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Planet Green Group Announces First Affordable Net Zero Energy Townhome Project in Nation

July 30, 2012

DUNEDIN, FL. July 30, 2012 (NYSE: GE) Planet Green Group announced today the launch of an important housing project that will transform affordable home building in the future. The Eco Village at Dunedin will be the first affordable LEED Certified Net Zero Energy townhome development in the nation. These 25 Greenergy Net Zero Energy townhomes are designed and engineered to bring affordability, energy efficiency and use of renewable energy technology to Florida’s homeowners.

Robert Ironsmith, Director of Economic Development & Housing for the City of Dunedin said, “We are thrilled to see Planet Green Group develop Lorraine Leland into affordable town homes that feature state of the art energy efficiency. The City values the partnership between the Dunedin Housing Authority which donated the property, Pinellas County for managing the process and Planet Green Group for incorporating high energy efficiency building techniques into its development.“

Planet Green Group, in collaboration with its strategic partners: Eco Construction, GE, Algatec Solar, MESH Architecture, Pinellas County, the Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County and the City of Dunedin, will unveil these innovative townhomes at the press event and groundbreaking on August 1, 2012 at 10:00 AM ET. The press conference will take place at the site of the townhomes, located at MLK and Lorraine Leland Street in Dunedin, Florida.

According to Steve Chamu, CEO of Eco Construction and Maintenance: ”We are proud to be associated with this housing project and to serve as a catalyst for future projects. By providing state of the art construction and technology we will enhance the customer experience and protect the planet.”

After winning a competitive RFP, Planet Green Group worked with Pinellas County, the Housing Finance Authority of Pinellas County, and the City of Dunedin to develop the plan for these affordable Net Zero Energy townhomes in the heart of Dunedin, a stone’s throw from the Gulf of Mexico. Frank Bowman, Housing Development Manager for Pinellas County Community Development, is inspired by the affordability of the project, offering: “We have been working to make our affordable housing projects as “green” as possible for many years, but Eco Village will be the first LEED certified, net zero energy, affordable housing project in Pinellas County. This project will serve as a model for future affordable housing developments in Tampa Bay and throughout the country, and we are excited to play a role in making it a reality.”

The focus for this project is to provide affordable living for everyone, including "Hometown Heroes"—police officers, firefighters, nurses, teachers, veterans and other professionals. The site is part of the Lorraine Leland tract in Dunedin and will consist of 25 two-story townhomes from 1,100 to 1,500 square feet, with a projected price range of $135,000 to $175,000. “Energy efficient living is a necessity, not a luxury. These homes give people affordability and energy savings with a lot of sizzle. Imagine what this will mean for our families and communities,” said Vladimir Tchentsov, Chairman of Planet Green Group.

GE provided expertise and products from its Homes Inspired by ecomagination offering, which combines building science and high-performance products with the ability for homeowners to monitor energy consumption. Homes Inspired by ecomagination are designed to lower overall household energy use, CO2 emissions on the power grid, indoor water consumption and reduce associated energy costs. The homes include a variety of products and services from GE’s ecomagination portfolio, including a suite of appliances, LED lighting and its Home Energy Management System, which allows homeowners to better understand home energy use. Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to innovative technologies that help maximize resources and efficiencies and make the world work better.

Planet Green Group has also partnered with award-winning design firm, Mesh Architecture, to provide innovative designs for Eco Village at Dunedin. The Mesh Architecture and Mesh Fabrication collaborative of over 35 architects, designers and craftspeople have created a diverse portfolio of residential, commercial and institutional projects including multi-family, art institutions and historic renovations over the past 25 years.

For its custom solar technology engineering, Planet Green Group has teamed with Algatec Solar, the European solar energy consortium expected to site its future photovoltaic and thin film solar manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg. As a strategic partner, Algatec will provide the solar power needs for this development and play a vital role in other projects to follow.

Providing the economic development strategy for the partnership, Mario Farias of Farias Marketing Group said, “This private-public partnership provides a model for moving forward in affordable, energy-efficient living for Floridians and beyond, striking the right balance of people, planet and profits. Building affordable net zero energy homes begins to cut our escalating power costs and creates a ripple effect for jobs, business and education starting right here in Tampa Bay.” For additional information, please contact Mario Farias at 727-641-9886 or Mariofarias@thefariasmarketinggroup.com.

About GE Appliances
GE Appliances is at the forefront of building innovative, energy-efficient appliances that improve people’s lives. GE Appliances’ products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners, water filtration systems and water heaters. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information on GE Appliances, visit www.ge.com/appliances.

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Kim Freeman
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Kim Freeman
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Division
GE Consumer & Industrial - Americas
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kim_freeman@ge.com