Thursday, July 22, 2010

NFRC Chairman Praises First Virtual Meeting, Offers Final Thoughts on Proceedings

By NFRC Chairman, Joe Hayden

Well, NFRC has just concluded its first ever “virtual” conference, and in my view it was a tremendous success! As is to be expected with any first-time activity there were a few minor bumps in the road, but thanks to everyone’s cooperation and patience, and a great job by NFRC staff, the conference went very well.

I must offer my particular appreciation to Jim Benney and his staff for the way they responded to the power outage at the Greenbelt office on Tuesday. Indeed that could have been disastrous to this conference, but due to staff’s upfront readiness and quick response, the disruption ended up being very minimal. Again, WELL DONE !!!

As was noted during the conference, staff will be issuing a questionnaire to solicit comments and feed-back on the conference, as well as suggestions for improvements for the future. I encourage everyone to please take the time to thoughtfully complete this questionnaire. Your suggestions will be essential in making future virtual conferences even better and more effective. Please watch for that and respond accordingly.

I’m sure it’s no surprise to everyone that the dominant topic of debate was the technical procedures for rating of attachments. As always, and again of no surprise, the debate was lively and spirited. As I’ve stated several times in the past, while I recognize that this can be a source of frustration for some, I remain convinced that this is a positive sign of a strong organization with dedicated participants who genuinely care about “getting it right”. While the process may take longer than some would like, I believe it is the best way to remain true to our core value of achieving consensus. Overall I remain very satisfied with how this effort is proceeding and encourage everyone to keep up the good work.

As a good case in point of how these efforts can eventually pay off, consider where we are now vs. a few years ago with CMA. Going back a few years, I’m sure we can remember how CMA dominated all our debates. In the here-and-now, CMA is requiring only a small amount of our meeting time, and the CMA Program is up and running. This is a great example of what NFRC can accomplish if we all continue to work together.

As was announced during the Board Meeting on Wednesday, it is once again time to initiate elections for the NFRC Board of Directors. There are four seats that will need to be filled this Fall. I encourage everyone to give thoughtful consideration to who you feel is best to fill these seats and then submit your designees by the August 20 dead-line. Click here for more details.

Although in many ways it was good to “hear” (not see) everyone during this conference, I do look forward to seeing everyone this November as we gather in San Francisco for the Fall Conference. Until then, and as always … THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO !!!

DOE Announces Partnerships to Promote Energy Efficiency Mentions Value of Retrofitting Windows

According to a report on the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Website, the organization will initiate 15 research and deployment partnerships aimed at improving residential energy efficiency across America.

The report says these partnerships will receive a total of up to $30 million for the initial eighteen months of their scheduled projects to deliver innovative energy efficiency strategies to the residential market. The partnerships are also intended to support ongoing retrofit initiatives.

The DOE says existing techniques and technologies in energy efficiency retrofitting, including those associated with windows and doors, can reduce energy use by up to 40 percent per home and cut energy bills by $40 billion annually.