The Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) held its Fall Conference recently, including an update on a law in Colorado requiring all residential structures three stories or lower to use Energy Star-rated products. Not all of the law’s details are as clear as most windows, Jeremy Neustifter, air quality policy director at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told [DWM]. “The law does not specify what Energy Star version applies,” he said. Many presume that the legislative intent includes applying the standards associated with Energy Star’s latest version, but additional clarifications are needed from the attorney general’s office, he said.

“We’re still working out the details of the implementation of this bill,” Neustifter said.

The Appliance Standards Bill was signed into law June 1 and is set to take effect in January 2026, expanding on previously adopted standards from a statute established in 2014. While the law’s broad intent is to improve water efficiency among a range of appliances and fixtures, legislation was expanded to include other products used in residential buildings, such as doors, windows and skylights.

The bill was passed by the house and the senate in May of this year and signed into law by Colorado’s governor June 1.

In June, Kathy Krafka Harkema, FGIA’s U.S. technical operations director, described the law as “far-reaching” and “precedence-setting,” acting like a code in a state that adopts energy codes at a local level. More recently, in an FGIA educational session, titled “Laying Down the Law to Drive Energy Star Requirements in Colorado,” Neustifter told attendees that historically his department hasn’t regulated products. “This is a whole new program for us,” he said.

According to the law, on and after January 1, 2026, “a person shall not sell, offer to sell, lease, or offer to lease” any of the listed product types in Colorado, unless the efficiency of the new product meets or exceeds the standards listed for each product type. For residential doors, windows and skylights, the law says they must be “included in the scope of the Energy Star program product specification” and “must satisfy the Northern climate zone qualification criteria of that specification.” An exception includes products that are custom designed for a historically designated building.

At the same time, “The bill does prescribe ways in which a manufacturer could circumvent the process of Energy Star certification, so long as there is an approved test method to show that a product meets the same requirements,” Neustifter told [DWM].

The law does not apply to products held in inventory on or before the effective date for each category and there will be a one-year delay between the adoption by rule and the enforcement of any new standard or test method, Neustifter told attendees in FGIA’s session. At the same time, the sale of noncompliant products after the effective date is punishable through a civil enforcement action by the attorney general, with penalties of up to $2,000 per violation. For sales of noncompliant products to elderly persons, the cost can be $10,000 per violation.

Compliance evaluations will be conducted in the form of online “spot-checks” by Air Pollution Control Division staff, officials for FGIA said. An anonymous reporting system will be established by the division for the public and consumers to report suspected violations.

Findings of confirmed violations will be delivered to the attorney general’s office, which serves as the lead for enforcement.

Regarding the idea for countering the new law before it takes effect, Neustifter suggested that any such effort could be extremely challenging.

“The legislative process is the only way to change this law,” he said. “There are two legislative sessions before 2026, but I don’t know if this law will change before then.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *