Green Initiatives Grow Sales and Profits
Vargas says Energy Star qualification has now been extended to over 40,000 models in 60 different product categories. The program began with computers, and last fall it came out with new standards for flat panel TVs. But overall, appliances have been their big hit.
"We certainly sell a lot of Energy Star products, there's no doubt about it," said Doug Orrico, vice president of merchandising at Rosa's Home Stores, an appliance, electronics, and furniture chain in western New York. "Washers are the biggest deal. Air conditioners are about to be big too. In refrigeration, there's a larger offering than there used to be...people know what Energy Star is, and if it makes economic sense to them, they'll move in that direction."
The primary selling point of the Energy Star label is that it verifies the amount of energy and money a consumer can save, retailers said. Salespeople can show customers, right on the federally-mandated "Energy Guide" cards attached to appliances (but not yet with electronics), exactly how much electricity they'll save over a certain period of time.