Around the Industry: Dominion Electric Buys YES Supply, Kyocera Partnership, Digital Lumens Investment & More

Jan. 24, 2013
Dominion Electric Supply makes Acquisition

Dominion Electric Buys YES Supply

Dominion Electric Supply Co. Inc., Arlington, Va., has acquired certain assets of YES Electrical Supply, Alexandria, Va. YES Electrical Supply was in business for 24 years. The owner, Richard “Smitty” Smith, will work in a sales capacity for Dominion Electric Supply at the branch throughout the transition. In a Dominion Electric Supply press release announcing the acquisition, Smith said, “I am excited about this new opportunity. Dominion is planning on remodeling the store and expanding the inventory offering. I am confident we can continue to serve our customers well.”

Kyocera forms partnership program for Solar Installers

Kyocera Solar Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz., announced the Kyocera Diamond Partner Program for new and existing installers who offer Kyocera solar modules and peripheral photovoltaic (PV) system products. The benefit program offers “exclusive and protected sales territories,” first access to the company’s latest products and technology innovations, best price guarantees, special sales, discounted training programs, online tools for lead-generation and enhanced technical support. Kyocera said its program “is ideal for new solar installers, such as residential and commercial developers, high-end home remodelers and general contractors who are interested in diversifying their product offerings.”

Digital Lumens to use $10 million investment to fund expansion

Digital Lumens, a Boston manufacturer specializing in intelligent LED lighting systems primarily for the industrial market, closed a $10 million round of funding from existing investors, according to a report in The Boston Globe. Investors include Black Coral Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners and Stata Ventures, the company said in a release this week.

Digital Lumens said it has grown its customer base 150% with more than 500 large-scale installations of its Intelligent LED Lighting systems, and those systems are now saving its customers more than $25 million per year by reducing their annual energy consumption. Meanwhile the overall LED lighting market has grown 94% according to a Canaccord Genuity study cited by the company.

Most of the growth has come in the industrial market but the company looks to expand into other markets, said Tom Pincince, Digital Lumens’ president and chief executive said in the release. “While we have established a leadership position in the industrial vertical, our integrated intelligence is applicable to the entire lighting market. We will use this latest investment to accelerate our expansion into new segments and international markets and to further develop our product and service offerings.”

Acuity CEO: slow first half of 2013 but improvement later in the year

Acuity Brands, Inc., Conyers, Ga., announced that its fiscal 2013 first-quarter net sales were $481.1 million, an increase of $6.8 million, or 1.4%, compared with the year-ago period.

Vernon Nagel, chairman, president, and CEO of Acuity Brands, said in a press release announcing the results, “Our first-quarter results reflect what we believe was a lull in demand in the nonresidential construction market as well as temporary inefficiencies and costs associated with the closure of our Cochran, Ga., production facility. As indicated in our fourth quarter SEC filings, earnings release and conference call, we cautioned that end-customer demand could be inconsistent and tepid, particularly during the first half of the year, due to the weak pace of economic recovery in the U.S. and abroad.

“Although shipment volume increased modestly in the first quarter as compared with the year-ago period, it appeared certain customers took a “wait and see” approach surrounding the uncertainties of the outcomes of the U.S. elections and the resolution of the pending “fiscal cliff” resulting in weak demand.

“While we currently see favorable trends in our daily order rate, we still expect demand to be volatile in our second quarter, as businesses and consumers adjust their spending plans to take into account the uncertainties associated with U.S. fiscal policy and global economic concerns. We believe this will be followed by more stable demand in the second half of our fiscal 2013.”

Quanta subsidiary to build 186-mile transmission line in Saskatchewan

Quanta Services Inc., Houston, announced recently that SaskPower has selected Valard Construction, a Quanta Services company, to install transmission infrastructure for the Island Falls to Key Lake Transmission Line Project. Under the terms of the contract, Valard will build approximately 186 miles (300 kilometers) of 230-kilovolt transmission line in northern Saskatchewan. The project scope includes foundation construction, installation of approximately 900 transmission towers, wire stringing and related project management.

Grainger to pay $70 million in contract dispute with U.S. government

A Dec. 26 Department of Justice release said W.W. Grainger Inc., Lake Forest, Ill., has agreed to pay the United States government $70 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims under contracts with the General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Postal Services (USPS). A report in the Chicago Business Journal said that in the settlement Grainger did not admit any wrongdoing and that “the discrepancy centered on disclosure language in the GSA and Postal Service contracts, which were implemented more than 10 years ago.”