Door
by Tara Taffera
May 16th, 2011

Who Knows About R-5?

If you are reading this and you are a window manufacturer, then you likely are familiar with the Department of Energy’s High-Performance Windows Volume Purchase Program, otherwise known as the R-5 program. As a manufacturer you have either decided to participate or opted not to do so.

If you are a dealer you may not know about the program. I spoke to a window dealer recently who had never heard a word about this initiative (and I should point out that this particular dealer sells a variety of different window lines, at least two of which are a program participant). I was slightly surprised that the manufacturers hadn’t passed this information to the companies who sell their windows.

The point of the volume purchase program is to encourage just that—volume purchases. Yes, many companies just sell to the homeowners but I’m sure these companies also have conversations with builders, developers, architects, etc. So if they knew about R-5 they could spread the word to these groups, should it become relevant to the conversation.

Then just last week we published a news story regarding recent visits from members of the Northeast Window and Door Association (NWDA) to Capitol Hill. Members reported that Congressional members had not heard of the R-5 program. Why should Congressional members be informed? So they can encourage federal agencies to spec R-5 windows, according to Daryl Huber, NWDA member.

By now you should have received the May issue of DWM magazine, which has two articles regarding the program. In one of those articles, Graham Parker, Pacific Northwest National Lab, admits that the DOE could have done more to promote the program and there are several initiatives in place now to do just that. Window manufacturers admit they could have done the same as well.

So I encourage all in the industry to get the word out. If you are a manufacturer, tell your dealers and other customers. If you are a dealer reading this and your manufacturer hasn’t informed you, call to ask them what you can do to help.

The end result is more knowledge and support for higher-performing products.

If you’d like to share how you have engaged in educational efforts, email me at ttaffera@glass.com.

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