The Attachment Energy Rating Council officially launched Phase 1 of the window attachment certification program, which includes residential cellular shades, blinds (slat shades), roller shades, storm windows and panels, pleated shades and solar screens. The launch is three years in the making – and has left replacement window manufacturers wondering if this will affect sales.

The Road So Far

To get to this point, the AERC worked with the Building Technologies Office (BTO), a branch of the Department of Energy, to create the Energy Improvement label that indicates the energy performance of individual window attachment products. The label, which will start appearing on products this spring, is based on industry input, algorithm development and field-tested validation conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

Overall, the general purpose is to provide consumers and stakeholders a means by which to measure energy performance of attachments so they can make more-informed decisions about products. (Read more about the certification and process.)

The View from Here

Many in the windows market have been concerned that consumers could be confused with these products and assume they are viable alternatives to window replacement. However, my understanding is that the intention is to replace clear glass with low-e in the existing storm window market. (Energy Star is working on a specification for storm windows with low-e glass.)

I continue to believe that aesthetics and maintenance are the primary drivers for consumers to replace windows – with energy savings being a bonus. Those looking for low-cost, quick fixes will be the primary audience for these products. Therefore, there might be a small segment that choose an alternative to replacement or other “winterizing” products, but certified products will provide very little competition to the R&R market.

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