Volume 11, Issue 7 - September 2010

Energy and Environmental News

DOE Says Timing is Right for R5 Volume Purchase Program

“The timing couldn’t be much better [for the DOE’s R5 volume window purchase program] with what’s happening in policy and in products—the Home Star program, which is still under consideration, the Better Building Initiative and also the energy tax credit.” So said Jason Bogovich, manager of Energetics Inc., during a recent webinar on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) R5 volume purchase program.

Bogovich’s company is one of many working closely with the DOE to administer the program, which was designed to increase the number of R5 windows in the marketplace while also making them economical.

“We want to make everyone aware of this window of savings that is currently available,” added Bogovich, who described the process being used to promote the program as a “boots on the ground strategy.”

Targeted audiences of the R5 program include homebuilders, contractors, weatherization agencies, apartment owners and operators, non-profit agencies and state and local governments.

“A large part of this is regional workshops,” he explained.

Christian Kohler, who is with the windows and daylighting research group of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, explained that one goal of the program is to reduce carbon emissions, “starting with buildings.”

“The window is responsible for 15 to 17 percent of energy use,” he said. “That represents $13 billion a year in energy costs.”
Graham Parker of Pacific Northwest Laboratories said his company has worked with DOE on the program development and is looking at raising the structural performance grade required by the program, “as suggested by window vendors and buyers.”

DOE also is considering changing some of the specifications required of the windows included, Parker said—for example, the possibility of adding a regional solar heat gain coefficient to the program.

DOE Awards More Than $22 Million for Building Envelope and Window Projects to Improve Energy Efficiency
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced awards totaling more than $76 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Fourteen companies in the building envelope and windows category will receive awards, which will support advanced energy-efficient building technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators, and energy auditors.

According to the DOE announcement, the 58 projects selected will help make the nation’s buildings more energy efficient and cost-effective. They will also support programs to train workers to service and operate new and existing buildings, to develop and deploy best practices resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and to establish a green workforce with technical expertise to reduce energy costs for consumers.

The building envelope and windows segment is receiving $22,807,255 total federal share. The funding will go toward 14 projects that focus on improving the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings through technology advances in windows and envelope components, necessary to achieve significant energy savings and performance.


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