Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Manufacturers Have Access to 4,800 Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs

Manufacturers looking to implement energy-savings programs can search for rebates, grants, and loans using the recently updated State Incentives and Resource Database.

The database enables customized searching and offers access to approximately 4,800 energy incentive programs, which are being offered by federal and state governments, regional and nonprofit organizations, and utilities.

Available incentives include rebates, grants, loans, and training programs.

The State Incentives and Resource Database is designed to help commercial and industrial managers find the financial and technical incentives, tools, and resources they need to make energy efficiency upgrades.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Market Transformation Group Offers Steps for Improving Rate of Code Compliance

While complying with building energy codes is widely considered the most effective way to reduce energy costs, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), is not getting the attention it needs to make as much difference as it could.

Research conducted by IMT says compliance with building energy codes is only around 50 percent.

The group has also conducted research on how to improve compliance. One thing it suggests is streamlining regulatory processes. IMT says Ventura County, California save more than $1 million over six years after purchasing software to streamline permitting and inspections.

IMT says utilizing third parties is an effective way to improve building energy code compliance. This is a viable alternative for understaffed offices and for those seeking greater objectivity and expertise in the energy-performance testing process.

Finally, IMT says improving building energy code compliance can be achieved by holding design professionals accountable. In Wisconsin, for example, licensed architects and engineers are responsible making sure building plan meets codes and that final construction is code compliant. A study by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), determined that energy code compliance for commercial buildings in Wisconsin reached 95 percent in 2011 as a result.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Builders Say Energy Efficient Windows Help Them Differentiate Homes

An online publication known as Professional Builder recently published the results of a survey indicating that builders looking to differentiate their homes are putting performance ahead of price.

The survey, conducted in January 2012, polled 246 readers and revealed that over 70 percent of builders rate energy performance as their first consideration for specifying windows. Only 48 percent said price is most important.

Furthermore, approximately two-thirds of builders said they offer energy-efficient, high-performance windows for their homes as standard.

One way builders can help differentiate their homes is by teaching prospective buyers about the importance of the NFRC certification label.

The label assures them their windows will perform the way they are advertised to perform, and it teaches them how to understand important concepts such as heat flow, which can have a significant impact conserving energy and saving money.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

BBB Discusses Comparing Energy Efficient Windows

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) was recently recognized on the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Website.

In an article that appeared on April 3, 2012, the BBB highlighted the importance of the NFRC label.

In the article, the BBB advises consumers to balance cost effectiveness with energy efficiency, as more efficient windows, doors and skylights can make a big difference in energy consumption over time.

Start by looking for products that carry the Energy Performance Ratings label from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). The label can help determine how well a product will perform its key functions - helping to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, keeping out wind, and resisting condensation. By using the information contained on the label, builders and consumers can reliably compare one product with another, and make informed decisions.

As with any home improvement project, it’s important to make sure you are dealing with a reputable contractor and reputable materials. BBB encourages consumers to consult with their home contractor to see that all energy performance materials carry this label.

If you are looking for a well insulated room, check the window’s U-Factor. During the cold winter months, you’ll want to make sure your windows are trapping heat. U-Factor ratings generally fall between 0.20 and 1.20. The lower the U-value, the greater a window's resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating value.

Is your room sunny and bright? The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) rates how much solar radiation is admitted through the window. SHGC is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower a window's solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits in the house.

Are you looking for a well lit room or one that’s on the dimmer side? Visible Transmittance is an optical property that indicates the amount of visible light transmitted through the window. VT is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The higher the VT, the more light is transmitted.

Make sure your window doesn’t give off any unwanted breeziness. Heat loss and gain occur by Air Leakage through cracks in the window assembly. The lower the AL, the less air will pass through cracks in the window assembly.

Check to see how well your window will resist the formation of condensation. The higher the Condensation Resistance (CR) rating, the better that product is at resisting condensation formation. While this rating cannot predict condensation, it can provide a credible method of comparing the potential of various products for condensation formation. CR is expressed as a number between 1 and 100.

For more home improvement tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org and for more information on the Energy Performance Ratings label, visit www.nfrc.orgwww.nfrc.org.

Friday, April 6, 2012

First Ever Building Energy Codes Coming to Alabama

For the first time in its history, the state of Alabama will have mandatory building energy codes.

The Alabama Residential and Energy Code (AERC) Board recently approved a preliminary measure to create Alabama’s first mandatory statewide energy code.

The final draft of the AERC will be republished in the state administrative journal for 35 days before a final vote for approval in April and would go into effect during the Spring of 2012.

The commercial code will likely be based on the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), while the residential code will likely be based on Chapter 11 of the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) with a certain modifications.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Members Tour Austin City Hall, Find Plenty of Windows

Members Look Inside Austin City Hall
According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), one of the unique features of Austin's LEED Gold Certified municipal building is that all hallways lead to a window.

The building provides occupants with additional daylight through a strategically-placed skylight in the lobby.

Following the day's proceedings on Tuesday, March 27, NFRC members enjoyed a guided tour of the building and learned more about the value of LEED's integrated design system in improving overall energy efficiency.

Green building proponents say filling non-residential buildings with generous amounts of daylight improves occupant comfort and increases productivity.

During the hour-long tour, NFRC members learned how environmental and aesthetic qualities can work in harmony to contribute to the future of green building design.

Learn more about Austin City Hall