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ITT board of directors approves spinoffs of Xylem and ITT Exelis

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Bassett Mechanical, a full-service mechanical contractor in Wisconsin, opened its factory doors in Kaukauna recently to share its success with friends and customers and celebrate its growth over three-quarters of a century in business.  To mark its 75th anniversary, Bassett Mechanical has been having events throughout the year. One of the biggest was an open house at its main office in September, attended by over 400 guests. The key story for visitors was that while Bassett has grown into a company at the forefront of emerging global trends such as renewable energy and lean manufacturing – its core of being a customer-centric and employee-driven company hasn't changed.  "As we celebrate 75 years in business, a lot has changed at Bassett," said Kim Bassett-Heitzmann, CEO of Bassett Mechanical. "But the things that always remain are our dedicated employees, company values, rich history and making customer service number one." This viewpoint is ... Read More

R. W. Beckett Corporations announces the acquisition of Oil Equipment Manufacturing LLC:

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N.J. considers offering energy efficiency loans instead of rebates to save ratepayers money

Over the last decade, more than 100,000 New Jerseyans got state help paying for home energy audits. Another 80,000 residents got state rebates to buy new washing machines, and 67,000 low-income individuals and families got freebies like improved thermostats, insulation upgrades and even efficient refrigerators. Those rebates and giveaways are funded by a line at the bottom of utility bills called the "societal benefits charge," and with other programs, efficiency incentives like rebates cost ratepayers more than $300 million a year. (more) Read More

Boston Pipefitters Local 537 celebrates its 100th anniversary

To which we say, Happy Anniversary! (more) Read More

Solar Company That Got Federal Loan Shuts Down

WASHINGTON (AP) — A California solar-panel manufacturer once touted by President Barack Obama as a beneficiary of his administration's economic policies — as well as a half-billion-dollar federal loan — is laying off 1,100 workers and filing for bankruptcy. Solyndra LLC of Fremont, Calif., had become the poster child for government investment in green technology. The president visited the company in May 2010 and noted that Solyndra expected to hire 1,000 workers to manufacture solar panels. Other state and federal officials such as former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Energy Secretary Steven Chu also visited the company's facilities. But hard times have hit the nation's solar industry. Solyndra is the third solar company to seek bankruptcy protection this month. Officials said Wednesday that the global economy as well as unfavorable conditions in the solar industry combined to force the company to suspend its manufacturing operations. (more) Read More

Plumber fined for gas leak. Propane cloud led to evacuations

LITCHFIELD — A Massachusetts plumber who improperly installed safety upgrades and left a propane system at Mintec Specialty Minerals to release a potentially explosive vapor cloud over Canaan has been ordered to pay $20,000 in fines and penalties.Michael Pluta, 41, a plumbing contractor and owner of Advanced Plumbing and Heating in Barre, Mass., was also sentenced to a suspended one year prison term and two years of probation when he appeared Wednesday before Judge Corinne L. Klatt in Bantam Superior Court. The fine will be used to train and educate plumbers and gas fitters. (more) Read More

EPA's Planned Phaseout of Harmful Refrigerant Hits Snag

Eighteen months after the Obama administration came out with new rules to stop refrigerants in air conditioners from thinning the Earth's protective ozone layer, an unexpected quirk has divided the industry and could have implications for the atmosphere. (more) Read More

Maine's largest city switches 18 buildings to natural gas

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's largest city is spending $9.5 million to convert 10 schools and eight other buildings to natural gas. Once it's completed, natural gas will represent 85 percent of the fuel load in Portland. Ian Houseal, Portland's sustainability coordinator, tells WCSH-TV ( ) that the city will save about $900,000 a year if heating oil remains at $3 a gallon. (more) Read More
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