“You’d be amazed at the difference that the type of light bulb used makes on your energy bill,” commented Shani Duncan, Head of Appliance Traders’ Energy Division (ATL).
Duncan recommended consumers make the switch to LED bulbs to bring about immediate savings on future energy receipts. “LED bulbs use up to 89% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 years so with cheaper running costs and fewer replacements, you’ll see energy savings straight away,” she said.
Panasonic, one of the world’s leading ‘green’ electronics companies harnesses the use of LED technology, manufacturing a wide range of eco-friendly devices including the relatively inexpensive but effective bulbs. “Panasonic has the best LED bulbs on the market which are not only eco-friendly but also considerably affordable,” quipped Duncan. “They range from J$2500** upward which is remarkable for a bulb that you’ll only change twice in 50 years. The LED emits the same soft white light much like fluorescents but are more efficient, durable and have a long life span which makes them perfect for residential lighting”.
The Energy division head urged consumers to undertake an energy assessment of their homes to develop tailored conservation methods, “Every step towards conservation impacts our financial bottom line so the time is right to make the energy switch.” And for those looking to cut back even further, Duncan advises that there are a plethora of options, from small steps such as switching to energy-efficient bulbs or going completely off the power grid by way of solar panels. “Consumers have the option of going off-grid becoming fully reliant on their own photovoltaic (PV) system or they can introduce a grid-tie system which utilizes both the PV’s and the national power grid,” she advised.
Business and engineering solutions retailer Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) has made another streamlined move into the energy space with the launch of its energy-exclusive retail outlet, the ATL Eco-Store.
The first of its kind in Jamaica, ATL’s Eco-Store, located in the Manor Park Plaza in Kingston, marks the company’s continued expansion into the alternative energy space following the launch of its Energy Solutions division in April this year and the introduction of its own ‘Eco-Smart’ electronics-efficiency certification.
Teaming up with long standing partner Panasonic as well as Israel’s top solar water heater provider Nimrod, the ATL Eco-Store boasts the latest ‘green’ technology from the Panasonic inverter product line including air conditioners and refrigerators, Panasonic HIT solar panels, televisions, LED and CFL lighting as well as Nimrod’s solar water heaters and other photovoltaic (PV) systems. The store will also carry a range of timers, energy monitors and power strips from the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) with whom ATL forged a strategic partnership in May to retail energy saving products.
Speaking at a media tour of the Eco-Store, General Manager for ATL Ian Neita reaffirmed the company’s commitment to provide more eco-efficient solutions for Jamaican homes and businesses. “One great catalyst of consumer interest in ‘green’ electronics is cost savings. It is proven that older appliances and our high electricity consumption will continue to inflate our energy receipts and drain both our national and environmental resources. While consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to reduce their energy consumption, many remain uncertain of the measures they can take. ATL through its Energy Solutions division and the ATL Eco-Store are prepared to help Jamaicans make the all-important savings switch to go green.”
In addition to showcasing eco-electronics, the new ATL energy- exclusive outlet also boasts an interactive Panasonic Eco–Simulator which compares consumption patterns of energy saving appliances versus inefficient models to aid customers in learning about conservation and efficiency.
The ATL Eco-Store, previously one of the company’s two Kingston outlets, will be open to the public Monday June 10 and will operate Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm on Saturdays.
With calls from the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party to set a definite timeline for the Digital Switchover (DSO), talks have resumed whether or not Jamaica will be ready for the Government’s proposed 2015 deadline.
The DSO, also called the digital television transition or analogue switch-off,refers to the process by which nations will stop delivering broadcast, cable and satellite content using analogue technology. Instead content will be delivered via digital signal delivering improved images and sound. To date, the digital TV transition has already commenced in over 50 countries including Japan, Italy, France and the United Kingdom.
So what does the analogue to digital switch mean for consumers? Analogue signals require antennae unlike digital TVs which have integrated digital tuners and monitors to display the programming. Televisions that are not equipped with digital tuners will be rendered useless after the switch.
“With the throes of the holiday season in full swing, electronics, particularly TV’s are hot ticket items. If getting a new television is on your wish list and with a switchover likely in the next few years, consumers must be wary not to expend funds on sets that are not compatible with digital signals” said Home Product Manager at Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) Stacey Campbell.
In April this year, Minister with responsibility for information Sandra Falconer said that Jamaica has begun to make sure footed strides and would be moving towards the digital switchover in 2015, completing a process that has been in train since 2003.
The 44 year retailer which carries Panasonic Viera models as well the new Samsung Smart series televisions says they are well prepared for the transition. “Our customers can be assured that current stock is completely digital. When you buy a unit from ATL, you don’t have to worry that in 3 years you will need a new TV. We monitor activities in the international markets to make sure our customers are getting the latest and the best,” said Campbell.
Campbell’s mentioned that consumers shopping for digitally compatible televisions this holiday should note that TV’s should be marked or labelled to indicate if they have a built-in digital tuner, “It may say something like DTV, HDTV, ATSC, Digital Tuner, Digital Receiver, Integrated Digital Tuner or Digital Tuner Built In. Without a digital tuner, those TVs will need a set-top converter box to get a digital picture. If there is no indication of a digital tuner on the TV set itself, check the owner’s manual” she said, “Shop carefully. Speak with a well-informed sales person and always research the unit before you purchase.”
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