Thursday, March 5, 2009

Closing Thoughts from the NFRC Chairman

The NFRC Spring Membership Meeting came to a close at the conclusion of the morning's Board Meeting. As attendees packed up to head back to their various organizations the Live Meeting Update Staff requested final thoughts from the NFRC Chair of the Board, Joe Hayden with Pella Corporation.

"As the 2009 Spring Membership Meeting comes to a close, overall I’m pleased with what’s been accomplished. Although we may not have brought a large number of items to closure, we certainly made significant progress in a number of areas:

  • There was good discussion and good direction established for advancing the rating of attachment products. I also appreciate Marc LaFrance of DOE lending his encouragement to move this forward expeditiously.

  • The completion and implementing of CPD 2.0 was good news. There will continue to be improvements and enhancements going forward, as always. However it’s always satisfying to see positive results from our efforts.

  • We continue to make incremental advancements to CMA as we proceed with the launch of the Pilot Program.

  • I’m glad that the program for Participating IG Certification Programs is now in place and the initial listing of participating programs will be posted on March 20.

  • The discussion at the Board meeting regarding illumination and, more generally, the type of ratings/information NFRC should provide in the future was very constructive and encouraging. The thoughts & comments offered will provide excellent input for the upcoming Board retreat.

  • It seems that the time between now and the Summer Meeting in Baltimore will be busy as there are plans for a number of ballots to be prepared and issued between now and then.
Overall I remain enthused and excited about the future of NFRC. We certainly have a full plate of issues to address, but the desire and energy are clearly evident in both the membership and staff to tackle these issues head-on.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the stellar job done (once again) by NFRC Staff in making these meetings run as smoothly as they did. Their efforts behind the scenes often go unnoticed, but they are greatly appreciated.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Baltimore this summer. Until then and as always … THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!!!"

Board Meeting Continues: NFRC Scope Change and Tax Credit Discussed

Dr. Ross McCluney of SunPine Consulting presented a challenge to the board of directors during the New Business Section of Thursday’s meeting. “I think it’s time for NFRC to talk about expanding the scope of the organization to include solar and daylighting systems,” he said.

McCluney addressed the board about the importance of daylighting and its proven energy savings and urged the board to take a look at expanding the group’s mission from strictly producing comparative ratings for thermal performance to a more energy focused scope. He received support from several attendees and Joe Hayden, Chair of the NFRC Board, assured him there was a strong interest in exploring this topic at the board level. Hayden went on to explain that the board had an expanded/modified mission statement on the agenda for a retreat scheduled in May.

During the Q&A section of the meeting, Marc LaFrance with the Department of Energy (DOE), approached the board stressing the importance of a timely attachment program. He urged the board to do everything within their power to expedite the process as the DOE’s priorities have been expanded to include HUD programming. This places a great emphasis on low income energy-efficient solutions –the kind the attachment program is hoping to deliver.

Richard Karney, also with the Department of Energy, ignited a whirlwind of discussion when he approached the mic to discuss the stimulus tax credit. He urged the group if they were to make any kind of plea to elected officials regarding modification to the recent bill to include the following items:
  • Add into the amending language that any numbers must be NFRC Certified.

  • Stipulate that ENERGY STAR© 2010 numbers be referenced.

The second portion of the meeting also included a financial report from Jim Benney, Executive Director of the NFRC. He presented the current state of the association’s financial well being and stated that although there was a small deficit in budget numbers the shortfall was less than expected.

Benney stated, “We are ahead of the game and in a good financial position heading into 2009.”

NFRC Board Meets Thursday Morning

Joe Hayden with Pella Corporation, NFRC’s Chairman of the Board, opened the NFRC’s Board meeting early on Friday in front of remaining meeting attendees. The group quickly moved into the first task at hand, to review and move on the many action items brought forward from the week’s committee meetings.

All items brought forward were approved with minimal discussion – a few specific items of interest include:

  • Two new members (non-voting) for the APC committee: Michael Resech of ATI-MN and Jackie Campbell of WESTLab.

  • IGC directory will be posted on the NFRC Web site on March 20, 2009.

  • All certification programs have been contacted and applications are due to the NFRC offices by March 15th.

  • Research and Technology had the largest group of motions for approval including Complex VT Rating Request for Services and an Awning Rating Feasibility RFP. It was noted that the latter will be fully funded by the Awning manufacturers.

  • The group discussed the issue of reaffirmation of existing documents when no changes are made. There are no current guidelines in the NFRC Operating polices. Documents reaffirmed at this meeting include the NFRC 703-Research Program Manual, as well as the NFRC 301, 302, & 303. The board took comments from the membership and advised that while allowed at this meeting the legal committee will come up with language for future reference on this topic.