Stakeholders Weigh in on Latest Energy Star Draft

August 28th, 2012 by DWM Magazine

After submitting written comments and analyzing the latest draft to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star for Windows program, stakeholders had the opportunity yesterday to offer their input on the latest draft. Members of door and window manufacturing companies attended the session held in Washington, D.C., along with representatives of some of the industry’s leading associations. Others participated via webinar to offer their feedback.

The EPA offered a limited number of stakeholder presentations so various companies and associations took advantage of this opportunity to voice their support in some areas and concern in others.

Jeff Inks, vice president of codes and regulatory affairs for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and Richard Walker, president of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), spoke on behalf of their members. Both addressed the air leakage requirement and Inks said he supports this addition but that existing certifications such as WDMA’s Hallmark should be allowed for verification purposes without any special new labeling. Walker said the EPA needs to be clear that the air leakage numbers have to be verified–not just reported.

Inks also addressed the requirement regarding the fact that installation instructions must be included, and said the WDMA does have some concerns.

“While we understand the intent of the provisions for Energy Star, a simpler requirement is adequate without listing what must be included,” said Inks, noting installation instructions are already required by the building code.

Door and window manufacturers then shared their views and that included Jeld-Wen’s Ray Garries who began his presentation by reiterating that doors, windows and skylights are different than other Energy Star products.

“Our primary concerns are in the protection of the brand and increasing sales of branded products,” he said. “Also, there are still around a billion really bad windows that have to be replaced.”

Garries’ presentation was based on hard data, and displayed a chart to show that Energy Star window sales are falling off.

“Energy Star has reported a large increase in market share to 81 percent, but sales of Energy star products have dropped dramatically over the last four years,” he said. “So they key is affordability.”

Skylight stakeholders also made some key points regarding their products and Walker urged the EPA to keep in mind “the need to apply the same rigor and thoughtfulness to skylights as windows.”

He added that tubular daylighting devices (TDD) should be put in a separate category. Ray Dill, engineering manager, ODL, also spoke about TDD’s and noted that the .45 criteria listed now is “probably not practical.”

When it came time for questions from those attending via webinar there were many. One representative asked, “How can we address dynamic products since they are not included in the current Energy Star?”

An EPA representative replied that while there is potential there are still many items to work through while adding that there could be a special designation program for new technology in the marketplace.

Another online attendee asked if the EPA has considered other phases of the life cycle of the window when doing energy analysis. The answer was no—the EPA will continue to focus on the use-phase of a window going forward.

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  1. >>””Another online attendee asked if the EPA has considered other phases of the life cycle of the window when doing energy analysis. The answer was no—the EPA will continue to focus on the use-phase of a window going forward.””<<

    Yikes, so we can duct tape the windows together, so they meet the energy requirements??

    I realize that the momentum out of the government is on energy conservation, but it would seem that they would want the energy savings to last a while, instead of having to waste energy building new windows in the short term.

  2. Mr. Garries comment “…sales of Energy star products have dropped dramatically over the last four years” is because ALL window sales have dropped dramatically in the last 4 years. Further, too dramatic a shift in requirements will cause ENERGY STAR products to be prohibitively expensive and be counter-productive relative to the goal of reducing overall US energy use – high market penetration is a good thing!

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