FROM THE WHITE HOUSE TO YOUR HOUSE:
COMPANIES ANNOUNCE ENERGY EFFICIENT PRODUCT PROMOTIONS
December 2, 1999
As part the release of the Greening of the White House Report, a number
of leading American companies are announcing a series of consumer
incentives to help promote the use of energy efficient products by
Americans in their own homes. Right now over 1,200 manufacturers and
some 4,000 retail showrooms offer highly energy efficient Energy Star
products. By using Energy Star products and taking other simple,
common-sense steps, Americans can realize significant savings, cut air
pollution, and make a meaningful contribution to cutting emissions of
the greenhouse gases believed responsible for global warming.
The typical U.S. family spends close to $1,300 a year on its home
utility bill. Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted.
In fact, in the aggregate, U.S. homes waste as much energy as we get
from the Alaskan oil pipeline each year. And the electricity generated
by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air
than two average cars. Using energy efficient appliances and other
common-sense conservation measures can significantly reduce home energy
costs and help the environment.
Energy Star(R) Products Promotions. Six major Americans companies --
Best Buy, Home Depot, Maytag, Philips Lighting Company North America,
Sears, and Whirlpool -- are announcing a series of consumer incentives
to help promote the use of energy efficient products by Americans in
their own homes. All of these companies are partners in Energy Star
Products, a Federal-private sector partnership to design and promote
appliances and other items that use cutting-edge energy efficient
technologies to save consumers money and help protect the environment.
Best Buy will offer free delivery and new financing incentives on
Energy Star appliances (clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators) for
the month of December 1999.
Home Depot will begin a national roll-out of a new Energy Star
Windows Program, with advertising displays and labels that help
consumers choose among energy efficient windows.
Maytag will reduce price on an Energy Star clothes washer by $100
starting in early 2000. It will also launch a public education campaign
about the benefits of the efficient washers in selected U.S. areas where
energy and water are particularly scarce.
Philips Lighting Company North America will offer Energy Star
compact fluorescent light bulbs at Home Depot for less than $10.
Sears will feature new lines of Energy Star heating & cooling
units/systems and a new Energy Star advertising campaign. Sears will
also continue to offer free financing on Energy Star appliances and
heating & cooling systems, as well as free delivery on all Energy Star
Whirlpool will feature a new SERP (the U.S. Department of Energy
Super-Efficient Refrigerator Program) refrigerator that is 35 percent
more efficient than the current U.S. standard for refrigerators. The
product will be available to consumers in the 2nd quarter of 2000.
Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home
By employing a few inexpensive energy efficient measures, homeowners can
reduce their energy bills by 10 percent to 50 percent, and at the same
time, reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Home Energy Audits, performed either by homeowners or
professionals, show where energy is being wasted and suggest strategies
for reducing energy costs. For more information on audits, homeowners
can contact their utility company or the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Lighting efficiency improvements are one of fastest ways to cut
energy bills. Replacing 25 percent of a home's lights in high-use
areas with fluorescents can save about 50 percent on a home's lighting
energy bill. Compact fluorescent light bulbs are more expensive
initially but reduce energy use in light fixtures by up to 70 percent
and pay for themselves within three years. Also remember to turn off
lights when not in use and consider installing timers, photo cells, or
Insulation & Weatherization can increase home comfort and reduce
heating and cooling needs by 30 percent for an investment of just a few
Heating & Cooling account for 44 percent of a typical home's
utility bill. Proper equipment maintenance and upgrades can result in
dramatic savings. Energy-saving steps include:
Setting thermostats as low as is comfortable in winter; as
high as is comfortable in summer.
Cleaning or replacing filters on furnaces once a month or as
Cleaning warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators
as needed and making sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting,
Bleeding trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a
Water Heating accounts for about 14 percent of a home's utility
bill. Homeowners can cut water heating bills by: using less hot water,
turning down the thermostat on water heaters; insulating the water
heater; or buying a new, more efficient model.
Appliances account for about 20 percent of a home's energy
consumption. When shopping for appliances homeowners should look for
Energy Star appliances and keep in mind that their lower operating costs
usually more than make up for their higher upfront costs.
Landscaping can add aesthetic value and environmental quality to a
home. Just three well-placed trees can provide enough shade and
protection from wind to save an average household between $100 and $250
in annual heating and cooling costs.
Windows account for 10 percent to 25 percent of a home's heating
bill. New windows are long-term investments that have a large impact on
a home's energy system. Simpler, less costly measures include
installing storm windows, repairing and weatherizing existing storm
windows, and installing white window shades and/or awnings on south- and
For more information on saving energy and money at home, visit DOE's web
site at www.eren.doe.gov/consumerinfo/energy_savers