacity ranging from 15,000 to 190,000 Btu. Rinnais tankless water heaters were recently named Product of the Year by the Gas Foodservice Equipment Network, an alliance of equipment manufacturers, associations, and foodservice organizations. (Circle 4)
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