Volume 2   Issue 2               Summer 2001

f r o m  t h e   p u b l i s h e r

Energy Efficiency, Round Two
by Tara Taffera

Okay, so this is only our third issue of Door & Window Maker and I may be starting to sound like a broken record. My last column talked about how window manufacturers, particularly in this time of skyrocketing energy prices, need to convince homeowners of the benefits of energy-efficient windows. That issue was also full of articles from columnists who addressed the topic. My concern is that while I want to write a portion of this article about energy-efficient windows, you may get sick of hearing about the subject. After all, many of this month’s authors decided to make energy efficiency the topic of discussion as well. 

But, I realized there is a reason we’re all writing about this subject. You may be sick of hearing those two words—energy efficiency—but if you haven’t realized it by now, a lot of your success as a manufacturer hangs on these two words. So, we’re going to keep talking about the importance of selling energy-efficient products, but this time with a different twist.

While many of the articles in the last issue talked about convincing the consumer, this one focuses on the builder. On page 12, the National Fenestration Rating Council’s Jim Benney explains how manufacturers can convince the builder of the benefits energy-efficient windows provide. He gives tips on how manufacturers can persuade builders to add a few more windows to a home, one of these being the benefit of daylighting. 

This may seem like an elementary selling point, but natural light really does have an effect on people’s moods—and not just in houses. Office buildings, hospitals, schools—research has shown that occupants at each of these perform better when there are more windows. What a selling point, and what an opportunity!

It’s a good thing Benney and I aren’t the only ones recognizing the benefits of energy-efficient windows. Edgetech’s Jim Plavecsky (see page 6) also writes about convincing builders of the benefits of energy-efficient windows. Plavecsky talks about the Model Energy Code, which sets minimum energy performance standards to assist builders in obtaining energy-efficient products. He also talks about a law in California that toughens energy-efficiency standards. That’s great, but it’s not enough. According to Plavecsky, builders are often resistant to government regulations and many of them do not understand the codes. 

It’s the manufacturer’s job to help builders understand the codes, and to help them realize the benefits of energy-efficient windows. While the current energy crisis we are experiencing certainly isn’t great news for America, it does provide a tremendous opportunity for the fenestration industry—but only if we do something about it. So, be sure to take advantage of the guidance written within these pages by the experts in the industry. Only good can come from it.

Be sure to read the next issue of Door & Window Maker to see if energy efficiency is still the hot topic of conversation. Anyone care to make a wager?


DWM
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