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by Ric Jackson
April 21st, 2014

Three Giant Leaps for Energy-Efficiency Standards

It’s been a busy few weeks for energy efficiency legislation from California to Washington, D.C., as the deadline for one new law draws nearer—and two others gain support. Here’s a quick recap of what’s happening in the world of legislation and fenestration.

  • CA Title 24 to Go into Effect July 1

The pioneering spirit of California is alive and well as the Golden State drops window U-factor requirements to 0.32 and SHGC to 0.25 on residential new construction projects per CA Title 24.

The multifaceted legislation—which includes windows, HVAC and roofing, among other building products—is set to take effect on July 1, 2014, leaving some window companies to make last-minute changes to hit the numbers.

When I spoke to Hector Cortez, Quanex’s territory sales manager in the West, he described the feeling in the air as being very similar to when the .30/.30 tax credit was announced. Customers in California, and those who are selling into California, are just looking for ways to meet the numbers.

In many cases, simple spacer changes will be enough to position manufacturers for success under Title 24. In fact, by adding a warmer edge spacer you can improve U-factors by as much as 0.02. If you sell into California, I encourage you to reach out to your suppliers to help you maneuver Title 24 changes.

For more information on CA Title 24 for residential and commercial buildings, visit California’s 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Web page or download a quick summary of the updates provided by the state.

  • WDMA Supports Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act

As you might have noticed in my previous blogs Why the Shaheen Bill is Important and 2014 Bills to Watch, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act tops my list of legislation that everyone in the fenestration industry should be watching. And, the Window and Door Manufacturers Alliance (WDMA) agrees.

At a recent fly-in, the organization pledged support for the bill that will spur the use of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors of the economy, while also fostering job creation.

According to a statement, the “WDMA supports provisions in the Senate bill that  1) require green building ratings systems used by the federal government to not unfairly exclude certain building materials and 2) make federal mortgage agencies consider energy savings as part of the mortgage underwriting process. In addition, the House of Representatives should act to include similar provisions in its version of the bill.”

The View from Here is the WDMA’s support adds even more credence to this already important bill. For more information on the WDMA’s advocacy efforts, visit www.wdma.com.

  • Senate Finance Committee Approves Extension of Tax Incentives, Including 25C

On April 3, the Senate Finance Committee approved nearly all 55 tax incentives, including 25C, which expired at the end of 2013. The Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act (EXPIRE Act) is a bi-partisan effort that would extend tax credit for energy-efficient improvements to existing homes through 2015.

That EXPIRE Act has not yet been considered by the full Senate, so there’s still time to write to lawmakers in support of the bill.

If you have any comments or questions about this blog, leave them here or email me privately at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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