Volume 16, Issue 6 - November/December 2012

IWFA Update
by John Parker

Cost-Effective Energy Savings

Just reading the headline “Window Film is the Most Cost-Effective Energy Saver,” which appeared in top media outlets, gives us pause and the chance to reflect on the last 12 months. Our industry as a whole has advanced in a manner that is helping to “lift all boats.” This includes the manufacturers that both innovate and produce high- quality films, the distributors that offer guidance on the best product for the job and the dealers and installers that have one-to-one contact with the consumer and business owner.

Like many of you, I am involved in the day-to-day running of a business, focused on the daily challenges and near-term hurdles ahead. But when I lift my head up to look at the whole 360 degree scene, there is so much to be thankful for!

Moving Forward
When we look back and see what’s been accomplished in one year, it makes me proud to be a member of the International Window Film Association (IWFA) and work in an industry that is making a real difference to consumers and businesses alike.

Here are just a few examples that should make all of us proud:

At the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ in 2011, the IWFA co-sponsored a series of “how to” workshops on using social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. Today, when I scan the digital landscape, I see a growing cadre of dealers, distributors and manufacturers using social media to advance their business and the industry. In many cases, the information source for their outreach comes right from the news releases and hundreds of articles that were distributed and placed by the IWFA.

Next, when I reflect on the behind-the-scenes work that the IWFA professional staff, led by our own Mr. Window Film, Darrell Smith, is achieving on our behalf, it really gets me revved up and gives me that “can do” inspiration to move forward.

Sowing the Seeds
We know that from a small seed grows many branches of a tree. One seed planted this year was the report prepared by the IWFA consultant ConSol. It developed groundbreaking research that proved that window film—across the California market—is hands down the most cost-effective energy savings retrofit that can be had. The branches from that seed spread quickly to the California Energy Commission. They put window film on the fast track and voted it into the building code for 2014. California is the first state in the nation to make this smart move. Stay tuned, because this tree is branching out even further.

Again, from small beginnings came the voice of one trucker from Canada, doing everything to fight skin cancer from his career-long exposure to UV rays, brought awareness to window film. In trying to protect his skin, he was often fined for having window film. His voice reached the ear of the IWFA’s transportation and safety experts, J. Lynwood Butner Consulting. Working with the Department of Transportation in the U.S., the IWFA obtained an important clarification, permitting the use of 70 percent visual light transmittance (VLT) film on the sidelites of truck cabs across the U.S.—no ifs, ands or buts. Following a front-page article quoting the IWFA on the topic in Truck News in Canada, that country may also adopt the U.S. standard. Looking ahead, even further improvements for truckers in the U.S. are possible.

Working Together
The IWFA is a non-profit association, and associate we do. This year we issued a joint news release with the American Trucking Association and we continue to work with many other groups in support of mutual goals. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the body that rates the energy-saving capabilities of glass and window film, has been publicly supportive of our industry and the impact that we are having.

We also continue to work on a state-by-state basis and nationally with utilities, building code officials, green energy associations and a matrix of interlinked organizations to educate on the value that window film brings to the table as the most cost-effective means of saving energy—and that is something we can all be grateful for and proud of!

John Parker is the president of the International Window Film Association (IWFA).

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