Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Members Debate Use of Icons on Attachments Label, Seek Alternatives

NFRC members just finished debating whether the use of icons on the attachments label would provide consumers with information accurate enough to make the best choice for themselves.

Those who oppose the use of icons say it would confuse consumers because it lacks precision. They contend that NFRC can only accomplish its mission to provide consumers with fair and accurate ratings by using numbers on the attachments label.

Those who favor the use of icons, however, say it would be easier for consumers to understand, and it would serve NFRC’s goal to provide consumers with information that is not only accurate but also meaningful.

NFRC's Executive Director pointed out that the organization is not calling on manufacturers to use icons on the attachments label but is instead seeking a meaningful alternative to the use of U-factor and SHGC ratings.
The overarching goal here is for any labeling methodology to assist consumers in making the best decisions for themselves.

The results of focus group studies supported by NFRC reveal that consumers want to know where a product falls on a scale.

Tell us What you Think

Do you favor using icons on the attachments label? Why or why not?

Would an attachments rating system that uses icons help your customers or confuse them?

The overarching goal for NFRC’s attachments rating program is for any label to be comprehensible and to indicate energy performance.

Do you have an alternative idea for a label that could help consumers make the best choices for themselves?


Making Door Labels Easy to Understand for Consumers Without Challenging Manufacturers

The Ratings Committee is involved in a discussion about door labels and the need to communicate useful rating information to consumers.

One concern among members, however, is that including additional information, such as the CPD number, may become burdensome for independent door manufacturers.

Some members believe there needs to be a system in place for identifying specific components in specific fields in the CPD number, and that this must be done prior to requiring door manufacturers to add the CPD number to the NFRC label.

The rationale here is that identifying components within the CPD number will provide a way to identify, sort, and separate the information into a more descriptive and usable format.

How would you approach this situation to avoid causing undue hardship for independent door manufacturers?

How might consumers benefit from this concept?

What can be done to make door labels easier to understand and more meaningful for consumers?

Optional Use of Bar Codes Cleared During Ratings Committee Block

The Ratings Committee just concluded a discussion that gives manufacturers the option of using bar codes on the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label
Following some discussion to revise the precise language in the ballot, NFRC members voted to provide manufacturers with the option of using either a linear or matrix (2D) style bar code.

Do you advocate the use of bar codes? Why or why not?

Can the use of bar codes create any new opportunities for your organization?

Which style bar code do you think is more effective? Why?

Members Concerned Over “Stars” Rating for Attachments

Several members have expressed their concern over the viability of the use of stars on the attachments label as a method for enabling consumers to compare energy performance.

One opponent believes it would create confusion because of the sheer number of products that would have the same rating. Another opponent believes consumers consistently prefer using U-factor and SHGC ratings.

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), however, pointed out that it is not telling the industry to use stars. Instead, it is calling for the use of a ratings system that is clear, meaningful, and provides an accurate method for helping consumers compare similar attachment products.

Additional Perspective

The National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) Board of Directors agrees that a “Stars” rating on an attachment label meets the direction it previously approved.

Additional information on the label may be provided as long as it continues to meet Board direction and as long as the rating not be stated as a U-Factor and/or SHGC numerical rating.

This, however, does not exclude the use of U-factor and SHGC numerical data from other NFRC material related to attachments.

The discussion on the attachments label will continue during the afternoon session.

What Do you Think?

How do you feel about the use of the stars or other icons on the NFRC attachments label?

Some say the use of stars would be more meaningful for consumers because such ratings are commonly used for hotels and movies and are therefore easier to identify with. Does this suggest the use of stars would be equally as meaningful in the fenestration industry?

What alternative ideas do you have?

NFRC Resumes Work in Las Vegas

The second day of the National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) Committee Week Meeting kicked off this morning with a discussion on attachments.

What do you think is most important to consider in the development of NFRC's attachments program? Are you seeing a demand for attachment ratings among your customers? What are you hearing in the marketplace?

Post your questions and comments here, and we'll help you get the information you need.

Would you like to work on the attachments task group? Let us know, and we'll help you get involved.