Volume 11, Issue 4 - May 2010

Energy and Environmental News

Door and Window Phase 2 Energy Star® Criteria Work Under Underway

A representative from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided insight into the latest developments with the revised Energy Star program during a meeting of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) in March in Washington, D.C. EPA operations manager Doug Anderson, who now oversees the door, window and skylights program, re-assured attendees about the move to EPA and offered a look at the future as well.

“I just want to assure everyone in this room that we’re striving to keep the same technical support in place,” he said.

Anderson also pointed out that the EPA intends to place a new emphasis validating products once they’ve become Energy Star-qualified, and is working on a proposal to do blind-sampling of these products in the future. Final details are not in place yet, he said.

“We’re figuring out a way to balance those costs with all the testing that’s already done,” he said.

Anderson also offered some insight into Phase 2. (Phase 1 took effect April 1.)

“We’re trying to be very open about things,” he said, and explained that EPA is conducting research before holding broad meetings with industry stakeholders.

The elements under consideration for Phase 2 are the following:
• U-factors and solar heat gain co-efficients;
• Air leakage requirements;
• Life cycle analysis;
• Energy Star “Best in Class” products (also known as Super Star);
• Skylight criterion;
• Specialty exemptions; and
• Installation requirements.

When it comes to air leakage requirements, EPA is looking for “a basic level of performance,” said Anderson.

The Super Star program, he pointed out, could be undergoing a name change.

“We don’t really like the term ‘Super Star,’” Anderson said. “We prefer ‘Best in Class.’”

He said they’re currently doing research on how such a product could impact the Energy Star brand, as some at EPA have fears that the two would compete with one another. He is also seeking industry feedback for installation requirements.

“I’d like to hear people’s thoughts about how we can get to a better installation,” he said, though he stressed that the EPA does not plan to develop a certification program like those that the WDMA and American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) already have in place.

Anderson also provided a tentative timeline for Phase 2:
• Initial Analysis – Spring 2010-Spring 2011;
• Initial Analysis Publication and Discussion – Summer 2011;
• Stakeholders Meeting – Summer 2011;
• Finalization of Criteria – Fall 2011; and
• Approximate Effective Date of Phase 2 – Summer 2013.

Though the timeline is not set in stone, Anderson encouraged manufacturers to contact him to provide feedback and suggestions.

Anderson’s presentation was held as part of the WDMA’s 2010 Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference, held in conjunction with the National Lumber and Building Materials Association and the North American Building Material Distribution Association.

House Passes Home Star Legislation
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act in early May. The Home Star program described in the bill will provide temporary rebates for energy-efficient doors and windows and other energy-saving items.

During the first year after the legislation passes, the Silver Star program would award rebates to homeowners for the following actions:
• A window replacement that replaces at least eight exterior windows, or 75 percent of the exterior windows in a home, whichever is less, with windows or skylights that are certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council and comply with criteria applicable to the windows in the tax credit program (included in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, section 25 (c) (except for those in areas above 5,000 feet elevation, where windows will be required to have a U-factor of at least 0.35 when replacing windows that are single-glazed or double-glazed with an internal air space of ¼ inch or less); and
• A door or skylight replacement that replaces at least one exterior door or skylight with doors or skylights that comply with the 2010 Energy Star® specifications for doors or skylights.

Rebates also would be provided for storm doors and windows that are installed on at least five existing doors or five single-glazed windows and comply with any procedures set by the legislation.

The rebate would be $1,000 per measure for windows, and $125 per door or skylight for the installation of a maximum of two Energy Star doors or skylights per home. The maximum amount of rebates provided for a home is set at $3,000 or 50 percent of the total cost of the installed measures—whichever is less. Likewise, the legislation notes that if the net value to the homeowner of the rebates is less than the amount of the rebates—the actual net value would be the maximum amount of the rebate.

In addition, under the Gold Star Home Energy Retrofit Program, rebates would be awarded to reimburse participating accredited contractors and vendors for retrofit work that achieves whole home energy savings.

The bill, which passed the House with a vote of 246-161, was awaiting the review of the Senate at press time.

Door and Window Companies Receive Energy Star® Awards
Gorell Windows & Doors in Indiana, Pa., Andersen Windows in Bayport, Minn., and Jeld-Wen in Klamath Falls, Ore., have been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with Energy Star Partner of the Year Awards.

Additionally, Gorell, ProVia Door, in Sugarcreek, Ohio and Pella Corp. in Pella, Iowa, earned the Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award. The Sustained Excellence Award is given to organizations that have won the Energy Star Partner of the Year award three or more consecutive times. Gorell and Pella are winners in the windows category while ProVia earned the Sustained Excellence Award for doors.


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