The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) reports that Energy Star clothes washer shipments—with above-average energy efficiency and usually with higher prices tags—increased from 14 percent in 2002 to 32 percent in 2005. The U.S. saturation level of front load washers—again, inherently more energy efficient and expensive than standard washers—has risen to 14.5 percent.
A more important statistic is the number of purchases made that were motivated by the desire for a more energy efficient appliance, even before the previous appliance died. Five years ago this was just 11 percent of all purchases (looking at the overall category of full-size refrigerators, freezers, ranges, dishwashers, clothes washers, and clothes dryers). In the last 4 years, this segment of purchases grew to 18 percent. In built-in refrigerators AHAM data shows about 1-in-20 purchases were motivated by the desire for improved energy efficiency 5 years ago; in recent years, it grows to about 1-in-4 purchases.
Riding the Energy Star
U.S. appliance makers are determined to be Energy Stars. Their efforts paid off in March 2006 when the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized industry players who made energy efficiency a priority in their appliance products:
GE Consumer & Industrial received the Sustained Excellence Award for its commitment to creating high-performance household appliances and lighting products that help reduce energy spending and protect the environment. GE's support of the Energy Star program includes consumer and customer education and participation in national and regional events that promote Energy Star products to consumers, customers and homebuilders.
From 2002 through 2005, GE invested more than U.S. $350 million to develop and bring to market high-efficiency appliances products. Appliances throughout the GE Monogram, GE Profile, GE, and Hotpoint brands have qualified, including clothes washers, refrigerators, dishwashers, room air-conditioners, dehumidifiers, and water products. In 2005 alone, GE says it invested approximately $60.4 million in Energy Star appliance models. The result was 164 new Energy Star appliance products, an increase of 26.2 percent over 2004.
Whirlpool Corporation received the inaugural Energy Star Sustained Excellence 2006 Award, given to organizations that exhibit environmental leadership year after year while sustaining product and marketing excellence. It was Whirlpool's seventh Energy Star Award win. Among the reasons cited in recognizing Whirlpool was the company's commitment to offering a compelling depth and breadth of Energy Star-qualified products, as well as the company's training programs, marketing campaigns and national consumer education activities.
Maytag Corporation received the Excellence in Energy Star Outreach 2006 Award for its contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy-efficient products. Maytag was an Energy Star partner since 1997 and was honored for promoting DOE's "Spring into a World of Savings" appliance program to advance consumer awareness and purchases of Energy Star-qualified appliances. The annual appliance promotion encourages consumers to remove old, inefficient appliances and, when making a replacement, to choose appliances that have earned the Energy Star rating to save energy and money.
Retailer Sears, Roebuck and Co. received the Energy Star Outreach 2006 Award for educating consumers about energy efficiency by promoting energy efficient products. Sears was one of the first retail partners with Energy Star.
Sears said its efforts increased its sales of Energy Star-qualified appliances by 10 percent, to more than 3 million net unit sales in 2005. In 2006, Sears promoted Energy Star-qualified appliances with its "Spring Into a World of Savings" campaign, with its appliance departments featuring an abundance of Energy Star signing. Sears is the largest seller of major appliances in the U.S., supports qualified appliances in product selection, sales associate training, advertising, and online sales.
In 2006, Victory Refrigeration became the first foodservice equipment maker to receive the Energy Star Partner of the Year award in the Manufacturing category. The U.S. agencies recognized Victory (Cherry Hill, New Jersey, U.S.) as a result of the OEM's promotion of energy-efficient foodservice equipment and energy education efforts targeted at channel partners and end users. Victory said more than 480 of its refrigerator and freezer models have earned Energy Star tier 1 or tier 2 ratings, more than all other foodservice refrigeration manufacturers combined. Victory made energy savings the centerpiece of its V2E campaign, which pledges to end-users that the company will provide products with better coverage, better build-quality for more reliable operation and low-energy-use performance.
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