ETL now approved for CSAA centrals

Acceptance is 'end of a three-and-a-half year journey'
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Monday, June 21, 2010

PITTSBURGH—Central Station Alarm Association president Ed Bonifas, during CSAA’s General Membership meeting at ESX here, extended what some are calling a long-awaited welcome to Intertek ETL as an officially recognized NRTL whose lone listing can win a company membership to the CSAA. “I’m here to report today—and congratulations to [ETL Director—Life Safety and Security Services] Tom Connaughton in the back of the room—that as of this meeting membership in CSAA can be had by UL-, FM-, or ETL-listed central stations,” Bonifas announced.

Connaughton admitted the approval from CSAA was a relief after a lengthy period of attempting to break in. “I finally got a good night’s sleep last night … It’s the end of a three-and-a-half year journey for acceptance and recognition. This is in no way an endorsement. They’re not pushing us or UL or FM. It’s purely a recognition and it’s something we’ve been striving for and it’s something of which we’re extremely proud,” Connaughton said. “The senior leadership under Ed Bonifas really made this happen. He’s really to be commended for his activities and efforts in getting this through the association.”

A direct competitor to UL, Intertek says in marketing materials it’s bigger and is ready to co-opt more market share. Figures from 2008 provided by the newly recognized NRTL show ETL as a company with revenues of $1.8 billion, while UL had revenues of $814 million—ETL achieved 50 percent growth between January 1 2007 and January 1, 2009, claims to perform more than 2,000,000 annual tests, inspections, certifications and claims now to be the second-largest certification organization in North America behind UL. And ETL says it’s growing steadily.

UL global marketing director Rob Tockarshewsky said UL had no comment on ETL’s official entry to the CSAA-approved NRTL market at this time.

“The biggest pat on our back is a referral,” said ETL national sales manager for Life Safety and Security Jeff Baum. “We have 25,000 employees in the whole of Intertek. We’re publicly traded [ITRK]—we went public in 2002—we’re two-and-a-half the size of UL.”

Connaughton said it would be back to business as usual as ETL continued its drive for growth. “We’ve been growing and receiving lots of pings from the industry based on word of mouth,” Connaughton said. “There’s a lot of companies that are speaking very highly of our services are bringing more business to the table. That’s something we’re very proud of as a customer-focused organization.”