Colorado Springs

Lowe's helped its customers save about 4 billion gallons of water last year, and Kohler introduced 40 new water-efficient toilet models to the North American market in 2011, earning both companies EPA awards.

Colorado Springs Utilities, American Standard Brands and KB Home also received 2012 WaterSense partners of the year awards for their water conservation efforts.

Since the EPA launched the program in 2006, WaterSense-labeled products have helped Americans save $4.7 billion from their water and energy bills and 287 billion gallons of water, according to the EPA.

Although consumer purchasing increases greatly right after Christmas, few people realize that the week after the holiday is the largest shopping period for appliances, and when some of the best values and biggest sales happen. After-Christmas sales are expected to have prices as low or lower than Black Friday. "This is the number one time for consumers to buy appliances," said Chuck Ewing, CEO of Appliance Factory Outlet, a local retailer with 11 locations throughout Colorado, including Denver, the Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction. "Consumers return the luxuries they don't

The secret behind Sounds Like Music's hybrid business model—a store for the 21st century By Natalie Hope McDonald Dave Wiggs knows there's a friendly war brewing between home theater installers and major out-of-the-box retailers. But you wouldn't know it to judge this president's newest store. Sounds Like Music, the Phoenix, Arizona-based home theater, telecommunications, lighting and security provider, operates on the schizophrenic notion that both camps can, in fact, get along. Wiggs is both retailer and custom installer. Now on his third branch in the chain, the company's corporate infrastructure banks on two specific high-end markets: showroom buying and custom home installing.

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