Volume 40,   Issue 6                                June  2005

Energy&Environment

DOE Implements Performance-based Ratings 
For the South and South Central
Speaking before members of the Window and Door Manufac-turers Association (WDMA) at the association’s annual technical conference in Chicago in May, Mark LaFrance, technology development manager for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a change to the DOE’s Energy Star® program.

The DOE has implemented a performance-based rating system for the South and South/Central (excluding California) areas of the United States, thus allowing trade-offs in these areas. According to LaFrance, trade-offs deliver equivalent average energy performance when integrated over the specific region. The rationale for this announcement includes:

• In the South/Central zone limited trade-offs work, but U-factors required are below most aluminum windows in the NFRC database, opportunity for investment. 

• In the Southern zone, trade-offs work and allow for hurricane windows to be compliant. For example, laminated low-E glass for constructing impact-resistant hurricane windows have higher U-factors. These windows cannot routinely meet the perspective U-factor criteria, but can deliver equivalent energy performance with lower SHGC . 

LaFrance noted that the rationale excludes the Northern and North/Central zones, which allow no latitude for trade-offs. He also pointed out that California is excluded from the South/Central because viable trade-offs did not work when it was included. 

While the changes made by DOE appear to result in equivalent energy savings, many WDMA members believe that the Energy Star changes will complicate the otherwise simple rating system, and cost more energy by allowing lower performing products to claim Energy Star ratings. 

“The products actually labeled as Energy Star often exceed the required minimum values,” said Jeff Lowinski, WDMA’s acting president. “Using the new trade-offs, some WDMA members are concerned that the minimum product may be allowed to be used, instead of the higher-efficiency product.” 

Republic Qualifies as Energy Star® Canada Participant
Republic Windows & Doors of Chicago has announced that it has qualified as an Energy Star Canada participant. According to the company’s announcement, the qualification means all of Republic’s windows with a minimum of low-E HP glass meet Energy Star requirements in one or more of the four climate zones in Canada.
Steve Hopwood of Natural Resources Canada said the qualification process is twofold.

“First the manufacturer must agree to adhere to the labeling rules and parameters for use of the Energy Star symbol,” Hopwood said. “That’s the easier part. Second, the manufacturer must fill out a detailed spreadsheet for each product that specifies thermal performance ratings and zone qualifications. We verify the ratings with the NFRC for U.S. companies or with other accredited organizations (such as CSA for Canada). Once all criteria are meet the manufacturer becomes a certified Energy Star Canada participant.” 


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