Alliance to Save Energy Honors Consumer Reports, Sears, Energy Star, Amory Lovins, CertainTeed, Sen. Bingaman as 2002 Top Achievers in Energy Efficiency Field

Release Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Celebrating 25th Anniversary

The “bible” of consumer product information, a leading purveyor of energy-efficient consumer products, the government program that labels energy-efficient products, an energy efficiency pioneer and activist, a manufacturer of energy-efficient home building products and materials, and a prominent senator will walk off with the Alliance to Save Energy’s top honors this year for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of energy efficiency. The prestigious Alliance awards will be presented October 9th in Washington, D.C., at a black-tie dinner in the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building, where the Alliance will also mark its own quarter-century anniversary as an advocate and educator for energy efficiency.

The Alliance’s 2002 “Stars of Energy Efficiency” are Consumer Reports/Consumers Union, Sears, Roebuck and Co., Amory Lovins, and CertainTeed Corporation. In addition, the Alliance’s prestigious Charles H. Percy Award for Public Service will go to the federal government’s Energy Star Program, the symbol for energy-efficient products. And Alliance and event Chair Sen. Byron Dorgan will present Sen. Jeff Bingaman with the Chairman’s Award in recognition of Bingaman’s years of congressional leadership in the cause of energy efficiency. Executive Vice President Michael D. Thieneman of Whirlpool Corporation will serve as the dinner’s co-chair.

“This year’s award winners represent the very best of the public and private sectors,” observed Alliance President David M. Nemtzow, “demonstrating that every part of our society has a critical role to play and a contribution to make toward greater energy efficiency. Participants in the Alliance’s recent consumer focus groups consistently cited Consumer Reports as an indispensable source of trustworthy information that helps them make educated buying decisions and to factor energy efficiency into those decisions,” Nemtzow added.

Jim Guest, president and CEO of Consumers Union, the nonprofit, independent publisher of Consumer Reports, said, “We are excited and honored by the Alliance to Save Energy’s award. For more than 30 years, Consumer Reports has made energy efficiency a key factor in providing purchasing advice for home products and appliances, helping consumers save money and energy.”

Because of Sears’ extensive relationship with its customers – more than 60 million households – Sears has effective channels to deliver both products that are energy-efficient and messages about the benefits of energy conservation. “Sears has made a multi-year commitment to energy-efficient appliances, because it’s good for the customer, good for the environment, and good for business,” said Tina Settecase, vice president and general manager of appliances for Sears, Roebuck and Co. “Only Sears offers 250 Energy Star appliance models. We are determined to be the best place to shop not only for energy-efficient appliances, but for appliances in general.”

The Energy Star Program exemplifies effective public-private cooperation. In the decade since the program’s inception, more than 750 million energy-efficient products have been purchased, and thousands of companies have adopted energy-efficient practices. Last year alone, Energy Star helped save enough energy to power 10 million homes and cut air pollution by the equivalent of removing 10 million cars from the road. At the same time, Americans saved $5 billion on their energy bills, with no sacrifice of product features, quality, or personal comfort.

Dr. Kathleen Hogan, director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Protection Partnerships Division, noted, “Winning the Alliance to Save Energy's Charles H. Percy Award for Public Service is a wonderful capstone for Energy Star’s first decade. We look forward to the next 10 years of working together to insure all Americans have the information they need to make the best choices for their lives and the environment.”

Richard Karney, Energy Star program manager for the Department of Energy, said, “Winning this prestigious award provides outstanding recognition for the program, and the stimulus for industry to continue developing new energy-efficient products to lower Americans’ energy costs while reducing the concomitant pollution associated with energy use and electricity generation.”

Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute which focuses on energy efficiency, is not only an eminent and accomplished scientist, he also has used his expertise in the cause of energy efficiency for more than 25 years. Lovins promotes a “soft path” whereby energy efficiency and renewable energy sources replace a centralized energy system based on fossil and nuclear fuels.

Lovins noted, “Energy efficiency is our nation’s cheapest, fastest, safest, and largest energy resource, providing 40 percent of all energy services and growing 3 percent a year, yet it gets the least respect. New ways to let it compete fairly, to speed it up – and even to make very large energy savings cost less than small or no savings – are rapidly emerging.”

CertainTeed's energy efficiency programs save homeowners millions of dollars on their energy bills. The company's Certified Contractor Program independently tests insulation contractors to insure they are installing insulation properly to maximize thermal integrity in homes, and its partnership with Environments for Living offers builders a step-by-step approach to energy efficiency from before ground-breaking to a home's completion.

“We're honored to be chosen as a Star of Energy Efficiency,” said Jorma Toivonen, president of CertainTeed's Insulation Group. “Day in and day out, it is our goal to help our customers build better constructed, more energy-efficient homes that qualify for preferred financing, use less energy, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

Commenting on the selection of Sen. Jeff Bingaman, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as winner of the Alliance’s Chairman’s Award, Nemtzow noted, “Sen. Bingaman has not only been a dedicated champion of energy efficiency for many years, he also provided visionary leadership to the Alliance for nine years, making him our longest-serving chair. In the Senate and beyond, Sen. Bingaman has tirelessly advocated the inclusion of energy efficiency as a crucial component of a sensible national energy strategy.”