Thursday, May 27, 2010

DOE Announces R-5 Volume Purchase Program During Press Conference at NAHB

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the launch of the Highly-Insulating R-5 Windows and Low-e Storm Windows Volume Purchase Program, part of a multi-year, integrated strategy to transform the market for high efficiency windows.

The announcement took place at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) headquarters in Washington, D.C. at 3:00 p.m. (EST) today.

A press release issued by the DOE says the program will facilitate widespread deployment of these windows by pairing manufacturers with buyers looking to purchase in volume and by setting performance expectations.

A separate press release issued by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) says today’s announcement represents the culmination of a yearlong effort whereby PNNL researchers worked with window industry professionals to bring manufacturers and distributors of high performance, energy efficient windows together with homebuilders, weatherization agencies, educational institutions, and others capable of purchasing large volumes of these windows.

DOE Press Release

PNNL Press Release

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

DOE to Launch R-5 Program Tomorrow at NAHB

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are co-hosting a kickoff event for the Highly Insulating R5 (U value 0.2) Windows and Low-e Storm Windows Volume Purchase Program tomorrow, Thursday, May 27.

The event will take place at NAHB’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. The DOE reports that 50 companies submitted proposals to participate in the R-5 windows program.

A press release from the DOE regarding the details of the event will be available tomorrow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Briefing on Building Star Shows Promise

Glass Magazine is reporting on its Website that the High-Performance Congressional Caucus Coalition hosted a lunch briefing on Building Star yesterday, Monday, May 24.

The event took place at the U.S. House of Representatives, Rayburn House Office Building, and approximately 80 participants pre-registered to attend.

Building Star supports the retrofitting of 40 percent of America’s commercial and residential buildings by 2020. This equates to approximately 50 million buildings. Realizing this goal depends in part on having strong energy efficiency codes and standards that are strictly enforced.

Glass Magazine says the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy sees Building Star creating 187,000 jobs and saving $3.3 billion in annual energy costs by the end of 2011.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Udall Bill Would help Schools Locate Existing Energy Efficiency Programs

The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) is reporting on its Website that Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) recently introduced S. 3364, the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2010, which would help schools determine how to reduce energy consumption through existing federal programs and financing options.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says the 17,450 K-12 school districts in America spend approximately $6 billion per year on energy bills. This is more than they spend on computers and textbooks combined. While there are multiple federal programs aimed at helping schools reduce energy consumption, none helps them locate these programs. Senator Udall’s bill, which ASE endorses, would provide assistance for schools seeking such programs.

Among other things, the bill would establish the DOE as the lead agency in coordinating a cross-departmental effort to initiate, develop, and finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy retrofitting projects for schools.

The DOE says schools may be able to save as much as 25 percent on their electric bills by investing in energy efficiency improvements.


Friday, May 21, 2010

FTC Offers Ideas on Improving Insulation with High-Performance Windows

In a recent press release, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offered some ideas on how improved insulation can increase comfort and lower utility bills.

According to the FTC, one’s attic is often the best place to start improving insulation, particularly in older homes that were built without sufficient insulation in the first place.

One way to improve insulation in such homes is to install high-performance windows.

The FTC recommends looking for windows made of low emissivity – or “low-E” – glass. Low-E glass has a special thin coating that lets light in but reduces heat transfer.

In warmer climates, it is wise to consider windows with “spectrally selective coatings.” These coatings let light in but keep heat out. In colder climates, gas-filled windows are a smart choice for reducing heat loss.

The FTC also recommends that consumers look for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label. The FTC points out that the NFRC provides an independent industry rating system for the energy performance of windows, doors, and skylights.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Still Plenty of Time to take Advantage of Tax Credit for Energy Efficient Windows and Doors

The tax credit for energy efficient replacement windows and doors was introduced in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The credit is available until the end of 2010, so homeowners still have plenty of time to benefit from this program.

The Wetumpka Herald (Alabama) quotes Chris Pickering, vice president, marketing, Ply Gem windows as saying, "New windows not only make the home look more beautiful, they can help save energy and money for the homeowners." Pickering adds that, "homeowners can take advantage of the tax credit to increase the value of their home, plus shave some of the cost off of their monthly power bill."

The Herald also points out that homeowners can receive a tax credit worth 30 percent of the purchase price of qualifying energy efficient windows, up to a maximum of $1,500 if purchased and installed by Dec. 31, 2010. Installation costs are not included.

Those seeking to take advantage of the tax credit should save the invoice that shows a breakout of window and installation costs, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) labels from all windows and doors, and the manufacturer's certificate.

Replacement windows must have a glass package with a U-factor rating (the rate at which heat is prevented from escaping) of .30 or lower. Qualifying windows must also possess a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) rating of .30 or lower. The lower the window's SHGC, the less solar heat it transmits.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leaders Promote Global Collaboration on Energy-Saving Programs

On Tuesday, May 11, Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi of the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) joined leaders from 15 countries and the European Commission at the first Policy Committee meeting of the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). The purpose of the meeting was to promote global collaboration on energy-saving programs and policies.

U.S. participation in this partnership accelerates the Obama Administration's initiative to establish partnerships among various governments to address climate change, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and grow the global clean energy economy.

During the meeting, Zoi was chosen to serve a two-year term as the first Chair of the IPEEC Policy Committee. At one point, Zoi mentioned that smart, efficient energy use has the potential to reduce energy demands while reducing emissions worldwide.


Monday, May 10, 2010

NFRC Exhibiting at Construct 2010

NFRC will be exhibiting during the CONSTRUCT 2010 show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on Tuesday, May 12 – Thursday, May 14.

According to the show’s Website, CONSTRUCT 2010, which is presented by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), focuses on serving the interests of the commercial building industry. The show is expected to draw many architects, specifiers, engineers, project managers, and other groups of commercial, institutional, and industrial building professionals.

Held in conjunction with CSI’s 54th Annual Convention, CONSTRUCT 2010 offers accredited education, unparalleled networking, and a full exhibit hall with the latest products, services, and solutions for the commercial building industry.

NFRC will be on hand to answer questions about its programs and services, including its Component Modeling Approach (CMA) program.

If you happen to be in Philadelphia, please visit NFRC at booth #616.

We hope to see you at the show.

Friday, May 7, 2010

House Passes Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, 246-161

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act (H.R. 5019) on May 6. The legislation would provide on-the-spot rebates for homeowners who make energy efficiency home improvements. It would also create as many as 168,000 American construction jobs over the next two years.

The legislation would also create two rebate programs, one for specific improvements and one for whole-home energy-use reductions. The first category of rebates would be for up to $3,000 per home, the second for up to $8,000.

The act passed the House by a vote of 246-161 after House Republicans forced adoption of an amendment requiring retrofit funds to go directly to homeowners instead of certified contractors.


ICC to Hold Public Comment Hearings on International Green Construction Code

The International Code Council (ICC) will be holding public comment hearings on the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) Public Version 1.0 in Rosemont, Illinois from August 14-22.

These hearings will involve a review of submitted public comments received up until the May 14 deadline, along with testimony presented at the hearings themselves.

The committee’s actions resulting from this process will result in the issuance of the IGCC Public Version 2.0 on November 3, 2010, which will serve as the working document upon which code changes will be received and considered at the May 2011 Code Development and November 2011 Final Action Hearings on the 2012 IGCC.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

UK’s Pilkington Glass to Exceed Government Legislation

The online publication,, reports that Pilkington K Glass™ is the UK’s best selling and most recognized low e glass brand. This is because it helps to achieve improved window energy ratings in the greatest available range of profiles.

Pilkington Glass says it uses a combination of products to achieve the highest rating in energy efficient windows. The company adds that the result of this combination exceeds the planned amendments to the UK’s building regulations due to come into force in October 2010. Furthermore, Pilkington Glass says it can achieve a window energy rating of A or B.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Third-Party Certification Important in Marketplace

In an online article, Specialty Fabrics Review discusses the importance of third-party certification in the marketplace.

The online publication says third-party certification is important to customers because it verifies a company’s internal product stewardship processes and makes them visible to the marketplace.

This, in turn, creates value on many levels. For example, Specialty Fabrics Review says third-party certifications are a major force in communicating to the public that the products and operations of companies are safe and that operational practices are sound.