GE Invests In USA Made Green Fridges

Here’s one to file for reference when somebody tells you nothing is made in America anymore: GE said it will invest $432 million to establish four U.S. centers focused on the design and manufacture of new refrigeration products. There’s a significant green tinge to the move, too, with GE claiming reduced environmental impact in both the manufacturing processes that will be used and the products that will emerge.

The “centers for excellence,” as the company calls them, will be located in Louisville, Ky., Decatur, Ga., Selmer, Tenn. and Bloomington, Ind. — a current GE facility that had once been marked for shuttering. The company said products from the Louisville, Bloomington and Decatur plants will be manufactured using a new foam insulating process that “will reduce the overall CO2 or greenhouse gas emissions at these sites by 90 percent.”

In addition, the company said, all new products “are being designed to meet the anticipated 2014 Energy Star standards (and) most will incorporate smart-grid technology” and, by 2014, it will “offer the highest percentage of U.S.-made refrigerators among full-line appliance makers.”

image via GE

In all, the company said the new investments would create 500 green jobs by 2014. According to a Reuters report, jobs at the plants that formerly would have paid in the mid $20-range per hour will pay $13 an hour, with full benefits, which may or may not thrill those who had the higher pay rate before.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.