Volume 9, Issue 5                     September/October  2005



On August 8, President Bush signed into law the comprehensive energy bill passed by Congress in July that gives tax credits to homeowners and businesses that use energy-efficient glazing products.

The new law permits the tax credits for homes acquired or property placed in service between December 31, 2005 and December 31, 2007. 

“It could be a great thing for the industry, but we can’t just wait and hope for something to happen. We have to push. So long as we don’t just wait for the phone to ring, it will be fantastic and the sooner the better,” says Paul Panarisi, product manager with Madico. 

The law will have a far-reaching effect on the building and glazing industries, touching those in commercial buildings, new homes, manufactured homes and existing homes. Commercial buildings will receive credit up to $1.80 per square foot for energy efficient commercial building property certified to be 50 percent more efficient than reference building using ASHRAE 90.1-2001. It also allows a partial allowance of up to $.60 per square foot for subsystems certified to meet the targets to make the whole building 50 percent more efficient (if all systems were incorporated) is available.

New homes will receive a tax credit of $2000 if they are certified to be at least 50 percent more energy-efficient than a reference home (as constructed in accordance with Chapter 4 of IECC 2003) and manufactured homes will be available for the same tax credit if they can prove to be similarly energy efficient (compared to a reference home conforming to Federal Manufactured Home Construction & Safety Standards). Existing homes will be able to receive up to 10 percent of the amount paid for “qualified energy efficiency improvements” as a tax credit. Windows and other types of glazing are included; however window film is not specifically mentioned in the new law, which could be both good and bad for the window film industry.

“That the law requires 20-percent energy reduction for government buildings—that’s a big deal. So far, most of us who have been doing work with the government have been getting security film jobs. This might open the door for the solar film sales to the government,” said Panarisi.

He remains cautious about projecting what the future may hold for the industry.

“The good part for us is that we do have products that can drastically reduce energy costs, especially in commercial buildings. We have to make it known and prove that it’s a good payback,” he said. “The best way to do that is through IWFA or another industry rep that shows what we can do, be it providing energy analysis, demonstrating what window film can do to help cut energy bills.”

The industry has the chance to prove itself to the nation as a whole. Part of the new law requires a public energy education program. Sec. 133 of the bill states “an organizational conference will be held to establish an ongoing, self-sustaining national public energy education program” designed to “examine and recognize interrelationships between energy sources in all forms including conservation and energy efficiency, the role of energy use in the economy and the impact of energy use on the environment.

The energy education program is to be followed by an energy efficiency public information initiative, the goal of which is outlined as carrying out “a comprehensive national program, including advertising and media awareness, to inform consumers about the need to reduce energy consumption during the four-year period beginning [at the enactment of the law] … practical, cost-effective measures that consumers can take to reduce consumption of electricity, natural gas and gasoline, including weatherizing homes and buildings.”

Hawaii Issues Thousands of Tint Citations

Thousands of motorists in Hawaii have to pay up for violating the state’s long-standing law regarding vehicle window tint now that police have light meters with them in cruisers and substations, according to a report on the Honolulu Starbulletin.com.

Prior to 2003, the police department on the Big Island had a total of approximately 20 light meters. They now have 100, allowing them to act on a law that has been on the books for 22 years, and since the addition of extra light meters, more than 9000 people have received citations for tint-law violations. 

Further having an impact on Hawaiian drivers who are found to be in violation of the tint laws, which allows vehicle windows to “be tinted to 29 percent on all widows except the windshield,” according to TheHawaiiChannel.com, are also being served with fines more than double what they would have faced in the past. The fines associated with illegal window tint on vehicles has gone from $99 to $287 for the vehicle driver; the installers who install the illegal film face a fine of $537.

Mississippi Changes Inspection Regulations
Mississippi laws regarding aftermarket vehicle window film has not changed since it was enacted in 1989, but the manner by which motorists obtain the window-tint inspection stickers that show that they are in compliance with the law has changed.

According to an article in the (Brookhaven) Daily Leader, the Mississippi Highway Patrol will no longer conduct vehicle window tint inspections at district stations. Motorists have to go to state motor vehicle inspection stations to have any aftermarket film checked to ensure that it meets the luminous reflectance and light transmittance levels required by law, 20 percent and 35 percent, respectively, and receive a sticker identifying the vehicles as being in compliance with the law.

Virgin Islands Police Lobby for Less Stringent Film Laws
Contrary to the usual report of a country cracking down or imposing stiffer laws against vehicle widow tinting, at least one police commissioner worked with his local government to ease up on tinting restrictions.
According to the Virgin Island Daily News, V.I. police commissioner Elton Lewis and lawyer Daniel Matarangas-King went before the Senate to ask that the window tint law signed by Governor Charles Turnbull earlier this year be relaxed a bit, and the Senate has agreed.

The law, which was signed in February as part of the Omnibus Justice Act of 2005 and was scheduled to have taken effect on September 7, required 70 percent light transmittal through all vehicle windows. However, upon obtaining light meters and training officers to use the tools, the police department has learned that the number of vehicles on the (American territory) that would pass the inspection is minimal.

“A window that looks like it is tinted just a little bit was coming up at about 50 percent,” Lewis was quoted as saying in the report.

However, in mid-July, the Senate there voted to amend the law to require 35-percent light transmittal through the vehicle windows, according to the newspaper. 

Leno to Speak at SEMA Banquet

Jay Leno, host of the “Tonight Show,” will be the speaker at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Industry Awards Banquet. The well-known car enthusiast and regular visitor to the show will speak at the awards banquet, which includes a cocktail hour, sit-down dinner, awards presentation and the formal induction of the 2005 SEMA Hall of Fame honorees. 

This is not the first time Leno has spoken before the SEMA crowd; he was the featured entertainment in 1999 and has made appearances at the show, including last year’s event. 

The banquet is scheduled for the last night of the event, November 4, 2005.

Réflectiv Expanding into U.S.

French company Réflectiv is courting business in the North American market, seeking distributors of its high-tech adhesive, decorative film. The company offers frosted film for privacy, as well as colored films “for creating a desired atmosphere while still preserving the window’s transparency.”

Réflectiv says it has a production capacity of 20,000,000 square-feet per year.
yyä www.windowfilmmag.com/infocenter

ACE Security Laminates Announces Financial Results
ACE Security Laminates™ Corp., headquartered in Ottowa, Canada, has announced its results for its second quarter. 
Total revenues recorded for the three-month period ending March 31, 2005 amounted to $1,839,909, compared to $638,575 for the same period in 2004. The increase marks an improvement of more than 180 percent. 
At the time of the ACE Security press release, sales in the current quarter were showing to be 41 percent more than that of the previous quarter, something the company attributes to television exposure it has received in recent months. Television has come in handy for ACE, which aired an infomercial in ten different market segments of the United States on the television series “Pulse of America.” The company has also been featured on the television show “It Takes a Thief” that airs in the United States on the cable network, the Discovery Channel. 

XPEL Grows Business, Partnerships
XPEL Technologies Corp. announced a formal alignment with three major 3M film distributors, having signed XPEL distributor agreements with Maryland’s Energy Products Distribution, Florida’s Accent Distributing and Colorado’s Interwest Distribution.

According to XPEL, doing business with the three 3M distributors will open up access to all but five of the lower forty-eight U.S. states and will provide bulk paint protection, window film, specialized installation training and XPEL’s design access program software to their customers.

“These solidified relationships with highly successful 3M distributors are paving the way for XPEL to achieve substantially greater market penetration more quickly. I am very enthusiastic about our future with these groups, as each already possesses strong business ties to the automotive industry and strong 3M brand momentum,” said W. Rege Brunner, chairperson and chief executive officer of XPEL.

Additionally, the San Antonio Business Journal reported that the company’s global dealer base added 235 new dealers in the first half of 2005, more than 100 more dealers than it added in the first six months of 2004. 

Wausau Partners with SAGE to Offer Alternative to Film
Wausau Window and Wall Systems®, headquartered in Wausau, Wis., has teamed with SAGE Electronics Inc., a Minnesota-based manufacturing firm that produces electronically tintable electrochromic (EC) glass, to offer SageGlass®, electronically tintable windows. The windows are currently available on a limited basis for commercial, institutional and healthcare buildings and help control glare, reduce heat gain and block ultraviolet rays, while increasing the benefits of daylighting and outside viewing, according to a Wausau press release.

“For the first time in history, commercial exterior windows are available with glass that is user controllable,” said Michael Myser, SAGE’s vice president of sales. “With this truly breakthrough product, building owners can reduce their energy bills and lower capital costs, while providing building occupants with a level of comfort previously unachievable.”
SAGE produces SageGlass lites by coating float glass with several layers of invisible ceramic materials, then fabricates these coated lites into insulating glass units (IGUs). Wausau continues the window system fabrication by glazing the IGUs into its aluminum framing systems. The windows are installed and wired into the building’s electrical system and are operated individually by the occupant or automatically by the energy management system. SageGlass units having daylight openings up to 30- x 42-inches are available in now, and openings up to 42- x 60-inches are anticipated to be available by mid-2006.

SEMA Board Members Elected

The Specialty Equipment Market Association has elected the 2006 board of directors. Mitch Williams of Vehicle Performance Systems Inc. will serve as chairperson of the board, with Jim Cozzie of B&M Racing & Performance Products serving as chair-elect.

Other new members of the board are Ralph Accinno with Racer’s Equipment Warehouse Inc.; Matt Agosta of Steele Rubber Products; Joel Ayres of Leer Truck Accessories Group; Paul “Scooter” Brothers with Competition Cams Inc.; Craig Chatt with Lund International; Doug Evans of Primedia; Dennis Gage with My Classic Car, Bradley David Productions Inc.; Anne Graves, SECO Performance Centers; Kathy Bybee Hartzell of duPont-
REGISTRY.com; Dick Hill of Centerforce Clutches; Anne K. Johnson with California Truck Works Inc.; Patrick Judge with Keystone Automotive Operations; Chuck Lombardo with California Street Rods; Dennis Overholser with Painless Performance; Bill Perry of Bill Perry and Associates; Bob Price with Reliable Automotive; Rick Rollins of Superchips Inc.; Richard Sherman with Baer Brake Systems; Russell Stephens of MSD Ignition; Steve Swanson with Foster-Babcock and Associates; Bob West with Westin Automotive Products and Jon Wyly with Arrow Speed Warehouse. The immediate-past chairperson is Corky Coker with Coker Tire Co. Inc, and Russ Deane with Trainum, Snowdon and Deane serves as legal counsel for the board.

AIMCAL Launches Industry Blogs

The Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) has launched four industry-related blogs (online diaries) to help members of the converting community to locate the information they need about new technology and issues facing their organizations and industry. 

The AIMCAL blogs also serve as an interactive new home for the technical question and answer section in the Ask AIMCAL part of the association’s website, where readers pose questions and experts in technology provide answers.
The blogs went live August 1, 2005 and cover four subject areas: web coating and laminating (www.webcoatingblog.com), vacuum web coating (www.vacuumcoatingblog.com), web handling and converting (www.webhandlingblog.com) and specialty web coating (www.specialtywebcoatingblog.com).

“The Web Coating and Laminating blog focuses on all aspects of the web coating process,” said Dr. Ed Cohen, AIMCAL technical consultant – coating and laminating, who serves as blogmaster for the site. “It will contain discussions about specific coating process and product technologies from substrates and raw materials through drying. It also will answer specific questions posed by readers and list links to other coating sites.”

Content on the blogs will come from the blogmasters as well as guest authors who can post white papers on various subjects, answer questions from readers and provide comments on industry issues.

The AIMCAL blogs also have an archive capability to save information and discussions for future reference.

©2005 Key Communications Inc All rights reserved. 
No reproduction of any type without
expressed written permission. 

385 Garrisonville Road, Suite 116, Stafford, VA  22554
Phone: 540/720-5584, Fax: 540/720-5687 e-mail: film@glass.com