While Congressional members are well-versed on many industry issues, Daryl Huber, member of the Northeast Window and Door Association (NWDA), reported that many Senators and Representatives are unaware of the Department of Energy’s High-Performance Windows Volume Purchase Program, also commonly referred to as R-5. NWDA members met with 16 Congressional members and/or their staff members last week during the association’s annual Washington Fly-In event.

“Not many offices were aware of R-5,” says Huber. “If Congress could facilitate the federal government specifying R-5 windows for a variety of federal projects, it would go a long way toward job, creation, etc.”

Energy issues such as the R-5 program was just one of the talking points that members brought up in their meetings. Another was the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lead paint regulations or LRRP.

“We told members they should push the EPA to meet with groups to come up with a plan that meets their parameters but works cost effectively,” says Huber, who met directly with Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) during the event. “We need to find a compromise to bring these regulations to the consumer at the lowest cost, which will create jobs.”

Huber says attendees also talked to Congressional members about the detrimental effect that possible third-party verification would have on the industry, should the EPA issue a rule that would extend the EPA requirements into this area. The group presented a letter from a Pennsylvania window and door retailer to Pennsylvania Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Bob Casey (D-PA) which stated that third-party verification would “force my company to layoff approximately 30 to 40 full time employees.”

“Most of the members we met with seemed aware of the RRP rule but not third-party verification,” says Huber.

But he points out that 16 offices now know about this potential extension of the program as well as other issues of which they were previously unaware.

“Sixteen offices are now aware of the R-5 program,” says Huber. “Some of those members sit on energy subcommittees so that is a positive factor.”

Tyson Schwartz, Gorell Windows and Doors, was also in attendance. For more on the meeting read his blog.

NWDA members met with 16 congressional offices last week.

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