Comfort Systems USA changes organization

June 29, 2001 |

Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (NYSE: FIX) has announced organizational changes to capitalize on significant energy efficiency and energy management trends in the mechanical contracting market. Emphasizing the importance of these trends, Marty Applebaum and Chuck Sherman, senior leadership responsible for two strategic initiatives delivering facility automation services and integrated energy services now report directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Murdy.

'The Comfort Systems USA family of companies has always been positioned to provide a wide array of mechanical and automation products, services and solutions to commercial and industrial markets,' said Chairman and CEO Murdy. 'These organizational changes will allow us to build on that strong position by better leveraging our distinctive capabilities in automation and energy services to take full advantage of the opportunities that exist in today's energy market.'

The change brings to fruition more than 18 months worth of development in unifying the core automation capabilities of Comfort Systems USA into the Facility Automation Services (FAS) group, headed by Senior Vice President Marty Applebaum.

Under this initiative, Applebaum will coordinate automation engineering practice, national account management, manufacturer alliances, and FAS business development strategy across Comfort Systems USA's operating locations with automation capabilities. Comfort Systems USA is the nation's largest independent building automation contractor.

In addition, this change places greater focus on Comfort Systems USA's

integrated energy services initiative headed by Senior Vice President Chuck Sherman. Comfort Systems USA's integrated energy services are a bundled service offering including energy master planning, in-depth facility evaluation, energy efficiency measure design and implementation and supply side (commodity and infrastructure) consulting. Additionally, Comfort Systems USA arrange for system financing and provides ongoing system operations and maintenance. These services are backed by a corporate engineering and sales group focused on demand-side and supply side energy economics, project design, contract management, and turnkey delivery.

Both initiatives are a part of the company's long-term strategy to enable Comfort Systems USA to deliver a full-range of market-driven solutions addressing energy efficiency and energy management through its 125 locations nationwide. The company cited several trends that prompted its enhanced emphasis on facilities automation and integrated energy services.

  1. Energy Deregulation -- As deregulation efforts move across the country, building owners and managers continue to seek benefits of and in some cases protect themselves from an open energy market. As a result, there is greater demand for mechanical and building automation contractors that can provide consultative energy-based solutions integrating energy auditing, energy management, energy master planning, supply-side consulting, and real-time pricing and usage data.
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    refrigeration; lighting; security; fire and; electrical distribution. In addition, automation capabilities are increasingly embedded into heating, ventilation, and air conditioning components requiring greater skills and capability on the part of systems design and installation teams.


  2. Demand for Unified Building Systems -- Open protocols now allow for varying automation systems to interface with one another creating opportunities for building owners and managers to integrate the best available technology solutions into enterprise level facility management systems including HVAC,

  3. Internet-based Technologies -- In the same way open protocols have allowed automation systems to be better integrated, the Internet now allows systems to interface from multiple buildings, in multiple locations, over wide area networks. Multi-location building owners and managers are now demanding the technology to manage building systems and energy information across system-wide assets. These same systems are also beginning to be used for energy arbitrage where owners can reduce load and sell back capacity to the market or sell on-site generation capacity to the market through internet based solutions.

Murdy continued, 'Comfort Systems USA's facilities automation and integrated energy services expertise positions the company to respond to these emerging trends in the market.

'This company's promise is to provide total business solutions for commercial and industrial customers,' he said. 'Our skill set, our national scope and, our increased focus on automation and integrated energy services puts Comfort Systems USA in the perfect position to deliver on that promise.'

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Comfort Systems USA is the premier provider of business solutions addressing workplace comfort, environment, processes and energy services.

The Houston-based company has 125 operating locations across the nation. More information can be found at

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