In the last few weeks I have noticed more new products in the offing than we usually see come throughThe NEWSdesk.

The current economic uncertainties coupled with high-energy prices seem to have jumpstarted a few technologies. Solar is getting eyeballs once again, and contractors are asking more questions about geothermal heat pumps.

But that’s not all. You’ll be hearing more about innovation in products such as expansion valves, and permanent split capacitor motors, and other similar components.

The NEWSwill be reporting on some new technologies in coming weeks, and you may be surprised at how revolutionary some of them really are. So, this is not just about a new paint job, or a new logo - it is about products that are actually shaking things up in the industry.

Why the flurry of activity of late?

Perhaps because just as the high cost of gasoline at the pump has actually caused Americans to change their driving habits, so too has the increased energy costs of operating homes and businesses caused people to look for more efficient solutions.

Ironically, even though customers may balk at the cost of newer technology in the early stage, and their own current economic plight might be tough, the need for new products has still been driven primarily because of an economy that is in the doldrums as energy prices skyrocket all around.

Perhaps it is true that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.