This year, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is celebrating its 35th anniversary. NFRC was founded to serve the public interest by providing fair, accurate and credible ratings on the energy performance of fenestration products. During this time, NFRC has focused on developing and maintaining certification programs and ratings that can withstand scrutiny. As a result, the NFRC ratings for fenestration have been included in energy codes, ENERGY STAR®, and as proof of qualification for rebates and tax credits.

This work will continue, of course, and the programs will continue to be improved and strengthened through accreditation, expansion, and other initiatives that benefit those who choose to certify their products.

But there is much more to be done. This anniversary year, NFRC is committed to ensuring information is available to all people affected by – and benefiting from – the efficiency of windows, doors, skylights, and window films.

Two years ago, I wrote about the frustrating lack of consideration that fenestration often gets in the built environment. Whether the importance of windows is downplayed, marginalized, or disregarded all together, the only way to overcome these challenges for the industry is to educate everyone.

Everyone is affected by windows. But it’s not always top of mind.

Most homeowners only shop for windows once or twice in their lives, if ever. Many don’t know about or appreciate the importance certified, efficient windows have on their comfort, energy use, and overall health and well-being. Plenty of information is available online from manufacturers, bloggers, retailers and home improvement websites, though some is incorrect, out-of-date or difficult to understand.
Proactively reaching these consumers at the right time with the right message can be a challenge.

We need to create greater public awareness of the vital role of certified efficient windows in our built environment, and make accurate, unbiased information easy to find and understand.

In that February 2022 blog, NFRC launched the #WhyWindowsMatter campaign. We have since expanded this campaign with the help of the Partnership for Advanced Window Solutions (PAWS) and our own Efficient Windows Collaborative. While this has been an ongoing effort, it is about to be amplified.

Starting today, a national campaign to help consumers recognize the benefits of certified windows under the ENERGY STAR banner begins. NFRC, the ENERGY STAR certification body for fenestration products, will be joining in this campaign to create greater awareness of #WhyWindowsMatter and encourage the use of ENERGY STAR windows.

These combined campaigns will provide education to consumers on the benefits of efficient products and the incentives available from utilities and tax credits.

All ENERGY STAR partners are invited to join the ENERGY STAR campaign and may access the available toolkit here.

All NFRC-certified manufacturers are encouraged to join NFRC and the ongoing #WhyWindowsMatter campaign simply by adding the hashtag to educational information, particularly on social media.

Educating consumers should be a focus for all of us. Disinformation devalues our products and the entire industry. It’s time we bring windows to the forefront of every important conversation involving energy efficiency and the built environment.

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