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Stop, Collaborate and Listen – AHAM at GridWeek

Matt Williams, AHAM's Director of Standards, has returned from GridWeek 2009, where he spent a lot of time gathering information and discussing how groups, including AHAM, are collaborating to introduce Smart technologies into the home.  Watch this video for a snippet of some attendee thoughts:

AHAM will soon release a white paper on the role of home appliances in the smart grid and the major benefits for consumers and the environment.

In the meantime, read the Wall Street Journal's recent article on Smart Grid, which includes remarks by AHAM on these consumer and environmental benefits.

“Cash for Refrigerators” on FOX Business and where to find the deals NOW!

  • You don't need to wait until November to take advantage of rebates for ENERGY STAR rated appliances!  Check out the ENERGY STAR web site to see if there is already a special offer in your area.  Many manufacturers, states and utilities already have incentive programs in place such as rebates and tax holidays.
  • According to the Department of Energy, all 50 states and 6 territories have already turned in their initial applications to qualify for the rebate, and the final plans are due on October 15th.  After these plans are approved by the DOE, you will know which ENERGY STAR appliances will qualify for rebates and the amount of each rebate in your state. 
  • This program will offer consumer rebates in the ballpark of $50 – $200 depending on the appliance purchased.  This will help offset the initial purchase cost of the product, but consumers should think about the ongoing utility savings by using a new efficient appliance.  Retiring a 10-year-old clothes washer will save you $135 per year in electricity costs, and more than 5,000 gallons of water will be saved.

Use an air cleaner to help reduce indoor allergens in your home… and other tips!

An article posted yesterday on CNN.com lists lots of helpful tips for those suffering from indoor allergies.  It is important to keep your home clean by vacuuming and dusting regularly, and reducing clutter.  You can also look for an air cleaner to help reduce the dust, pollen and tobacco smoke particles that may be floating in your air. 

AHAM has hundreds of certified air cleaners listed on www.cadr.org, where you can search for the model that will work the best in your home.  AHAM tests for the reduction of dust, pollen and tobacco smoke and gives each air cleaner a recommended room size.

The article also mentions fighting off any mold in your basement with a dehumidifier.  AHAM also tests and certifies dehumidifiers and lists the results in an online directory.

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.

AHAM Publishes Major Appliance Historical Data Tables

AHAM has updated and published its Major Appliance Historical Tables, which includes major appliance shipment data from the first year shipments were tracked through the end of 2008.  This unique data set includes total shipments of products that are imported, exported and produced domestically. 

Analysts will see monthly data for major appliance categories beginning in the 1970’s through the present and annual data for most categories from the 1940’s or earlier.  According to the historical data, in 1948, 700,000 clothes washers were shipped.

The Major Appliance Historical Tables are available for purchase in the AHAM Store.  

Breakfast with Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)

ChaffetzI attended a small breakfast meeting this morning with Congressman Chaffetz, who is a Republican member from Utah and is a member of the Judiciary, Natural Resources and Oversight & Government Reform Committees.

Chaffetz is a freshman Member of Congress who says that his success in the election was due to grassroots effort and using social media outlets such as Facebook and YouTube.

I informed him about the recent release of funding for the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, in which Utah may participate if the state energy office sends their initial application to the Department of Energy by August 15.  The Congressman was not aware of the release of the solicitation for this program and appreciated learning about it.  The Congressman, in jest, was disappointed, as he just purchased a new refrigerator and cooktop.  I reassured him that there is no reason for him to have buyer’s remorse because he would be seeing savings in his utility bill due to the fact that the average energy use of a new refrigerator is about the same as a 60W light bulb left on 24 hours a day.

Frozen Food Safety

NBC 4 in Washington, D.C. recently broadcast a segment on frozen food safety where consumer reporter Liz Crenshaw tested a variety of frozen food products.  She reminds consumers that it is essential to follow the manufacturers' instructions when cooking a frozen meal in the microwave or conventional oven.  Some foods may need to sit after cooking to ensure the proper internal temperature is reached.  Know your microwave wattage, use a thermometer and follow the instructions exactly.   Watch the video below to see the full segment:

AHAM has more information about microwave ovens under the consumer information section of our web site.