Monday, July 30, 2012

No Cost to Contractors for Offering FHA PowerSaver Loan Program

The National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) communications department provides the organization's stakeholders with news, information, and insight to anticipate the industry trends and opportunities that may be able to help them grow their businesses.

One of our recent outreach initiatives led to the discovery of the FHA PowerSaver Loan Program. This program offers eligible homeowners competitive interest rate loans for up to 15 years for qualified whole-house improvements and up to 20 years for renewable energy improvements.

Eligible products include windows, doors, and skylights that meet the most recent ENERGY STAR ® specifications, and there is no cost to the contractor to offer these loans at below-market interest rates.

“This government-backed financing program should be ideal for windows whether or not they are bundled with an energy audit or other energy efficiency measures,” said Ed Thomas, Vice President, Utility and Government Services, for the Electric & Gas Industries Association (EGIA).

The EGIA is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions through the home improvement and renewable energy industries. EGIA has facilitated the financing of over 40,000 residential and business projects valued in excess of $800 million and administered over $300 million in rebate payments.

EGIA has offered to provide a free, customized Webinar to explain the details of the program exclusively to NFRC stakeholders. There is not yet a tentative date, but if you would be interested in participating, please contact Tom Herron, NFRC's Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing, at 240-821-9505.

Read More

Monday, July 23, 2012

Danbury High School Welcome 400 New Windows

About 400 original windows and their shades are being replaced at Danbury High School in Danbury, Connecticut.

School principal, Gary Bocaccio, said the project is longer overdue, pointing out that the original windows, which have been in service for nearly 50 years, were drafty and not energy efficient. Many exterior doors are also being replaced.

The project began during the last week of June and is expected to be completed before teachers return on August 22.

Estimates put the cost of the project at approximately $4 million.

School officials said the building holds about 2,900 students, 212 teachers, and other 90 staff members. They expect the new windows to improve comfort and save money for years to come.

The National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) energy performance rating label helps people who are purchasing windows, door, or skylights determine how these products will perform once they are put into service. Understanding how to interpret the values found on the label enables consumers to anticipate energy savings and to purchase the products that will best serve their individual needs.

Read More

Sunday, July 15, 2012

States Get Creative to Improve Energy Efficiency, Improve Ranking

According to a new report by the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE), many states are finding creative ways to improve their nationwide energy efficiency ranking.

The report, entitled, “Opportunity Knocks: Examining Low-Ranking States in the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard," says the following states have faced numerous obstacles but have overcome them to improve energy efficiency at least in some way:
  • Alabama
  • Kansas
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
One ACEEE official said the report shows that every state can find ways to save energy.

Last week, for example, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law energy efficiency legislation directing all state agencies and higher education institutions to achieve at least 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020.

Additionally, Alabama and South Carolina recently passed statewide building energy codes to ensure new homes and buildings are constructed to save energy from the start. Other states have programs in place to plan and finance energy efficiency improvements in state government facilities.

The report also says states can improve energy efficiency without major government spending or regulatory action. Like Oklahoma, they can lead by example by advancing energy efficiency projects in government facilities and at universities and schools through innovative financing methods such as allowing projects to pay for themselves by using the savings generated by reduces energy costs.

States can also adopt and enforce building energy codes.


The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) offers a wide range of educational and training programs designed to help consumers and industry professionals better understand the role fenestration products play in contributing to improved energy efficiency.

Consumers can rely on NFRC's Certified Products Directory (CPD) to compare the energy efficiency of various products prior to making a purchase.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ohio YMCA Hopes Incentive Will Cover Cost of More Energy Efficient Windows

The Warren County, Ohio YMCA is offering an incentive for community members to contribute funding to replace the facility's 84-year-old, single-pane windows with more energy efficient windows.

“When the winters are rough, our gas and electric bills average $13,000 to $15,000 a month,” said Richard Denamen, the YMCA's interim director. Computer models estimate new windows could reduce utility bills by 14 percent to 21 percent.

Financial constraints, however, prevent the YMCA from purchasing the 30 new windows they need, so Denamen is turning to the community for assistance. Under his plan, community members would sponsor individual windows at $250 each. In return, the sponsor's name would be engraved on the window.

So far, the YMCA has found sponsors for 15 of the 30 windows needed.

One of the entries found on the National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) energy performance rating label is the U-factor. This measures how well a product prevents heat from escaping from a home or building. U-factor ratings generally fall between 0.20 and 1.20. The lower the U-factor, the better a product retains heat.