The third and final day of the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance’s (FGIA) Hybrid Fall Conference wrapped up on Thursday, October 21. Along with different committee meetings and task groups, there were updates throughout the day regarding the industry’s current position regarding supply chain challenges, COVID-19 and the future.

Kathy Krafka Harkema, FGIA’s U.S. technical operations director, reported on the current state of the U.S. Harkema reviewed a number of executive orders made by President Biden, addressed COVID-19’s impacts on travel and businesses, and discussed government regulations concerning trade agreements by the U.S., Canada and Mexico. She also spoke heavily on Energy Star’s 7.0 public comments.

“Specifically in the U.S. Energy Star program, we mentioned that our Regulatory Steering Committee Rapid Response Team has been involved in providing comments on behalf of our organization to the leaders at Energy Star on the 7.0 Draft 1 Specification for windows, doors and skylights,” Harkema said.

Harkema made sure to address what she thought was the biggest question on a lot of minds, seeing as months have passed since the first draft of Energy Star 7.0 was released.

“The big question that everybody would like to know: When is that second draft coming out for Energy Star 7.0? The answer is: there is no definite date. We know it’ll happen sometime between now and no earlier than January 23, 2023, when EPA and Energy Star have given us assurance that that would be the earliest that the 7.0 spec would come into play.”

On July 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a revision of the Energy Star specification for residential windows, doors and skylights.

“We think it’s important to take sliding glass doors out of the proposed criteria for windows and, instead, leave the sliding glass doors with the door criteria; to simplify that Energy Star skylight criteria by setting the U-factor at a .53, and maintaining that solar heat-gain coefficient at no less than a .28. Plus, we think from a fundamental principle standpoint that if we require North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) certification for products in the Energy Star most efficient program, we should also require NAFS certification for products in the Energy Star program. And finally, again, we said it’s important not to implement this any sooner than January 1, 2024, because we all know we’re experiencing supply chain and equipment strains in the current market conditions and those aren’t expected to ease up anytime soon. And we also want to make sure that EPA makes it clear to others that Energy Star in the U.S. is a voluntary above-code program and it’s not intended to serve as a model for state or local energy codes.”

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