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Feds Bestow Energy Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sears, Maytag and Whirlpool have been named 2001 Energy Star Partners of the Year by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Partner of the Year Awards recognize the Energy Star affiliates that best demonstrate their commitment to educating consumers about the benefits of energy-efficient products. Energy Star is a voluntary partnership between the DOE and EPA and businesses and organizations nationwide to help consumers identify the most energy-efficient products by their Energy Star labeling.

This year’s winners received their awards during a special ceremony here last month officiated by EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman.

Sears, which sells more than 250 Energy Star appliance models, won its second consecutive Energy Star honor for the amount of inventory, floor space and point-of-purchase materials devoted to, and total sales of, compliant products. Noted Tina Settecase, Sears’ VP/home appliances, “The fact that we have received this award two years running indicates that energy-efficiency is not only good for society, but it’s also good for business.”

Maytag copped its award for its corporate emphasis on energy efficiency. Some 32 percent of the company’s product line is Energy Star rated, or double the industry average, and the manufacturer has been proactive in promoting energy-saving appliances through its ad campaigns, retail promotional materials, landmark Neptune washer study and six-city country music concert series.

Three-time winner Whirlpool was cited for its leadership in manufacturing and promoting such Energy Star products as its Calypso washer, Conquest side-by-side refrigerator and 900 Series dishwasher. Observed Kathleen Hogan, director of EPA’s climate protection partnership division, “American families spend an estimated $140 billion each year on energy bills. If consumers use Energy Star products such as those manufactured by Whirlpool, they could reduce annual costs by up to 30 percent while also reducing water use and air pollution.”