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Sears, Nationwide Receive Top Energy Star Honors

Sears and the Nationwide Marketing Group have been Energy Star partners since the 1990s and this year will be no different.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has once again recognized the retail chain and the independent dealer merchandising group as partners in its Energy Star program, which endorses extra-efficient consumer products that can help save money, energy and the environment.

Also returning as an Energy Star partner is Whirlpool, which received the Product Brand Owner Award — its 25th Energy Star honor — for its “outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by manufacturing energy-efficient kitchen and laundry appliances,” and for being a leader in educating consumers and training retailers about energy efficiency.

In contrast, both Sears and Nationwide received Sustained Excellence Awards — the highest form of Energy Star recognition — for their “continued leadership in protecting our environment through superior energy efficiency achievements,” EPA said.

Sears was cited for reducing its stores’ total weather normalized source energy usage by 6 percent, a decrease of nearly 1 billion KBtu, and for promoting energy-efficient laundry pairs and, together with GE, super-efficient heat pump electric water heaters.

Related: Appliance Vendors Are Standing By Sears

The chain also introduced a new training program for sales associates that emphasizes the benefits of energy-efficient majaps, and redoubled its marketing and utility partnership efforts.

For their part, Nationwide’s member dealers ran more than 10,000 campaigns featuring Energy Star-certified products during the Black Friday and Presidents Day promotional periods.

See: Nationwide PrimeTime slideshow

“It’s exciting to see the impact we’ve made through our strong partnerships with vendors, enabling us to drive the sales of Energy Star-qualified models and cause the retirement of older, less-efficient major appliances and consumer electronics,” said Nationwide marketing senior VP Rick Weinberg. “We remain committed to continuing our work to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.”

 Since its inception in 1992, Energy Star and its partners have helped prevent a total of more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and provided more than $11 billion in societal benefits due to reducing damages from climate change in 2014 alone.

The awards will be formally bestowed at a ceremony next month in Washington.