Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final recognition criteria for specific products to qualify as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient in 2023. Residential Windows and Sliding Glass Doors is one of 13 product categories that have recognition criteria, which include:

  • U-factor ≤ 0.20 in all Zones;
  • SHGC in Northern Zone ≥ 0.20;
  • SHGC in North-Central Zone ≤ 0.40;
  • SHGC in South-Central and Southern Zones ≤ 0.25; and
  • North American Fenestration Standard/Specification (NAFS) Performance Grade ≥15.

The EPA letter did note that residential windows and sliding glass doors “[p]roposed criteria carried over from 2022 for these categories with no changes.”

In light of an unexpected budget cut, the EPA announced it is finalizing limited updates to the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient criteria for 2023. Stakeholders shared feedback with EPA through six sets of written comments from 13 commenters who offered support for the proposed recognition criteria, as well as a select set of proposed adjustments. The EPA summarized and responded to the feedback in the comment response document. ENERGY STAR certified products meeting these requirements will be highlighted as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient for 2023 beginning January 1, 2023.

The EPA goes on to say that with window products, partners will need to apply for recognition for all products new to ENERGY STAR Most Efficient for the Agency to verify that a product meets the recognition criteria. Since the recognition criteria have not changed, window products recognized in 2022 need not be resubmitted. EPA will distribute the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2023 graphic along with instructions for obtaining it before January 1, 2023.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) amends Section 25C federal income tax credits to allow credit for purchasing a skylight that meets the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient requirements, starting in 2023. The EPA says it plans to issue a separate proposal to add ENERGY STAR Most Efficient skylight criteria in the next 60 days.

In addition to meeting these performance requirements, products must be certified as ENERGY STAR by an EPA-recognized certification body. Additional detail for each product category is included in the recognition criteria documents available HERE.

The EPA said will begin distributing the 2023 ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation to brand owners of eligible products shortly. Usage guidelines are available at Guidelines for Using the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient Mark.

To ensure the greatest utility of the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient webpage to consumers, EPA will only highlight products that are currently available for sale in the U.S. and the organization used its letter to remind partners that they must keep product availability information with their certification bodies current.

The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2023 designation is intended for use at point-of-sale on point-of-purchase materials, product literature, and websites. It may not be factory-applied to products or product packaging. Failure to abide by these guidelines may result in loss of recognition. EPA will highlight recognized products on the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2023 web page through December 31, 2023.