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Friday, October 30, 2009

Whirlpool Gets Millions in Smart Grid Stimulus Grants

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment Program has awarded a huge $19.3 million grant to Whirlpool corporation. Whirlpool, based in Michigan, controls over 40% of the appliance market in this country. They will use the grant money to develop appliances that can communicate with newly developed electronic power meters.

These new power meters will be installed by DTE Energy, who also received millions in grant money from the same department to accelerate installation of the meters. These meters allow them to remotely monitor residential power use and respond more quickly to outages.

Supposedly, they will create more jobs in the field of meter manufacturing and save energy by reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption.

In addition to federal funding, Whirlpool will likely also participate in a cash-for-clunkers program. Sponsored by the Obama administration, this program will give consumers incentives to buy new energy efficient appliances.

This is a classic example of how business grants given to one or two major corporations can stimulate the economy for everyone, and even create potential business opportunities for small businesses.
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