Are You Signing the Petition?
We report this week on a new campaign launched to block, revise and/or delay Version 6 criteria for Energy Star windows, set to go in effect early next year. The Coalition for Home Energy Efficiency has been formed by a group of industry manufacturers and others who are concerned that Energy Star windows will no longer be cost effective products, particularly in the Northern tier of the country.
The petition reflects the concerns many window manufacturers have about the cost of upgrading their product lines to accommodate triple-glazing to meet the new criteria. To date, it's already attracted 15,000 signatures. Of course, I know there are other manufacturers who support the more stringent proposed requirements. A few were disappointed that EPA didn't go lower with their U-value numbers.
Anyway, I thought we'd use this week's poll to gauge the industry's opinion on Version 6. We want to hear from you too. Did you sign the petition? Should the new requirements be delayed or revised? If not, should EPA move forward with the new criteria? Post a comment or email me to share your thoughts.
Survey Results as of 04/23/2013 :
Energy Star Version 6 criteria...
Should be revised before it takes effect.
Should be officially adopted by EPA and take effect next year.
Should move forward, but delayed a year before taking effect.
Our poll results suggest the industry is divided on the new Energy Star criteria. Feedback that came my way was also divided.
"The Energy Star Version 6 performance requirements should be revised," noted one opponent. "The proposed changes will cost millions (if not billions) of dollars to implement at the manufacturer level and will raise the cost of Energy Star window and door products to a level where they will be unaffordable to many homeowners and will no longer provide an attractive return on investment for those who can...."
He goes on to add that triple-glazed products also come along with a 50 percent increase in sash weight and a 100 percemt increase in the lineal footage of IG sealant. "Both of these things will have significant adverse effects of the durability and service life of products that will be overly expensive in the first place."
I did hear from supporters of the change, but they didn't offer reasons why. I would note that the manufacturers I've spoken to that do support Version 6 tend to have products that already meet or exceed the criteria. They made the investment to get there already and clearly see a competitive advantage if the requirements do get more stringent. It will be interesting to see what the Environmental Protection Agency, which manages the Energy Star program, decides.