Sears Helps Consumers Cope With California Energy Crisis

Offers Widest Selection of Energy-Efficient Appliances, Electronics, Heating And Cooling Systems in U.S., Including New Line of ENERGY STAR Refrigerators

Experts agree that many factors led to the current energy crisis in California. Most experts also agree that conservation plays a critical role in helping address the problem, both in the short- and long-term. Sears, Roebuck and Co., a two-time winner of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) ENERGY STARĀ® Partner of the Year award, offers Californians part of the energy solution through its commitment to providing consumers with ENERGY STAR labeled products to purchase.

"If Californians are looking for a way to cut their energy bills significantly and immediately, a good place to start is to make sure they are using ENERGY STAR-rated products," said Neva Day, Sears region merchant for California. "We know customers are aware of the benefits of energy conservation -- we've had many California customers come to our stores specifically asking for the most energy-efficient appliances available. As the nation's largest retailer of appliances, we are committed to providing consumers with access to more high-efficiency products," Day added.

Sears sells more than 3000 appliance models from all the leading brands including: Amana, Bosch, Frigidaire, G.E., Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Maytag, Whirlpool and the most popular brand in America -- Kenmore. And Sears is the only place to find more than 250 ENERGY STAR appliance models, making Sears the number one destination for energy-efficient products.

The refrigerator is the biggest energy hog in the kitchen and Sears new 2001 Energy Star line of Kenmore and Kenmore Elite refrigerators are now available in California. This line includes models that exceed the DOE's new July 1 energy standard by 15 percent. In fact, the new Kenmore Elite refrigerators use only the amount of energy it takes to run a 75-watt light bulb*.

These new refrigerators can cut energy costs by 50 percent compared to refrigerators built before the 1993 standard.

"If the automobile industry had improved the energy efficiency of cars at the same rate as refrigerators, we'd all be getting 80 miles to the gallon," Day said. "There is no other refrigerator line in America that exceeds the energy efficiency of this new line."

According to the DOE, the amount of energy saved by ENERGY STAR appliances purchased at Sears in 2000 equals 247.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh). This equals the amount of energy it would take to light the city of Chicago for two weeks or to light Washington D.C. for nearly three months.

"People coming to Sears for energy-efficient products will be pleased with the selection available to them," said Day. "We don't just have one small section of ENERGY STAR appliances. We also sell ENERGY STAR-rated computers, electronics, window air conditions and whole-house heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems."

In appliances alone, consumers can choose from a variety of ENERGY STAR clothes washers -- including the Kenmore Elite washer with Calypso Wash Motion, introduced in August 2000, that saves 46 percent of the water used by a conventional washer. While a conventional washer uses about 42 gallons of water, the Calypso uses just 22 gallons. There is a direct correlation between the amount of water used and the amount of energy saved because most of the energy is used to heat the water. The Calypso saves 68 percent of the energy used by a conventional washer.

In one year, the average family using an ENERGY STAR-rated clothes washer can save enough water to run the dishwasher 850 times. One year's worth of water savings can supply an individual with a lifetime of drinking water.

Sears also sells the Trane line of high-efficiency central air conditioning units. Consumers can learn how much energy a high-efficiency HVAC system can save them by calling Sears at 1-800-4-MYHOME and asking for a free calculation.

In consumer electronics -- home entertainment and home office products -- Sears line up includes ENERGY STAR electronics from manufacturers such as Sony, Panasonic, Aiwa, Compaq, Sylvania and Philips Magnavox.

Sears has led the way in the design and development of ENERGY STAR appliances -- and in bringing these appliances to America's mainstream.

"We're not only stocking our sales floors with energy-efficient home appliances," Day said. "Sears is also continuing to develop energy-efficient products that meet or exceed government requirements, while meeting our customers' requirements for style, performance and innovation. People tend to think that when they buy an energy-efficient product, they are sacrificing performance of the product in some way -- and that's simply not true," Day added.

Californians should look to Sears for special promotional offers such as zero percent financing, free delivery or rebates on ENERGY STAR appliances and HVAC systems this summer.

In 2000 alone, Sears sold more than one million ENERGY STAR appliances. These include: 53,000 ENERGY STAR dishwashers, 112,000 ENERGY STAR air conditioners, 220,000 ENERGY STAR clothes washers and 706,000 ENERGY STAR refrigerators. In addition to those one million products, consumers came to Sears to purchase 1.5 million ENERGY STAR televisions.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of more than $40 billion. The company serves families throughout the country through 850 full- line department stores and more than 2,100 specialized retail locations nationwide. For more information, visit Sears Web site,

ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products, in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. EPA partnered with the DOE in 1996 to promote the ENERGY STAR label, with each agency taking responsibility for particular product categories. ENERGY STAR has expanded to cover new homes, most of the buildings sector, residential heating and cooling equipment, major appliances, office equipment, lighting, consumer electronics, and more product areas. For more information on ENERGY STAR, go to


SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Contact: Media, Marlene Tsareff of MRA, Inc., 317-769-7600, , or Larry Costello of Sears PR, 847-286-9036, or


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