An Iowa environmental watchdog group is urging the U-S Department of Energy to enact nationwide energy-efficiency standards for home appliances. It would force all appliance makers to build machines that use less electricity.Amber Hard is director of Iowa Public Interest Research Group or PIRG. While she says the new standards would save Iowans 130-dollars a year on their utility bills, that number would only apply to people who have purchased and are using the new energy-efficient appliances.Hard wants the mandated standards to apply to appliances like clothes washers and air conditioners. She says Iowa-based Maytag is already making an energy-efficient front-loading washer called “Neptune” at the corporation’s factory in Newton. She says the washer has been a huge success. Hard says Frigidare also makes a similar washer in Forest City that it sells under its own label and through Sears under the Kenmore label. While the energy-miser appliances cost more than regular appliances, PIRG says for every extra dollar spent by consumers, two dollars would be saved on utility bills.
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