Volume 13, Issue 7 - September 2012

Energy & Environmental News

EPA Releases Energy Star Draft 1 Version 6.0
Windows, Doors and Skylights Criteria

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released Draft 1 of the Energy Star for Windows, Doors, and Skylights Version 6.0 specification and the Energy Star for Windows, Doors, and Skylights version 6.0 Draft 1 Criteria and Analysis Report for stakeholder review.

According to the EPA, this draft specification was developed with consideration to the comments received in response to the Version 6.0 Product Specification Framework Document released in October 2011.

In addition to providing definitions for products, performance metrics, etc., the draft’s scope clarifies that the program covers residential doors, windows and skylights. Excluded products are those assembled onsite, such as sash packs or sash kits; doors, windows or skylights intended for installation in non-residential buildings, as well as doors, windows or skylight attachments that are not included in a product’s National Fenestration Rating Council-certified rating (NFRC).

According to the draft, “to qualify for Energy Star, products shall have NFRC-certified U-factor and, where applicable, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) ratings at levels which meet or exceed the minimum qualification criteria specified. Windows and skylights shall meet the criteria for a given Energy Star climate zone. Doors shall meet the criteria for a given glazing level. Dynamic glazing products shall meet the criteria while in the minimum tinted state for chromogenic glazing products or the ‘fully open’ position for internal shading systems.”

For example, under the new criteria, windows in the northern climate zone must have a U-factor of <0.27; any SHGC is acceptable. In the north-central zone U-factors must be < 0.29 and SHGC < 0.40, while in the south-central U-factors must be < 0.31 and SHGC < 0.25. Windows in the southern region will require a U-factor of < 0.40 and a SHGC of < 0.25.

Air leakage requirements are also covered. According to the draft, “windows, sliding doors and skylights shall demonstrate adherence to this requirement by displaying ‘< 0.3’ in the air leakage portion of the NFRC temporary label. Swinging doors shall demonstrate adherence to this requirement by displaying ‘< 0.5’ in the air leakage portion of the NFRC temporary label. Manufacturers may test and/or add the necessary labeling as their products come up for NFRC re-certification.” The Energy Star Residential Windows, Doors, and Skylights specification is expected to take effect January 1, 2014.

FTC Report Says Many Consumers Believe “Up To” Claims Promise Maximum Results
Looking at consumer ads for replacement home windows, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released an FTC-commissioned study indicating that when marketers use the phrase “up to” in claims about their products, many consumers are likely to believe that they will achieve the maximum “up to” results. The study describes what a test group of consumers thought about ads for replacement home windows that purportedly would provide “up to 47 percent” savings in energy costs.

According to the release, the FTC believes the report will help guide advertisers to avoid the use of misleading “up to” claims. It reinforces the FTC’s view that advertisers using these claims should be able to substantiate that consumers are likely to achieve the maximum results promised under normal circumstances.

The report summarizes the results of a test conducted in conjunction with investigations of five companies (Gorell Enterprises Inc.; Long Fence & Home, LLLP; Serious Energy Inc.; THV Holdings LLC and Winchester Industries) that, in February, settled FTC charges that they made unsupported claims about their windows’ energy efficiency and how much they would reduce consumers’ heating and cooling bills. The cases are part of the agency’s efforts to ensure that environmental marketing is truthful and based on scientific evidence.

The EPA named The Home Depot as the 2012 Energy Star Partner of the Year for its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through merchandising and marketing Energy Star-qualified products.


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