Home Improvement Market Sees Surge During Pandemic

Financialnewsmedia.com Market Commentary

PALM BEACH,  Fla., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Analysts expect home improvement spending to reach $439.9 billion in 2020 – In the time of a global pandemic, there is indeed no place like home. As millions of Americans practice social distancing while working and learning remotely, the home has become the focal point of our lives. The desire to make residences safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable has led to a home improvement boom.   Mentioned in today’s commentary includes:  NeoVolta (OTCQB: NEOV), Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW).

The Home Improvement Research Institute predicts Americans will spend $439.9 billion on home improvement products in 2020. The online home remodeling platform Houzz reports that demand for kitchen and bath remodeling was up 40% year over date in June 2020, while home additions increased 52% and fencing projects jumped 166%. Pool and hot tub installations are seeing a wave of strong demand across the country. 

Home renewable energy is also seeing a surge as storage batteries are being installed in more households. According to the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, the energy storage industry saw record-breaking deployments during the second quarter of 2020, and rapid expansion is expected to continue. A total of 168 MW and 288 MWh of energy storage was deployed in the quarter, second only to Q4 2019 as the highest on record, according to the joint report by Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association.

With Americans nesting like never before, four of the companies active in-home improvement are: NeoVolta (NEOV), Tesla (TSLA), Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW).

NeoVolta (OTCQB: NEOV) – San Diego based NeoVolta, whose stock is trading around $4 per share, is the only pure-play energy storage company on this list. Recently NeoVolta announced an exclusive distribution agreement with Nevada-based PMP Energy. In exchange for making minimum purchases of up to $15 million, PMP Energy can secure specific geographic exclusivities for distribution over the three-year term of the agreement.

NeoVolta has significantly expanded its distribution network in recent months. In addition to Southern California, installations are now available in Northern California and Nevada. The company has doubled its production in 2020 and plans to quadruple capacity by the end of this year. NeoVolta’s NV14 storage system was named one of Solar Power World’s Top Solar Storage Products of 2019.    

Read more about NEOV and recent news developments by visiting: https://www.neovolta.com/news/

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) – Tesla, the carmaker whose stock is trading about $415 per share, is also a major player in home energy storage. Since its 2015 launch, the Powerwall has been Tesla’s flagship residential storage product. It has a lithium ion battery and a storage capacity of 13.5 kWh. The Powerwall can be added to a system with a backup generator connected through an external automatic transfer switch (ATS) or manual transfer switch (MTS). Because the Powerwall and generator are not directly integrated, the Powerwall cannot

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Pence, Harris to meet in vice presidential debate as Covid cases surge in the White House

SALT LAKE CITY — Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., are set to meet Wednesday night at the University of Utah in the vice presidential debate as both candidates face intensified pressure to demonstrate they are prepared to step in as commander in chief.

The vice presidential debate typically draws little fanfare, Pence and Harris will be examined by voters who are choosing between two senior citizens for president.

President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis last week sparked questions over the transferral of the powers of the presidency. Democratic nominee Joe Biden has said he sees himself as a “bridge” to the next generation of Democrats, raising speculation as to whether he would seek a second term.

Regardless of who wins, Trump, 74, and Biden, 77, would both set a new record for the oldest president on to take the oath on inauguration day.

The 90-minute debate will be moderated by USA Today’s Susan Page and will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET. It is the only vice presidential debate of the 2020 presidential campaign.

The debate will be divided into nine segments of approximately 10 minutes each and there will be no commercial breaks. Topics are not being disclosed ahead of time.

Harris will also make history as the first Black woman and the first Asian American to participate in a general election debate as a candidate on a major-party ticket.

While Trump’s diagnosis is expected to hang over the debate hall, Wednesday’s event will also feature a visual reminder of the ongoing pandemic and the nearly 20 people tied to Trump who have tested positive for the virus in the past few days.

Sheets of plexiglass will separate the two candidates on the stage, an extra safety measure that Harris requested because of Pence’s potential exposure to Trump. There was some concern that Trump could have infected Biden during last week’s debate. Biden has consistently tested negative.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the candidates would also be separated by more than 12 feet, an increase from the 7 feet that kept Trump and Biden apart.

Masks are also required by all attendees except for the candidates and the moderator. The CPD has indicated that the mask requirement will be enforced on Wednesday, following last week’s debate when members of the Trump family ignored the rule.

Both Pence and Harris have tested negative for Covid-19 multiple days in a row, according to their campaigns.

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Bear conflict calls surge in B.C.’s northern Interior this year

B.C.’s northern Interior has seen a huge spike in bear conflict calls over the past six months, according to conservation officers, even after years of educating the public not to leave garbage in open areas as attractants for wild animals.

Many Prince Rupert residents were shocked when an adult male black bear was killed downtown by an RCMP officer on Sept. 10. Last Tuesday in Prince George, a female bear was put down by a conservation officer.

The number of bear-related complaints since April is unusual, said B.C. North Coast conservation officer Sgt. Tracy Walbauer, who has worked in his position for two decades.

“We typically have between 300 and 600 bear complaints a year, and we’re already at 900 and we’re just half way through the fiscal [year],” he said. “We typically don’t get busy until the fall.”

Walbauer said bear sighting calls come mostly from the growing Kitamaat and Terrace villages and rarely from Prince Rupert, but his team has received 14 reports this year from the city.

But it’s a far cry from the increase in bear sightings in Prince George, where conservation officer Sgt. Steve Ackles says there have been 1,270 reports of black bears.

A black bear wanders around by a park on McKay Street in Prince Rupert, B.C. (Jamie Lavallee-Pritchard)

Ackles has worked in his position for 15 years. He said Prince George destroys about 40 bears per year, but it has already put down 30 over the past six months.

“It’s disheartening,” he said. “Apparently, the public doesn’t want to save bears or keep themselves safe.”

Ackles said Prince George residents are responsible for the high number of bear sightings and deaths.

“You drive down any street in Prince George and you’ll see garbage cans stored in front of their garage doors,” he said.

The two cubs left behind by the female bear destroyed in Prince George were transferred to Smithers’ Northern Light Wildlife Society co-founded by Angelika Langen. 

She said it’s painful to watch the baby bears losing their mother, but people should be accountable for managing their garbage well, instead of blaming officers who kill the animals.

“Not pointing out where the problem really lies is not helping,” said Langen to Carolina De Ryk, host of CBC’s Daybreak North. “If you just gloss it over and not really control where the problem is, it’s never going to change.” 

Tap the link below to listen to Angelika Langen’s interview on Daybreak North:

The Northern Lights Wildlife Society is frustrated by the amount of attractants being left out in northern communities, leading to the shooting of bears and orphaning of cubs. 6:37

Subscribe to Daybreak North on CBC Listen or your favourite podcast app, and connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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