Home Depot Helps Homeowners Attack Soaring Energy Bills; New Web Site Offers Practical Advice to Save Hundreds on Home Energy Costs

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from The Home Depot

    ATLANTA, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Home Depot(R)(NYSE:   HD), the world's
 largest home improvement retailer, has some advice for people who are
 interested in an investment that will take a serious bite out of household
 energy costs.  With the nation's 100-plus million households facing soaring
 energy costs and with this summer's weather forecast to be especially hot, the
 company recently introduced a new Web site, www.homedepot.com/energy ,
 containing practical advice that can shave hundreds, and perhaps even
 thousands, of dollars from annual household energy bills.
     "Millions of people visit our Web site for advice on home improvement
 projects," said Suzanne Apple, vice president, environmental programs.  "With
 energy costs stifling entire communities and claiming a larger portion of
 household budgets, we've added an energy section that shows 200 ways people
 can dramatically reduce their energy bills."
     The costs of electricity, natural gas and home heating oil have risen by
 as much as 40 percent over previous years.  That means a typical household
 used to spending $3,000 a year on energy now must pay an additional $1,200.
 The advice that is provided by Home Depot on its Web site offset these
 increases in a meaningful way.
     "The return on an investment in energy conservation is astounding," said
 Dr. Charlie Wing, a noted energy expert and editor of Smart Homeowner
 Magazine, who helped Home Depot develop the Web site.  "Most of the projects
 on this Web site will generate a 30-percent annual return on the money
 invested," he said.  "Anyone would be thrilled to get that kind of a return on
 Wall Street, even in a good year."
     "Some solutions cost nothing because they're purely behavioral," Wing
 said.  "Closing blinds at night, switching lights off, taking shorter showers
 and turning the water heater down to 120 degrees can make a huge difference."
     Other solutions are purely discretionary.  "Replace burned-out light bulbs
 with compact flourescents," he said.  "They cost more, but they last ten times
 longer and, more importantly, they provide the same amount of light with a
 quarter as much energy."
     Wing said another investment worth the money is a new appliance carrying
 the Energy Star(R) logo.  "This is the Environmental Protection Agency's
 program to identify energy-efficient appliances, regardless of the brand,"
 Wing said.  "An Energy Star refrigerator or washer uses 20 percent less energy
 than comparable models."
     According to the Department of Energy, the average household loses 31
 percent of its heat through ceilings, walls and floors.
     "Imagine what a few bucks here can do for you," Wing said.  "If you add a
 second layer of insulation in your attic, it will run you about 65 cents per
 square foot.  But it will reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 50
 percent, cutting the total annual heating and cooling bill by 15 percent."
     But insulation is only half the story.  According to Wing, energy
 management is equally critical.
     He suggests replacing an existing thermostat with a programmable model
 that will allow the temperature to deviate during hours when people are
 typically not home.  "There's no reason to keep your air conditioning at 76
 degrees all day," he said.  "It can be allowed to rise to 80 degrees."
     And in winter, he said, the thermostat can be programmed to let the
 temperature fall to 62 or even 60 degrees while you are away or asleep.  "It's
 a myth that your furnace or air conditioner will have to work twice as hard to
 get the temperature back up in winter or down in summer," Wing said.  "Every
 degree you can cut out will reduce your energy costs by about three to five
 percent -- it adds up."
     One area people frequently overlook is their water heaters.  "They run day
 and night to keep a reserve of hot water," Wing said.  "And, day and night,
 that hot water tank is losing heat, especially if it's in an unheated
 basement."
     But by adding an insulation blanket and some pipe insulation, you can
 reduce the rate of heat loss by 35 percent.  "The investment: about 15
 dollars," he said.  "The energy savings: probably 20 dollars a year."
     Many people assume household energy costs are most acute in northern
 states.  But, according to Home Depot's Suzanne Apple, it's actually the
 warmer climates that consume more energy.
     "As hard as it is to keep warm in Minneapolis or Albany," she said, "it's
 actually harder -- and more costly -- to stay cool in places like Houston and
 Phoenix.  This is a nationwide issue, and everyone who pays an energy bill can
 benefit from a little knowledge, especially when it can yield such enormous
 dividends."
     Founded in 1978, The Home Depot operates 1,171 stores in the United
 States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Chile and Argentina.  In February, Fortune
 magazine named Home Depot the sixth Most Admired Company in America.  The
 company's stock is publicly traded and is included in the Dow Jones Industrial
 Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index
 
 

SOURCE The Home Depot
    ATLANTA, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Home Depot(R)(NYSE:   HD), the world's
 largest home improvement retailer, has some advice for people who are
 interested in an investment that will take a serious bite out of household
 energy costs.  With the nation's 100-plus million households facing soaring
 energy costs and with this summer's weather forecast to be especially hot, the
 company recently introduced a new Web site, www.homedepot.com/energy ,
 containing practical advice that can shave hundreds, and perhaps even
 thousands, of dollars from annual household energy bills.
     "Millions of people visit our Web site for advice on home improvement
 projects," said Suzanne Apple, vice president, environmental programs.  "With
 energy costs stifling entire communities and claiming a larger portion of
 household budgets, we've added an energy section that shows 200 ways people
 can dramatically reduce their energy bills."
     The costs of electricity, natural gas and home heating oil have risen by
 as much as 40 percent over previous years.  That means a typical household
 used to spending $3,000 a year on energy now must pay an additional $1,200.
 The advice that is provided by Home Depot on its Web site offset these
 increases in a meaningful way.
     "The return on an investment in energy conservation is astounding," said
 Dr. Charlie Wing, a noted energy expert and editor of Smart Homeowner
 Magazine, who helped Home Depot develop the Web site.  "Most of the projects
 on this Web site will generate a 30-percent annual return on the money
 invested," he said.  "Anyone would be thrilled to get that kind of a return on
 Wall Street, even in a good year."
     "Some solutions cost nothing because they're purely behavioral," Wing
 said.  "Closing blinds at night, switching lights off, taking shorter showers
 and turning the water heater down to 120 degrees can make a huge difference."
     Other solutions are purely discretionary.  "Replace burned-out light bulbs
 with compact flourescents," he said.  "They cost more, but they last ten times
 longer and, more importantly, they provide the same amount of light with a
 quarter as much energy."
     Wing said another investment worth the money is a new appliance carrying
 the Energy Star(R) logo.  "This is the Environmental Protection Agency's
 program to identify energy-efficient appliances, regardless of the brand,"
 Wing said.  "An Energy Star refrigerator or washer uses 20 percent less energy
 than comparable models."
     According to the Department of Energy, the average household loses 31
 percent of its heat through ceilings, walls and floors.
     "Imagine what a few bucks here can do for you," Wing said.  "If you add a
 second layer of insulation in your attic, it will run you about 65 cents per
 square foot.  But it will reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 50
 percent, cutting the total annual heating and cooling bill by 15 percent."
     But insulation is only half the story.  According to Wing, energy
 management is equally critical.
     He suggests replacing an existing thermostat with a programmable model
 that will allow the temperature to deviate during hours when people are
 typically not home.  "There's no reason to keep your air conditioning at 76
 degrees all day," he said.  "It can be allowed to rise to 80 degrees."
     And in winter, he said, the thermostat can be programmed to let the
 temperature fall to 62 or even 60 degrees while you are away or asleep.  "It's
 a myth that your furnace or air conditioner will have to work twice as hard to
 get the temperature back up in winter or down in summer," Wing said.  "Every
 degree you can cut out will reduce your energy costs by about three to five
 percent -- it adds up."
     One area people frequently overlook is their water heaters.  "They run day
 and night to keep a reserve of hot water," Wing said.  "And, day and night,
 that hot water tank is losing heat, especially if it's in an unheated
 basement."
     But by adding an insulation blanket and some pipe insulation, you can
 reduce the rate of heat loss by 35 percent.  "The investment: about 15
 dollars," he said.  "The energy savings: probably 20 dollars a year."
     Many people assume household energy costs are most acute in northern
 states.  But, according to Home Depot's Suzanne Apple, it's actually the
 warmer climates that consume more energy.
     "As hard as it is to keep warm in Minneapolis or Albany," she said, "it's
 actually harder -- and more costly -- to stay cool in places like Houston and
 Phoenix.  This is a nationwide issue, and everyone who pays an energy bill can
 benefit from a little knowledge, especially when it can yield such enormous
 dividends."
     Founded in 1978, The Home Depot operates 1,171 stores in the United
 States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Chile and Argentina.  In February, Fortune
 magazine named Home Depot the sixth Most Admired Company in America.  The
 company's stock is publicly traded and is included in the Dow Jones Industrial
 Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index
 
 SOURCE  The Home Depot

RELATED LINKS

http://www.homedepot.com