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Your appliances can help you keep cool during this summer scorcher

While much of the East coast is dealing with a severe heat wave, not even a day at the pool can provide relief of triple digit temperatures.  Keeping your home cool can also be a challenge for those who want to conserve energy. 

A local Maryland newspaper, hometownannapolis.com recently published an article with lots of helpful tips to make your home feel cooler while using less energy.  Some of their tips include using a dehumidifier to make your home feel cooler and running appliances like your dishwasher at night.  Read the full article for lots of strategic ideas to keep your home cool this summer!

Appliance Industry Cites Benefits of Appliance Rebate Programs

AHAM credits the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs (SEEARP), funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, with delivering the promised benefits of stimulating economic activity. The program has been very successful in encouraging U.S. consumers to purchase ENERGY STAR appliances, but its modest funding and complicated rollout limited its effectiveness in saving consumers energy and money.

Many AHAM members have pointed to a significant increase in demand for the ENERGY STAR appliances included in the rebate program.  AHAM’s April factory shipment report shows a nearly 20 percent increase in shipments of major home appliances compared to April 2009.  Year to date, shipments of core appliances are up 9.1 percent following four consecutive years of declines. 

Major retailers have confirmed that the rebate program has helped bring consumers back into stores.  While the $300 million funding for the rebate program was significantly less than other stimulus programs, the return of consumers to stores also helped stimulate the purchase of goods other than appliances. 

AHAM’s assessment of the SEEARP program is that it has been a success but that its modest funding and complicated rollout limited its effectiveness in saving consumers energy and money and stimulating economic activity. AHAM also recommends a single, national rebate program instead of 50 separate state programs, each requiring separate DOE approval and related administrative costs.  A consistent nationwide program would make it much easier for manufacturers to partner with retailers to develop promotional campaigns to make consumers aware of the rebates. 

Read more on AHAM's view of the SEEARP program at www.aham.org.

Easy Spring Cleaning Tips for your Appliances

In order to get the most from your household appliances, you need to show them a little love in return.  Regular maintenance will keep your appliances running in top shape and keep them running longer. The New York Times recently published an article with tips to take care of your dishwasher, refrigerator, ovens, vacuums and more.

“Appliance maintenance does not take long — and best of all, it can
extend the lifespan of an appliance,” the article correctly states.  Always consult your use and care manual first, and follow these tips in The Fix when you are doing your routine house cleaning this spring.

You can also visit www.aham.org/consumer for more information on appliance care.

Less is more when it comes to detergent

NBC Washington, with the help of AHAM and the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), aired a segment last week on how much detergent people should be using to wash their clothes.  You may be surprised to see most people use about twice the recommended amount!  Watch the video below to see some tips from the experts to keep your clothes fresh and your clothes washer running smoothly.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.

AHAM Publishes New 2009 Year-End Data Reports

AHAM updated three industry data reports to include 2009 year-end data.  These reports are the Distributor Sales by State, History of Dollar Value, and Major Appliance Annual Trends.

The Distributor Sales by State report includes a listing of major appliance shipments by product distributed to each state for 2009.  The History of Dollar Value report provides estimated annual Major Home Appliance Industry Domestic Dollar Sales from 1988-2009.  These numbers are based on manufacturer dollar value and shipments.  Finally, annual major appliance shipment data from 1989-2009 is available in the Major Appliance Annual Trends report.

AHAM data reports are available for purchase in the AHAM store.

Have you tried a rice cooker?

The rice cooker is one of the most convenient kitchen items you may be overlooking. 

More and more people are discovering the rice cooker, including celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.  A recent AHAM study shows that only 23%
of households have a rice cooker, and 73% of those people got theirs
within the past four years.

In his weekly column "Wolfgang's Kitchen," he proclaims his loyalty to the "humble rice cooker" and shares recipes for other dishes that can be made with this small appliance.  Wolfgang enjoys making perfectly cooked rice with little effort and freeing up a burner on his cooktop.  Read his column for some expert tips on cooking rice, macaroni and cheese and his recipe for macaroni and cheese with wild mushrooms. 

Update from Egypt: Montreal Protocol Meetings

Kevin Egypt

The Parties of the Montreal Protocol reconvened today to continue its
discussions. The morning agenda included several items that generally
do not affect AHAM members such as nominations for essential-use
exemptions for 2010 and 2011, amendments to the handbook on
essential-use nominations, and issues related to methyl bromide.  The
Technology & Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) also presented a
report that included various matters, including alternatives to HCFCs
in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors in developing

On a more pertinent note to the appliance industry, contact groups, or
break out sessions were formed to create dialogue on important
issues.   AHAM participated in the “High GWP alternatives to ODS and
proposed amendment?? contact group and presented the highlights of the
North American proposal to address HFCs in the Montreal Protocol.  The
group members asked questions related to the financial, legal and
political impact of the North American proposal. 

**Updated with a photo from Egypt! 


AHAM Attending Montreal Protocol Meetings in Egypt

AHAM's VP, Government Relations, Kevin Messner, will be attending the Twenty-First Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer from November 4-8 in Port Ghalib, Egypt.  During the meetings, AHAM will be focused on the HFC phase-down discussions and the North American amendment to deal with HFCs.

Check back next week when Kevin will be able to share some of AHAM's accomplishments during the meeting. 

Research Shows Increase in Coffeemaker Usage

A new consumer research study published by AHAM details the impact of the US economy on portable appliance usage among owners of small appliances.

According to the research, 26% of espresso/cappuccino coffeemaker owners stated that they have used their appliance significantly more in the past 1-2 years due to the economy.  Also, 21% of single-serve coffeemaker owners have used more on this appliance more due to economic conditions. Only 9% of auto-drip coffeemaker owners have used their appliance more frequently. 

57% of espresso/cappuccino coffeemaker owners said that they somewhat or strongly agree that they use their appliance to save money over coffeeshop prices.   Espresso/cappuccino coffeemaker owners may be saving up to $1,000 per year by brewing their coffee at home! 

AHAM’s new Portable Appliance Saturation and Usage Study is based on a nationally representative sample of more than 2,500 households and was conducted by The Stevenson Company for AHAM members.

Also, check out Good Housekeeping's take on low-cost espresso makers.  They also give their ratings to 19 different models that are all under $100.

Benefits of Recycling your “Beer Fridge”

Beerfridge According to the Steel Recycling Institute SRI, 90% of appliances in 2008 were recycled for their valuable metal.  Tuesday morning’s post in the NY Times Green Inc. blog discusses a “cash for clunkers?? type program where states offer rebates for “beer fridges,?? which are older less efficient units that could be using more than triple the amount of energy than a modern unit of average efficiency.  According to the post, “Utilities commonly estimate that homeowners can save up to $150 a year on their electricity bill by dumping their old refrigerator or freezer…. In addition, refrigerators made before the mid-1990s may also emit ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons.?? 

For refrigerator recycling options in your area, call 1-800-YES-1-CAN.