Software Products: Page 1. THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NEWSMAGAZINE SINCE 1926 December 26, 2011 | $5.00 | Visit us online at www.achrnews.com, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIn Direct Energy to Buy Warranty Firm T ORONTO — Direct Energy, parent company of Clockwork Home Ser-vices, has reached an agreement to acquireHomeWarranty of America (HWA), a leading supplier of whole home pro-tection plans across the UnitedStates.Withthis addition to its services business, Direct Energy said it will leverage the scale of the HWA busi-nesswith its own expertise inoperating a home protection plan business in Canada, to estab-lish a premier energy and home services offer-ing for residential customers inNorth America. Headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Ill., HWA provides whole home warranty ser-vices to customers through a national network of real estate agents, insurance pro-fessionals, relocation companies, developers, title companies, bankers, home inspectors, and mortgage brokers. With the capability and licenses to operate in all 50 states, HWA offers a comprehensive service delivery net-work, enterprise software, and call center. In 2010, Direct Energy Services acquired Florida-based Clockwork Home Services to become one of the largest providers of heat-ing, cooling, plumbing, and electrical ser-vices, serving more than3 million households Going Mobile Benefits Contractors By Joanna R. Turpin Of TheNEWSStaff E ven though it hasn’t been that long since the wireless revolution took over our lives, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to remember how we conducted business before we had smartphones, laptops, and tablet PCs. The advent of all these mobile devices has made it possible to obtain and/or retrieve data from just about anywhere at any time, which can be quite a benefit for contracting firms. Most contractors have already given their technicians some type of basic mobile device — often a cell phone or two-way radio — while others have invested in total mobile solutions that include tablet PCs and portable printers. Even though mobile technology has advanced significantly, some contractors remain con-cerned about its initial cost and skeptical about its benefits. With the cost of mobile technology decreasing, now may be the per-fect time to see if it makes sense to go mobile. No Time Like the Present Like it or not, the work force is becoming increasingly mobile, and workers on-the-go need to be fully productive from mobile devices, said Dean Schreiner, president, dESCO LLC., Fort Myers, Fla. “Most compa-nies already have cell phones distributed to improve in-the-field communications, and most cell phone providers now offer bundled • See GOING MOBILE | page 12 the All-NEW Mobile hardware is becoming more affordable, which means a mobile solution is an attainable purchase with very little upfront cost. (Courtesy ofService Automation.) LOG ON TODAY! More Information | More Resources | More Interactivity Experience fyi Manufacturers • Danfoss (Baltimore) has an-nounced that while still produc-ing fixed-speed products, it is making significant investments in its Arkadelphia, Ark., plant to support variable-speed production for U.S. customers. • Carrier’s (Syracuse, N.Y.) 11th Global Engineering Conference, scheduled for March 18-20, 2012 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, has opened the line registration GEC.com • Superior Radiant Pro-ducts Ltd. (Stoney Creek, Ontario) an-nounced the appoint-ment of Mel Sauvé to the position of business development manager. • Lennox’s (Dallas) Stuttgart, Ark., facility has received the top honor for Operational Excellence in the American Manufacturing Strategy Awards, which celebrate excel-lence in all aspects of produc-tion, including lean manufacturing, innovation, operational excellence, and sustainability. Continued onpage4 annually in North America, the company said. The addition of HWA will complement Clockwork’s existing business, enhancing its ability to offer protection plans to cover this substantial customer base, noted the com-pany. The Clockwork network includes the One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, and Mister • See DIRECT ENERGY | page 7 hvac briefs conference on-at www.2012 ina Whole New Way! October 2011 Issue: SPONSO SPONSORED BY Contractor’s Guide to Green FREE download of this issue available through the iTunesApp Store. Get exclusive, interactive iPad content at www.achrnews.com/ipad.