House Passes Climate Change Legislation
The House of Representatives recently passed the American
Clean Energy & Security Act by a vote of 219-212. The bill would require
a 30-percent reduction in energy use relative to a comparable residential
structure constructed in compliance with the baseline code, effective
January 1, 2015, if enacted.
Effective January 1, 2017, and every three years after, a 5-percent additional
reduction in energy use will be required, up until 2030.
If passed, the legislation also will impact the Energy Star® program,
and calls for the establishment and implementation of a rating system
for products identified as Energy Star products “to provide consumers
with the most helpful information on the relative energy efficiency, including
cost effectiveness from the consumer’s perspective, and relative length
of time for consumers to recover costs attributable to the energy-efficient
features of those products.” This would be developed within 18 months
of the enactment of the bill, “unless the Administrator and the Secretary
communicate to Congress that establishing such a system would diminish
the value of the Energy Star brand to consumers.”
The bill also would require a review of the Energy Star product criteria
for the 10 product models in each category with the greatest energy consumption
at least once every three years. Based on this review, the criteria would
be updated and published for each category as necessary.
H.R. 2454 also would require periodic verification of compliance with
the Energy Star criteria by products identified as Energy Star-qualified
(including doors and windows).
The legislation requests the allotment of $5 million for fiscal year 2010
and each fiscal year thereafter for these changes.
The bill also would establish incentives for financial institutions that
“develop loan products and flexible underwriting guidelines to facilitate
a secondary market for energy-efficient and location-efficient mortgages
on housing for very low-, low- and moderate-income families, and for second
and junior mortgages made for purposes of energy efficiency or renewable
energy improvements, or both.”
The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D. - Calif.) and Edward
Markey (D - Mass.), is now being reviewed in the Senate.
WDMA Works to Get Voice of Industry Heard
Michael O’Brien, executive vice president of the Window and Door Manufacturers
Association, along with his new Washington, D.C.-based legislative team,
told DWM in mid-August that he and his staff are just finishing the WDMA’s
position on the climate change legislation. He points out that the WDMA’s
focus will be on the building code and energy-efficient provisions, rather
than other items in the bill.
“While cap and trade is relevant we will really focus on those issues
directly affecting the door and window industry,” he says. “There is so
much attention placed on cap and trade [by various industry groups] that
we need to get the other industry concerns raised to the highest level.”
That was the association’s focus during the August congressional recess—educating
key staffers regarding these and other issues.
DOE Issues Transition and Tax Credit
The DOE recently issued a transition label for use in transitioning to
the new Energy Star® criteria for qualified doors, windows and skylights.
The first phase of the criteria goes into effect on January 4, 2010. In
addition, DOE has issued an optional, supplemental label for Energy Star
qualified products that are eligible for the recently established tax
© Copyright 2009 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.