The final 2018 budget proposal from the White House released just a couple of weeks ago should look pretty familiar. It’s almost exactly the same as the “skinny budget” released a few months back. The president is holding his ground, focusing a majority of the budget on national security, defense, homeland security, the southern border and veterans – while other programs face major cuts.

The EPA is among the hardest hit departments with a proposed 31% decrease in funding, including the elimination of Energy Star. This is a topic that has been discussed every which way possible in the fenestration trade media and blogs, including my own. When the year began, I was doubtful. That would never happen, I thought. But as time goes on, I am seeing that a world without Energy Star is one we might actually face. But will it be the only cut that will affect our industry? Probably not.

Although not to the degree of the EPA, the DOE is also facing budgetary cuts. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which funds research into alternative and renewable energy sources, will no doubt be dialed back, along with budgets funding the Building Technology Office (BTO) and its programs. Meaning, other energy efficiency and “window-related” programs may not look the same as we enter the 2018 fiscal year.

The View from Here? As I said about the “skinny budget,” there are certainly opportunities to reduce spending in D.C. But wiping out Energy Star and DOE window programs seems extreme considering the budgets for both are just a fraction of a percent of those departments’ spends. Not to mention the significant energy savings and technologies such as low-E that have resulted from the efforts of these departments.

Like the rest of the industry – and the U.S. – I will be watching with anticipation as the budget goes through congressional review, but I will also be talking to whomever I can to help influence decisions related to these important programs that help drive advancement in our industry. We’ve come too far to revert back to the Wild West.

What’s your View? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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