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Energy saving appliances promoted with ‘Eco Points’

Date Posted: 2009-06-04

A government campaign is under way to promote purchase and use of energy efficient household appliances.

The ‘Eco Point’ system begun by the government in May contains economic provisions that offer incentives, or bonuses, to people purchasing new air conditioners, refrigerators, televisions, etc. that are designed to be eco-friendly and energy savers. Government officials note the new system is applied differently by different manufacturers and dealers, and cautions consumers to check each carefully before making purchase decisions.

Dealers have ‘Eco Points’ which can be converted to cash money or gift coupons ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 yen, with the proviso the household appliance must meet energy savings standards. Individual dealers have the option of giving back cash or coupons. ‘Eco Point’ offers a 5% incentive for air conditioners and refrigerators. Televisions are listed at 10%.

Some companies are trying to make the new system user friendly. Okinawa Yamada Denki Tech Land, an electrical appliance shop, has made special posters targeting ‘Eco Point Merchandise’ and has used a “stars system” to simplify explanations about how much energy is saved by the appliance.

Each system is different, a government official cautions, “so you have to choose very carefully about the dealers or shops, to see which has the better points.”

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