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TECO adds contractor to its lineup

The utility plans to merge BCH Mechanical of Largo with its own subsidiary to form a new unit.

TECO Energy has purchased a mechanical contracting company in Largo to form a new subsidiary to design and build energy-saving systems for commercial and public-sector customers.

TECO combined BCH Mechanical with its subsidiary BGA, a Tampa engineering and energy-services company, to create TECO Solutions. TECO officials declined Monday to disclose the purchase price.

Purchased by TECO four years ago, BGA advised customers how to cut utility bills by installing more energy-efficient equipment. BGA also designed and contracted to build heating, air-conditioning, electrical and plumbing systems. The company has some 600 customers, including the University of South Florida and Florida school districts, and revenues of about $30-million a year.

The acquisition of BCH Mechanical, with 360 employees in Florida and $40-million in annual sales, will give TECO Solutions the ability to perform all the work under one corporate roof.

"This gives us more in-house capability," said Michael Gibson, vice president of business management for BGA.

Started in 1976 by Stephen Blume, BCH Mechanical grew into a family of companies that included air-conditioning and plumbing contractors, a sheet metal fabrication and installation business, and an emergency building repair and maintenance firm.

TECO began negotiations in February to acquire BCH because it was having trouble securing contractors for work around the state at reasonable prices, said Blume, BCH's president. He predicted his company's business would grow rapidly under the combination.

"Certainly, with their engineers selling (jobs) for us, it will open more doors," said Blume, who, along with brother and BCH vice president Daryl Blume, will work for the new company under long-term employment contracts.