The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Windows Volume Purchase Program (WVP) will have some significant changes according to a new announcement made this week. Many of the changes are based on a two-hour stakeholder strategy session held in February. Taking strategy session feedback into consideration, the WVP team has released a program update on how the WVP will be modified for the remainder of 2012. First, phase II of the program (scheduled to run from May 2011-April 2012) will be extended until December 31, 2012.

The WVP team will now require participating vendors to report total R5 sales from all sources (vendors previously could opt to report only sales from the program website).

“They don’t care how it happens [an R5 sale], they just want to know how many windows are going into the marketplace,” says Scott Channell, National Vinyl LLC, whose company participates in the program. “This will force us to better track our sales. It puts a little more burden on us but it makes us better.”

While the WVP program has faced some criticism due to low sales numbers, Channel says, “What the DOE has done is put that into the forefront of the dealers’ minds that this is what they need to be selling. It has forced all of us to get better at promoting these windows and getting them out the door in a timely and efficient and competitive manner.”

Additionally, the 20-window minimum purchase requirement has been eliminated, according to the announcement, but Channell isn’t sure this will make a huge difference.

“The system is still wrought with deficiencies. You don’t know who you are dealing with [when you get an inquiry]. Is it the builder, homeowner, contractor, etc.? You need to have different levels of pricing for each.”

DWM asked Walter Zalis, Energetics Inc., who helps manage the program for DOE, if the DOE is considering making some changes based on the feedback of Channell and others like him and he responded, “Oddly enough, we were just discussing another update to the program [a second announcement we’ll be sharing soon], and that is we will be removing pricing from Since the program will now be focusing on total R5 sales numbers as opposed to sales through the program, it doesn’t make as much sense to keep prices posted.”

Finally, new vendors that meet WVP specifications will be allowed to join the program (this includes vendors that only participated in phase I of the program), according to the DOE announcement.

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