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At Lowe’s, a car wipes out a row of grills

BY HBSDEALER Staff

An incident at a Louisiana Lowe’s store Thursday revealed one of the drawbacks of outdoor merchandising. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported a motorist crashed into a Lowe’s store near Covington, La., Thursday, running over a row of grills.

No one was injured in the incident, according to the report. The driver reportedly lost control of her Toyota Camry as she attempted to park in a space reserved for handicapped drivers.

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Meet the Plogg

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Energy Optimizers Limited, a British-based energy technology firm, has introduced a new device, called The Plogg, that evaluates the energy performance and profile of electrical appliances based upon actual consumer behavior.

The Plogg is a combined smart meter plug and data logger. It can be attached to any electrical appliance or device that uses a standard socket in USA, U.K., or French formats. The Plogg is able to measure the electrical energy consumption of connected devices and appliances at high levels of resolution, up to one minute as standard and at higher levels of up to two seconds in customized versions.

The benefit for appliance manufacturers is the capability to unobtrusively use the Plogg in field trials in order to observe consumers’ behavior and actual patterns of use during each cycle and time period, whether daily or weekly. This data assists the manufacturer in identifying the commonly used operating programs and to optimize the energy efficiency of the appliance based upon actual behavior patterns rather than simulated laboratory tests.

Data logging on The Plogg can be set to either “event” dependence or “time” dependence. Detailed data captured on the performance of the appliance is stored on the Plogg until downloaded to a PC locally or remotely via the Internet.

Energy Optimizers Limited manufactures Smart Grid technologies for load profiling, demand response, distributed generation and renewables markets. Its Smart Grid Technologies include wireless gateways, smart meter plugs and load controls for domestic and commercial appliances. Energy Optimizers Limited participates in a number of publicly funded European research and development projects. 

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Stat Flash: NPD U.S. Economic Indicator

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The March 2011 NPD U.S. Economic Perception Indicator, a measure of consumer confidence, showed a 2.7 point decline from the previous month to a new reading of 39.2. The March figure is also down from 40.1 in March 2010.

Consumers’ economic perception is certainly not helped by the near-record low housing construction and home sales reports that were released in the last two weeks.

The NPD Group’s U.S. Economic Perception Indicator measures consumer beliefs about the current and near-term state of the U.S. economy, on a scale of 0 — "very concerned" — to 100 — "very confident."

 
Source: The NPD Group Inc./The Economy Tracker

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