Whirlpool brand appliances, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Energy Star Program and the Edison Electric Institute will host a search throughout the U.S. for 10 energy-inefficient homes, and will provide upgrades to help lower monthly bills while helping the environment. The program is being supported in part by Lowe's.
The contest started July 4, 2006, and with winners will have upgrades in place by October 2006 in recognition of Energy Awareness Month. Two winning entries will be selected from each of five regions around the country: the West, South Central, North Central, Southeast, and Northeast.
Ten selected households will receive home audits to determine which products will make their homes more energy and water efficient -- from Energy Star qualified appliances to home sealing products -- providing a blueprint for more efficient living.
With rising energy costs throughout the U.S., the program plans to demonstrate how simple, small changes in the home can add up.
Energy Star was started in 1992 by the EPA to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through more energy-efficient products and practices. In 2005, Americans with the help of the Energy Star Program, saved U.S. $12 billion on their utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of 23 million cars.
"Energy and water savings are always top-of-mind as we're developing new products," said Andy Sinclair, Energy Star program manager at Whirlpool. "Last year, we increased our production of Energy Star qualified products by 24 percent, and our newest laundry appliances, including the Duet Sport(TM), continue that trend."
The Whirlpool(R) Duet Sport(TM) washer reportedly saves 67 percent more energy and 61 percent more water than conventional washers.
Whirlpool will return to the contest winners' homes 1 year later to analyze cost and energy savings. Whirlpool received the 2006 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award and received the Energy Star Partner of the Year award seven times previously. Lowe's received the Award for Excellence in Energy Star Outreach for its how-to clinics and month-long awareness campaigns for the Energy Star label, the fourth consecutive year the company has been honored for its energy education efforts.
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