Monday, November 16, 2009

DOE Update at RAM

Funding for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), as well as for the Building Envelope and Window R&D programs, has more than doubled over the last two years, according to DOE program manager Marc Lafrance.

Lafrance told members of the NFRC Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee that EERE budget is now $2.2 billion, while that of the two programs is $16 million (not counting $35 million in stimulus funding).

With this new funding, Lafrance said that he will push forward on a number of fronts, including:

- moving towards zero-energy residential buildings by 2020 and zero-energy commercial buildings by 2025;
- implementing the existing highly insulating R5 window production engineering project once the solicitation process is complete;
- the ongoing volume purchase program; and
- continued investigation of a possible ENERGY STAR® Commercial Windows program.

Even as activities ramp up, Lafrance encouraged NFRC and its members to support the following policies to help ensure that the fenestration industry takes advantage of the available opportunities:

- programs designed to retrofit existing buildings;
- extension of the existing tax credit;
- utility rebate programs that incorporate fenestration; and
- requiring low U-Factor (0.20-0.24) with any solar heat gain coefficient.

“The United States has made an unprecedented investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Lafrance said. “The fenestration industry can play a major role in implementation and new product development.”

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