Reuters writes: "These days when customers walk into electronics stores, the first question they ask is how much electricity the fridge, washing machine or laptop computer they are contemplating buying consumes.
"Energy savings were not exactly a hot topic among customers last year," said Kim Dong-han at South Korean electronics retailer Hi-Mart. "But this year, nine out of ten people ask point blank whether a product will help them save money."
With oil at around $145 a barrel and electricity costs jumping, consumers are becoming preoccupied with keeping down their power bills. Electronics makers that develop energy efficient product lines and market them effectively to customers may get an edge in a gloomy global economy, firms say."