Fenestration Canada held a webinar today to inform its members of changes in the Ontario Green Energy Act, specifically, that it now includes windows, and will go into effect January 1, 2014. Simply put, Jeff Baker, WestLab, informed manufacturers they better get ready.

“Do not delay or it will cause you incredible grief,” he said.

The act, which covers residential housing and the remodeling market, does have exemptions including stained glass, decorative glass, wrought iron and blinds between glass. Additionally, if the glass is just being replaced it is not required.

Regarding performance a 2.0 W/m2Cor lower or an energy rating of 17 or higher is required. “This is well below Energy Star for Ontario,” said Baker. “So in a sense the Energy Act requirements are not stringent and are not a large concern.”

What is a large concern, said Baker is the certification requirements. All products have to be independently verified, and in order to prove compliance a temporary label on the product or a permanent National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label is required.

“Certification won’t be a problem for those in NFRC program as their products have already been certified,” he said. “It’s a big problem if you don’t have certification.”

When it comes to enforcement Baker said that will be up to the building officials and self-regulation.

“If you see a competitor’s windows are not meeting the requirements you can contact the program administrator,” said Baker. “There are stiff penalties which are much tougher than what is in the building code. Negotiating with a building official is not an option.”

Although windows are the only product category now covered, Baker said the industry should be prepared for this to change.

“My view on this down the road is that skylights, doors and other fenestration products will be covered in the future. They can change it whenever they want with sufficient notice.”

Baker ended the webinar with another urge to manufacturers to not delay in meeting the requirements.

“This will prevent you from selling your products in Ontario,” he said.

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