ATLANTA, GA — With colder weather and higher home heating costs predicted this winter, Home Depot is clearing shelf space for energy conservation products in its more than 1,400 stores. To meet growing consumer interest in household energy efficiency, the company will feature hundreds of items in special in-store displays bearing a green "E-plus" logo with information on energy savings for those products.

In addition, Home Depot has launched a special website — — featuring home energy conservation projects, such as installing weatherproofing and insulation.

Since creating the energy conservation category last year, Home Depot says it has experienced a steady increase in sales of energy-efficient lighting, appliances, insulation products, programmable thermostats, ceiling fans, exterior doors, windows, and window treatments.

"More and more of the 20 million people who shop at The Home Depot every week are asking us for advice on ways to cut their energy bills," said Home Depot global product merchant Richard Dale.

Long-range meteorological forecasts, predict a return to cold winter weather patterns in most of the United States this winter, with temperatures 10 to 20 degrees lower than last winter. As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has predicted a 45% increase in home heating oil prices, a 19% increase for natural gas, and a 22% increase in the price of propane. The Northeastern U.S., where nearly a third of all households depend on heating oil, will be especially hard hit.

"The mild autumn weather is a welcome respite from summer utility bills," Dale said. "But the change of seasons always signals a shift from high electricity bills for air conditioning to high fuel bills for winter heating. Given the state of the economy, people are looking for simple, high-return investments in their homes, and energy conservation tops the list."

The Home Depot's E-plus initiative is ongoing and will feature special energy conservation displays in the high-visibility "end-caps" at the end of store aisles.

Additionally, select stores will conduct one-hour classes on home energy conservation as part of the free "How-to" clinics offered nightly at stores. "Home Depot will educate its customers about products and services that will help them conserve energy and money," said Dale. "Kid's workshops at our stores will focus energy conservation as a family activity by teaching children good habits, like turning off unneeded lights, and completing a home energy checklist with their parents."

Publication date: 11/04/2002