“Fenestration ratings are rarely understood by door and window consumers, but are critical to how they choose the window or door that best fits their needs,” says Tom Herron, senior manager, communications and marketing, National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).

To make the process easier, the group is actively educating consumers about energy efficiency ratings through its retailer program. The program involves tear sheets developed by the NFRC, and distributed to retailers free of charge. The retailer can then brand the materials so when a homeowner weighs their options they remember that company.

Herron says the NFRC is aiming to educate consumers instead of having them be confused about the NFRC label, which has happened in the past.

“They would back off thinking it [the label and terms such as SHC and U-factor] was complicated,” he says. “That is bad news for a retailer. You don’t want them to leave.”

The NFRC started the retailer program when it saw a glaring need for consumers to become more educated.

“What we found was that the consumer didn’t understand the NFRC labels and didn’t know what things stood for so we use down-to-earth language to help them in their decision-making process,” says Herron. “It helps that the info is coming from a third-party, independent certification program.”

The third-party data is what’s key, according to the NFRC.

“That’s what we find to be a big deal,” says Herron. “It is one thing to take the word of the person selling … we all know how that may go sometimes. Obviously they [retailers] have a motivation to move that product. We don’t make money from this.”

The program isn’t new, however. The NFRC developed the fact sheets back in 2009 and is now looking to distribute the program more widely to retailers. However, Herron says those currently using the tools have experienced positive results.

“We have had retailers who have come to us and said they had been using [the fact sheets] in one location and want to order [more] for additional locations,” says Herron. “That speaks to the efficacy of the program.”

Herron adds he doesn’t usually use clichés, but just has to in this case.

“It’s truly a win-win situation,” he says. “The retailer gets to help consumers along in the decision-making process and consumers get fair and objective information to assist them.”

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