“We’re not in the business of making sure every product meets Energy Star standards. It’s meant to be an aspirational brand.”

Those were the words of Doug Anderson, Energy Star program manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who spoke before live and virtual attendees of the Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) Annual Conference taking place this week in Amelia Island, Fla.

Anderson’s presentation was packed full of stats and charts regarding the proposal for Energy Star Version 7.0. [DWM] has reported on the proposals extensively, including draft one and draft two, and window manufacturers have had time to digest the proposals. Still, the audience had many questions for Anderson, and he took the time to address those during the event.

Much of the concerns were related to the timeline for implementation (one year after the proposal goes into effect), whether or not the proposal will mean a move toward triple-pane windows in the Northern region, and the reasons behind the increasingly stringent requirements.

“We don’t want consumers to be disappointed with lower-performing products,” said Anderson. “Everyone knows the window is the weak part of the home, and we need to do better, and this [version 7.0] will help,” Anderson said.

Some of the written comments to draft one alluded to the fact that products aren’t currently available to meet the new requirements. Still, Anderson affirmed there are products that meet the criteria in the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) Certified Products Directory (CPD) database.

“Some companies are ready to go,” he said. “Other companies have many options that are certified that may not be in mass production. Sixty to 70% of our partners have these products.”

Although Version 7.0 will no doubt increase the adoption of triple-pane windows, Anderson asserts “there are double-glazed windows that can meet a .22 U-factor in the North.”

As for that timeline, some manufacturers are concerned that supply chain issues will cause challenges in not being able to meet the requirements in time.

“It does seem like supply chain issues are getting better,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to wait around until the supply chain clears up. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

He also pointed out that typically, nine months is standard to meet new requirements, but for windows, companies will have a full year.

“If you can’t do it within the year timeline, we will welcome you back with open arms … We want to recognize those companies who are innovative and ahead,” said Anderson.

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