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2007-05-25 08:30:00

South Carolina Withers Preserve First GE Ecomagination Community

GE Consumer and Industrial and Withers Preserve developer Rob O'Neel CEO of RWO Acquisitions have announced the first of several anticipated agreements to build one of the country's first communities incorporating GE's ecomagination Homebuilder Program at Withers Preserve in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. RWO and GE agree that this master-planned community designed to promote healthy lifestyles and smart land use is the perfect place to build this high-performance home of the future.

The Balmoral neighbohood will feature 60 single-family homes in Phase I, ranging from 1,800 to 3,500 s/f living space.Appearing  at a press conference at Universal Studios in Los Angeles with GE CEO Jeff Immelt and other industry executives, O'Neel said, "The new urbanism that inspired Withers Preserve celebrates the values and traditions of our rich American heritage.  Our participation in the GE ecomagination Homebuilder Program adds an important leading-edge environmental efficiency component to Withers Preserve, making this a true 21st century home town. RWO Acquisitions joins GE in the belief that solving environmental problems is good business, and GE's ecomagination initiative is the centerpiece for a positive growth strategy."

"The focus on energy efficiency as part of this project is very much in line with what we've pushed for in terms of sound energy policy," added South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford speaking from Columbia, SC. "Promoting smart land use -- as well as healthy lifestyles -- are both goals of this administration, and to that end I want to welcome these efforts to do so." 

Under this program, homes in Withers Preserve will meet the high standards set by GE and Masco Contractor Services' Environments for Living® (EFL) program to help ensure energy-efficient homes. The homes will feature GE products inspired by its ecomagination initiative – including appliances, lighting products, solar panels, and a new GE SmartCommand™ Dashboard, which provides current and historical feedback on electricity and water consumption.

Homes built to GE ecomagination Homebuilder Program specifications are designed to achieve the following compared to industry-accepted average new homes:

  • at least 20% household energy savings
  • at least 20% savings on household indoor water consumption
  • at least 20% fewer household emissions of CO2, SO2, and Nox

In addition to GE energy efficient products, the Withers Preserve community will also be using other products from the GE portfolio, including GE Money, GE Security and Smart Home Structured Wiring solutions, and GE's suite of electrical distribution products, including GE loadcenters with surge protection, decorative bath fans, temporary power solutions, and more.

A neo-traditional community of single-family homes, Townhomes and condominiums, Withers Preserve is a 900-acre residential community being developed by RWO in harmony with the master-planned redevelopment program under the direction of the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base Redevelopment Authority (MBAFRA). This impressive public/private project includes a 3,970-acre parcel of land with $30 million of new infrastructure including 29 acres of lakes, over 200 acres of new community parks and four miles of new roads. Residents will access Withers Preserve via Farrow Parkway, a thoroughfare for local and visitor traffic, connecting Highway 17 Bypass to Kings Highway (Hwy 17 Business).

For more information about Withers Preserve visit

For more information about GE ecomagination, visit

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