Volume 47, Issue 4 - May 2008

Window Guy
A dealer’s perspective
by R. Mark Reasbeck, Owner of Coyote Springs Window and Door of Las Vegas. Mr. Reasbeck's opinions are solely his own and do not reflect those of this magazine.

Is a Star Fading?
Window Guy Questions New Energy Star® Changes

I recently flew to Florida to celebrate my daughter Sarah’s 27th birthday and to have three grandkids wear me out. Departing from the Las Vegas airport is a people watcher’s utopia but the ticket counter, that’s another story.

Too Much Baggage
Instead of traveling with a black suitcase with rollers and a handle like the rest of America, I’ve got a heavy duty, leather duffle-bag for which a steer and a half probably had to give up their lives. I use it because it takes abuse well; it has straps that could tow a car, and I can get everything into one bag. That wasn’t the case on this particular day.

“Mr. Reasbeck, your bag weighs 55 pounds,” the employee at the ticket counter said. I asked my options. “You can pay an extra $50, or take something out,” she replied. I asked how I could do that seeing that my carry-on is a laptop case. “You can go upstairs and buy another bag; you are allowed two bags up to 50 pounds,” she said. My mind was working on pre-redeye departure mode and I said, “So, I’m allowed two bags totaling 100 pounds, but I can’t get one, 55-pound bag that takes up less space and weighs less than the allotted two bags on this plane?” Guess who won? I stuffed two books into the laptop case and boarded. On the return trip, I wasn’t even questioned. These things just don’t make sense, which leads me to … 

Too Much Star Power
According to several accounts that I have read recently, those rascals over at the Department of Energy (DOE) are at it again. At a meeting in Nashville, Richard Karney of the DOE gave a progress report of the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee to a group of National Fenestration Rating Council folks. It wasn’t pretty. It appears that the Energy Star program is not the shining star it once was. Its flicker is fading, and, just like an aging Hollywood actor, it’s losing its star power.

Karney said the DOE is reevaluating the criteria for certification because in some areas of the country, local building codes have superseded the Energy Star standards, rendering the label impotent.

He also stated that Energy Star has a 53-percent market share, and that is too high. Huh? And 53 percent is too high for the label to have meaning in the marketplace? Warm fuzzies were guaranteed when he clarified that the Energy Star label is not a “seal of approval,” but was intended to distinguish the most efficient products.

Too Much Information
The DOE launched the “Star” program to get everybody from the people that make electric toothbrushes and appliances to building product manufacturers to change the way they manufacture their products, at an additional cost to them, to achieve an Energy Star rating. Now that 53 percent are on board with the standards set forth, it no longer has meaning because the “distinguished efficient products” label is on too much stuff?

Here’s my idea. Let’s take all the Energy Star labels off of all the products and replace them with that little swirled “Intel inside” label that you see on every computer and see if anyone notices. Come to think of it, since that little “Intel inside” label is on every computer, has it lost its intelligence from overexposure? And just think, according to a national commercial, for $54.95, you can have a star named after you or a loved one. These things just don’t make sense. 

© Copyright 2008 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.