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Iberdrola signs to go up as RGS come down

By THOMAS ADAMS - 8/17/2012

The two red RGS signs have come down after 12 years atop the Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. building on East Avenue, making way for lighted Iberdrola S.A. logos with leaf, water droplet and flame.

The second sign came down Saturday. The new signage, scheduled to go up in the fall, comes as crews refresh and rehabilitate the exterior of the 86-year-old structure. RG&E officials declined to specify the cost of the project.
 
The RGS signs, signifying RGS Energy Group Inc., have been on the building since fall 2000. RGS was the parent of RG&E and New York State Electric & Gas Corp. before selling to Energy East Corp. in June 2002 for $1.4 billion.
 
Energy East sold RG&E, NYSEG and Central Maine Power Co. to Iberdrola in September 2008.
 
"The work on the building is to show the overall corporate brand," said Mark Lynch, president of RG&E and NYSEG. "RG&E is still the name of the company."
 
The new logo features three overlapping teardrop shapes. A green leaf represents respect for the environment, company officials say. A blue drop represents wind- and water-generated electricity. An orange flame represents natural gas and solar energy.
 
The new signs will have high-efficiency LED bulbs that use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights, RG&E spokesman Daniel Hucko said.
 
The logo was unveiled in December 2010, two years after the Spanish energy conglomerate acquired the companies for nearly $4.6 billion. Iberdrola USA Inc. is its U.S. subsidiary, and many of its operational executives are based in Rochester.
 
RG&E had not changed its logo since 1968. NYSEG's last change was in 1980.
 
"We're just identifying that RG&E and our sister companies, NYSEG and CMP, are part of this corporate family," Lynch said of the signage. "We'll be putting up the leaves to show that we've changed our logo, but we're still the Rochester Gas and Electric that everybody knows."
 
The 11-story limestone building with marble details was built in 1926. It is on the southeast corner of East Avenue and Chestnut Street. The property is assessed at $2.42 million, with a land value of $1.17 million, Monroe County records show.
 
Crews are inspecting joints, bricks, stones, cornices and sills on the north, west and south sides of the building, RG&E spokesman Daniel Hucko said.
 
"In addition to repairing any problem areas they find, the contractors also will be cleaning any discolorations from the building's surface," Hucko said.
 
The facade work involves routine maintenance to keep the building safe "and to identify and repair small problems before they become large programs," Hucko said.
 
The replacement of signs is part of Iberdrola's ongoing rebranding effort, he said.
 
The branding has been phased in since the logo was introduced. The logo first appeared on bills and other printed materials and on the RG&E and NYSEG websites. It is being added to company facilities and vehicles according to normal maintenance and replacement schedules, company officials said.
 
RG&E and Iberdrola USA Inc. employ 950 people locally.
 

8/17/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.