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BlueStar wall ovens recalled by Prizer Painter Stove Works

BY Ken Clark

Certain BlueStar residential gas wall ovens are the subject of a recall, according to an announcement Thursday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

Some of the wall ovens have been improperly installed or have damaged flexible gas appliance connectors, posing a fire hazard, according to the CPSC. So far, no injuries have been reported, but the frm has received one report of a fire.

The recall involves all colors of three models of BlueStar gas-powered stainless steel wall ovens manufactured prior to Nov. 23, 2012. Oven sizes include 24-, 30- and 36-in.-wide units. Each of the three sizes was available for use with natural gas or liquid propane. 

The products were sold at appliance stores and authorized kitchen equipment dealers nationwide between January 2008 through November 2012 for between $2,250 and $3,900. 

Prizer Painter Stove Works is based in Reading, Pa.

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Free heaters? In Florida, incentives add up

BY Ken Clark

New incentives for high-efficiency water heaters mean Orlando, Fla., consumers pay “next to nothing,” according to GE.

Incentives from the Orlando (Fla.) Utilities Commission (OUC) and various tax credits add up pretty close to the sale price of a GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater. 

The company has done the math. Normally selling for $1,299, certain heaters are offered at a sale price of $999. A $650 OUC rebate and a $300 tax credit add up to $950.That’s a difference of $54 plus tax and installation costs. 

In Pensacola, Fla., a Gulf Power rebate is $700 — bringing the cost down to $4 plus tax installation costs.

“With the sales promotion, OUC rebate program and the federal tax credit for Energy-Star-certified appliances eliminating the cost of the GeoSpring, consumers start saving money from day one on utility bills,” said Francois Lebrasseur, marketing manager, water products, for GE Appliances.

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An economic index signals expansion

BY Ken Clark

The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index has increased steadily over the past 16 months, moving from an Index of 89 in September 2011 to an Index of 101 in January 2013.

The uptrend of the Economic Index over the past 16 months indicates that the U.S. economy will continue to expand, albeit at a slow pace. Moreover, the overall pattern of the Economic Index over the last four years has been a slow, steady upward trend.

The U.S. Economic Index tends to foreshadow overall economic activity by six to 12 months. The graph below shows the Economic Index for the U.S. over the past decade.

“The broad-based U.S. economy appears poised for continued expansion in 2013. The Economic Index trend of the past 16 months, and the longer trend of the past four years, indicate that U.S. economic expansion will continue,” said Jerry Thomas, president and CEO of Arlington, Texas-based Decision Analyst. “Despite the lack of growth in U.S. GDP in the fourth quarter of 2012, it’s very likely that the U.S. economy will continue to expand throughout 2013, especially if Washington can put its financial house in order. However, we live in times of extraordinary risks: fiscal battles in the U.S.; recession in Europe; a real estate bubble in China; stagnation in Japan; and political instability in Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Afghanistan.  Any of these risks could spin out of control and negatively affect U.S. economic expansion.”

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