NEW ENERGY LAW MAY AFFECT WINDOW FILM
On August 8, President Bush signed into law the comprehensive energy bill passed by Congress in July that gives tax credits to homeowners and businesses that use energy-efficient glazing products.
The new law permits the tax credits for homes acquired or property placed in service between December 31, 2005 and December 31, 2007.
“It could be a great thing for the industry, but we can’t just wait and hope for something to happen. We have to push. So long as we don’t just wait for the phone to ring, it will be fantastic and the sooner the better,” says Paul Panarisi, product manager with Madico.
The law will have a far-reaching effect on the building and glazing industries, touching those in commercial buildings, new homes, manufactured homes and existing homes. Commercial buildings will receive credit up to $1.80 per square foot for energy efficient commercial building property certified to be 50 percent more efficient than reference building using ASHRAE 90.1-2001. It also allows a partial allowance of up to $.60 per square foot for subsystems certified to meet the targets to make the whole building 50 percent more efficient (if all systems were incorporated) is available.
New homes will receive a tax credit of $2000 if they are certified to be at least 50 percent more energy-efficient than a reference home (as constructed in accordance with Chapter 4 of IECC 2003) and manufactured homes will be available for the same tax credit if they can prove to be similarly energy efficient (compared to a reference home conforming to Federal Manufactured Home Construction & Safety Standards). Existing homes will be able to receive up to 10 percent of the amount paid for “qualified energy efficiency improvements” as a tax credit. Windows and other types of glazing are included; however window film is not specifically mentioned in the new law, which could be both good and bad for the window film industry.
“That the law requires 20-percent energy reduction for government buildings—that’s a big deal. So far, most of us who have been doing work with the government have been getting security film jobs. This might open the door for the solar film sales to the government,” said Panarisi.
He remains cautious about projecting what the future may hold for the industry.
“The good part for us is that we do have products that can drastically reduce energy costs, especially in commercial buildings. We have to make it known and prove that it’s a good payback,” he said. “The best way to do that is through IWFA or another industry rep that shows what we can do, be it providing energy analysis, demonstrating what window film can do to help cut energy bills.”
The industry has the chance to prove itself to the nation as a whole. Part of the new law requires a public energy education program. Sec. 133 of the bill states “an organizational conference will be held to establish an ongoing, self-sustaining national public energy education program” designed to “examine and recognize interrelationships between energy sources in all forms including conservation and energy efficiency, the role of energy use in the economy and the impact of energy use on the environment.
The energy education program is to be followed by an energy efficiency public information initiative, the goal of which is outlined as carrying out “a comprehensive national program, including advertising and media awareness, to inform consumers about the need to reduce energy consumption during the four-year period beginning [at the enactment of the law] … practical, cost-effective measures that consumers can take to reduce consumption of electricity, natural gas and gasoline, including weatherizing homes and buildings.”
Prior to 2003, the police department on the Big Island had a total of approximately 20 light meters. They now have 100, allowing them to act on a law that has been on the books for 22 years, and since the addition of extra light meters, more than 9000 people have received citations for tint-law violations.
Further having an impact on Hawaiian drivers who are found to be in violation of the tint laws, which allows vehicle windows to “be tinted to 29 percent on all widows except the windshield,” according to TheHawaiiChannel.com, are also being served with fines more than double what they would have faced in the past. The fines associated with illegal window tint on vehicles has gone from $99 to $287 for the vehicle driver; the installers who install the illegal film face a fine of $537.
Mississippi Changes Inspection Regulations
According to an article in the (Brookhaven) Daily Leader, the Mississippi Highway Patrol will no longer conduct vehicle window tint inspections at district stations. Motorists have to go to state motor vehicle inspection stations to have any aftermarket film checked to ensure that it meets the luminous reflectance and light transmittance levels required by law, 20 percent and 35 percent, respectively, and receive a sticker identifying the vehicles as being in compliance with the law.
The law, which was signed in February as part of the Omnibus Justice Act of 2005 and was scheduled to have taken effect on September 7, required 70 percent light transmittal through all vehicle windows. However, upon obtaining light meters and training officers to use the tools, the police department has learned that the number of vehicles on the (American territory) that would pass the inspection is minimal.
“A window that looks like it is tinted just a little bit was coming up at about 50 percent,” Lewis was quoted as saying in the report.
However, in mid-July, the Senate there voted to amend the law to require 35-percent light transmittal through the vehicle windows, according to the newspaper.
This is not the first time Leno has spoken before the SEMA crowd; he was the featured entertainment in 1999 and has made appearances at the show, including last year’s event.
The banquet is scheduled for the last night of the event, November 4, 2005.
Réflectiv says it has a production capacity of 20,000,000 square-feet per year.
ACE Security Laminates Announces Financial Results
XPEL Grows Business, Partnerships
According to XPEL, doing business with the three 3M distributors will open up access to all but five of the lower forty-eight U.S. states and will provide bulk paint protection, window film, specialized installation training and XPEL’s design access program software to their customers.
“These solidified relationships with highly successful 3M distributors are paving the way for XPEL to achieve substantially greater market penetration more quickly. I am very enthusiastic about our future with these groups, as each already possesses strong business ties to the automotive industry and strong 3M brand momentum,” said W. Rege Brunner, chairperson and chief executive officer of XPEL.
Additionally, the San Antonio Business Journal reported that the company’s global dealer base added 235 new dealers in the first half of 2005, more than 100 more dealers than it added in the first six months of 2004.
“For the first time in history, commercial exterior windows are available with glass that is user controllable,” said Michael Myser, SAGE’s vice president of sales. “With this truly breakthrough product, building owners can reduce their energy bills and lower capital costs, while providing building occupants with a level of comfort previously unachievable.”
Other new members of the board are Ralph Accinno with Racer’s Equipment Warehouse Inc.; Matt Agosta of Steele Rubber Products; Joel Ayres of Leer Truck Accessories Group; Paul “Scooter” Brothers with Competition Cams Inc.; Craig Chatt with Lund International; Doug Evans of Primedia; Dennis Gage with My Classic Car, Bradley David Productions Inc.; Anne Graves, SECO Performance Centers; Kathy Bybee Hartzell of duPont-
The AIMCAL blogs also serve as an interactive new home for the technical question and answer section in the Ask AIMCAL part of the association’s website, where readers pose questions and experts in technology provide answers.
“The Web Coating and Laminating blog focuses on all aspects of the web coating process,” said Dr. Ed Cohen, AIMCAL technical consultant – coating and laminating, who serves as blogmaster for the site. “It will contain discussions about specific coating process and product technologies from substrates and raw materials through drying. It also will answer specific questions posed by readers and list links to other coating sites.”
Content on the blogs will come from the blogmasters as well as guest authors who can post white papers on various subjects, answer questions from readers and provide comments on industry issues.
The AIMCAL blogs also have an archive capability to save information and discussions for future reference.