To meet growing consumer interest in household energy efficiency, retailer The Home Depot will feature hundreds of items in special in-store displays bearing a bright green "E-plus" logo with information on energy savings for those products.
Additionally, Home Depot has launched a web site -- www.homedepot.com/energy -- featuring hundreds of home energy conservation projects, such as installing a storm door, weatherproofing, and insulation.
Since creating the energy conservation category last year, The Home Depot says it has experienced a steady increase in sales of energy-efficient lighting, appliances, insulation products, programmable thermostats, ceiling fans, exterior doors, windows, and window treatments. Many of these products bear the U.S. Department of Energy's EnergyStar(R) label and are easily identified in Home Depot stores.
"More and more of the 20 million people who shop at The Home Depot every week are asking us for advice on ways to cut their energy bills," said Home Depot Global Product Merchant Richard Dale. "There are hundreds of simple projects homeowners can undertake to keep the cold out of their houses this winter. That's why we created the E-plus displays in our stores, to show customers what they can do to stay comfortable and take a big bite out of their energy bills."
Among the most popular items this year is compact fluorescent lighting, or "CFLs." While they cost a bit more, Mr. Dale said. CFLs last up to 10 times longer and provide the same amount of light using up to 75-percent less energy. Prices in all categories of CFLs have fallen since last year, while product selection has doubled. Home Depot sold more than 16 million CFL bulbs last year.
Another important category is major appliances, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers. "EnergyStar is the Energy Department's program to identify energy-efficient appliances, regardless of the brand," Mr. Dale said. "An Energy Star refrigerator or washer is specially engineered to use 20-percent less energy than comparable models. With daily use, the appliance can pay for itself in energy savings alone after only a year or two."
One area the retailer says is frequently overlooked is water heaters. Huge improvements in the efficiency of these appliances have occurred during just the last 10 years, helping them consume less gas or electricity per gallon of water, the retailer claims. Any water heater can benefit from the addition of an insulation blanket and pipe insulation, which can reduce the rate of heat loss by as much as 35 percent. Another new technology the retailer offers is the Aquastar(R) tankless water heater, which produces hot water on demand without a reserve tank.
The Home Depot says its E-plus initiative is on-going and will feature special energy conservation displays in the high-visibility "end-caps" at the end of store aisles. Additionally, select stores will conduct one-hour classes on home energy conservation as part of the free "How-to" Clinics offered nightly at Home Depot stores. "Home Depot will educate its customers about products and services that will help them conserve energy and money," said Mr. Dale. "Kid's Workshops at our stores will focus energy conservation as a family activity by teaching children good habits, like turning off unneeded lights, and completing a home energy checklist with their parents."
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