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Lowe’s Markets Home Energy at In-store Destination Points

lowe's storefrontLowe’s new Energy Central destination points in 21 California stores are positioned to sell consumers on a range of energy saving products at one central location in the store.

Competitor Home Depot also features “Eco Options” products and signage in its nearly 1,900 U.S. stores.

The Energy Central destination points play up three main marketing points: measure, reduce and generate, according to a press release.

Consumers are urged to measure how much energy they use with power monitors and other electronic devices that are always plugged in.

On the “reduce” front, consumers are showed how to reduce energy use with CFLs and other energy efficient items.

Finally, consumers are exposed to solar panels that help generate electricity.

The Lowe’s locations have a touch-screen information kiosk that helps customers evaluate energy needs.

“Homeowners are paying more attention than ever to their utility bills, and the first step to saving energy is tracking where it’s going,” said Nick Canter, Lowe’s executive vice president of merchandising.

In addition to offering solar panels on-site, Lowe’s is selling utility-connected wind turbines by special order. The 10,000 watt Excel-S turbine by Bergey Windpower is installed on a 100-foot tower, and suitable for small businesses, as well as rural homes and farms. Another wind turbine, Cascade Renewable Energy’s 1,000 watt Swift Wind Turbine, has a seven-foot wingspan and can be mounted to a rooftop or pole in both urban and suburban areas.

Lowe’s is providing customers with information about tax credits and incentive for eligible solar power and wind-generating systems.

For a list of stores with the Energy Central destination points, click here.

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5 thoughts on “Lowe’s Markets Home Energy at In-store Destination Points

  1. As a consumer, be wary. Do not repeat the behaviour of the citizens of the UK when small wind turbine (WT) manufacturers suggested Joe and Jessie homeowner could pick-up a small wind turbine in a box at the local B&Q; our equivalent of the Home Depot.

    B&Q takes wind turbines off shelves
    10 February 2009
    A range of turbines have been withdrawn from sale after a recent study revealed they do not work as effectively as first thought.
    http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=15977&channel=0

    Although this article claims to be focused on the rural audience, the same rules go for a prospective urban, wind turbine installation. You cannot get away from the fact, urban areas have low wind speeds which is good–otherwise people would not find them comfortable places to live. A wind turbine reaching a rated output of 1kW at 13m/s [~29.1 mph] is not going to pay its way in this kind of urban environment. High-rise buildings, however, may be a different matter.

    Results from the 2007-2008 12-month Warwick Wind Trials (WWT) in the UK reported discouraging wind energy yields for the 26 small, building-mounted wind turbines. WTs sited in a veritable plethora of urban canopies compared to rural areas that possess low surface roughness/texture. Small wind turbine manufacturers capacity claims fell far short of the results returned in this trial compared to their claims included in specification sheets.

    Indeed, especially in California (I am not sure about Oregon), the small wind industry has been decreasing every year since 2002. The small wind industry could, however, use a boost. Generating electricity from wind energy close to where it can be used makes sense in a great deal of locales. Opportunities can exist for some (not all) small, urban wind turbine installations in a cityscape/built environment; but, decisions on the suitability and practicality requires vetting. The wind resource needs to be adequate, and the mounting location(s) of the WT(s) need to be properly sited in the prevailing wind direction.

    Before I would recommend heading off to the local Lowes (or Ace Hardware Store, where next year, I understand you may be able to acquire a Honeywell WT6500 Gearless Blade Tip Power System, http://www.earthtronics.com/honeywell.aspx), I would first suggest visiting here, first:

    http://greenterrafirma.com/power-from-wind-turbine.html

    Bottom line:

    1. Know your wind resource and local ordinances.
    2. Know how to site your WT. Depending on the roughness of your terrain, you’ll need to think about where to install—on or near the structure. If on a rooftop, how high above the rooftop should the hub height be to capture the accelerating wind coming over the rooftop parapet?
    3. Understand the WT specs (power curve) as per your individual requirements.

    It’s dubious to know how robust the algorithms in these in-store kiosks are. Either way, be wary, as a consumer, and I recommend seeking the advice of a certified residential PV or small wind professional…

    KIMBERLY (KIM) KING
    Project Engineer & MSc Student, Renewable Energy Engineering
    Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)
    Loughborough University
    Loughborough, Leicestershire (UK)

  2. Kim,

    I would agree wholeheartedly. I have not seen the offerings, but it is incredibly important that consumers be made aware of the realities of alternative energy – especially wind, which incorporates so many somewhat intangible variables. Nameplate capacity on either is not even close to actual output. If a mass of consumers go blindly into investing in alternatives with unreasonable expectations, which are not met, it will do irreparable harm to the industry.

    Not only access to information, but access to professional advice and counselling should be mandatory before someone makes the commitment. This is in Lowe’s best interest as well.

    With that said though. I am thrilled to see a large retailer making an effort to provide easy access to the materials necessary for the Do It Yourselfer to participate in alternative energy.

    Michael Corder – The Energy Blog (http://energy.typepad.com)

  3. I tried to find the CA stores that are selling the product but the link redirects the users to a non-working website. Would someone please let me know which stores are selling the product?

  4. Michael,
    I agree with you and Kim. Many factors must be evaluated to site residential WT’s: quality of wind resource, ground clutter and turbulence factors used in micrositing, building structural load ( most homes are not designed to withstand the vibrations and noise of small turbines on the roofs, code and zoning issues, Public safety with improper installation of PV or WT, most of the general public does not understand that a PV panel in light is generating power.

    I support DIYers with the guidance of a certified PV or Wind installer.

    Again Buyer beware…roof top turbines may look good and make you feel better about your energy footprint, but KNOW the FACTS..

    from the Cascade Engineering Website:
    Swift power curve: 1.0 kW at 24.6 mph. How many of us have sustained winds of 24.6 miles per hour 24/7 on the roof??

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