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M A R K E T OV E RV I E W Strong Support for Energy Star EPA and DOE Defend Program Housing Initiatives Two-thirds want government to do more to limit foreclosures The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), responding to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office critical of potential fraud in the agencies’ Energy Star program, issued a statement saying that they had launched a mericans remain strongly committed seasonally adjusted annual rate of 499,000 two-step process to expand testing of Energy A to federal support for home buyers, according to a recent survey of U.S. units, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. Meanwhile, a Star qualified products. Tests were to begin immediately on six of the most common households. large decline on the more volatile multifam- product types: freezers, refrigerator-freezers, Roughly 68 percent of those polled said ily side brought the overall number of hous- clothes washers, dishwashers, water heaters the government should continue to support ing starts down 5.9 percent to a seasonally and room air conditioners. housing, and 65 percent believe the govern- adjusted annual rate of 575,000 units. In addition, EPA and DOE say they are ment should be doing more to keep families developing an expanded system that will from losing their homes to foreclosure. require all products seeking the Energy Star The poll included both homeowners and renters and was conducted for the National Pending Home Sales label to be tested in approved labs. The agencies say in their defense that Association of Home Builders (NAHB) by Sales Down, Declines Foreseen a series of actions has been taken in recent RT Strategies, a nonpartisan public opinion Pending home sales are down and addi- months to ensure compliance with both polling firm based in Washington, D.C. RT tional declines are expected from abnormal Energy Star and DOE’s appliance efficiency Strategies interviewed a representative sample weather conditions, according to the National standards, including action against 35 of 1,000 adults nationwide by telephone using Association of Realtors. manufacturers. live interviewers on Jan. 29-31, 2010. The The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward- sample included 170 interviews with respon- looking indicator based on contracts signed dents from cell-phon
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