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Masco Launches Home Services Unit To Focus on Efficiency Retrofits

|Includes: HD, Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW), MAS

 Masco Home Services, a subsidiary of home products company Masco Corporation (NYSE: MAS), announced the launch of a new initiative to offer home assessments and energy efficiency home improvement services for existing homes.

The WellHome service is launching in seven cities--Austin, Dallas, Orlando, Phoenix, Tucson, Ann Arbor, Mich. and Nashua, N.H--and plans to expand to multiple other cities before the end of 2010.

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama announced his plans for a rebate program called Homestar, that would provide incentives for homeowners to make energy efficiency upgrades. Obama's plan calls for certified contractors to market and carry out the upgrades.

Masco Home Services aims to become the first national provider of home performance services, including whole home comfort and energy efficiency assessments, recommendations and project implementation. WellHome will go beyond simple energy auditing to serve as the general contractor to oversee all home improvement projects. 

WellHome President Larry Laseter was with President Obama in Savannah on Tuesday when he announced his intentions for the Homestar program.

“Our approach to home performance is to conduct a thorough assessment and diagnose the issues, but to also fix them, and then guarantee the energy savings. This full-service approach to comfort and home energy efficiency is unique to WellHome and will be the model as we grow nationally,” Laseter said in a press release.

Roughly two-thirds of the more than 100 million single family homes in the United States were built before modern energy codes, creating tremendous potential for the service and construction industry, as well as manufacturing.

If Congress passes some version of the Homestar program, home improvement giants Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD) are likely to provide stiff competition, as they already provide contract services for local installers of roofs, windows and insulation.

WellHome will  link up with other Masco companies in available areas, such as Masco Contractor Services, an installer of insulation, and Milgard Windows & Doors.


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