Illinois Weatherization Projects to Use Serious Windows

November 2, 2009

Serious Materials, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based window manufacturer, hosted a press conference last week to announce the largest weatherization agency in the United States, the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA), is using its high R-value SeriousWindows for the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program. The decision is expected to generate significant demand for windows produced at one-time Republic Window plant in Chicago, acquired by Serious earlier this year.

“We are pleased to work with Serious Materials to help make homes more energy efficient,” said Robert L Wharton, CEDA president/CEO. “They supply a product that is unique to weatherization, and we believe this will greatly benefit not only the families we serve, but the local economy as well through job creation.” CEDA plans to install super-insulating windows in most or all multi-family housing units it administers in Chicago and suburban Cook County that qualify for weatherization.

“CEDA is leading the nation in adopting advanced energy-saving technologies in weatherization programs,” said Kevin Surace, Serious Material's CEO. “With CEDA’s commitment, we expect to supply large volumes of our cost-effective, super-insulating SeriousWindows and create more jobs in our Chicago factory. Efforts like CEDA’s have the potential to create thousands of U.S. manufacturing and skilled labor jobs. This is exactly what we need to do across the country to save energy, save money, and rebuild America’s economy based on home-grown manufacturing innovation and leadership.”

CEDA’s use of SeriousWindows demonstrates that super-insulating windows are a cost-effective measure as part of the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), the manufacturer states. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allocated $242.5 million in weatherization funding to the State of Illinois over the next two years. With the additional funding, CEDA says it expects to triple the number of homes it can weatherize annually over the next two years, increasing its production from 3,000 to 9,000 households.

“I commend the dedication and shared aspirations of CEDA, Serious Materials, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the U.S. Department of Energy, and all agencies involved in this project to create jobs, save energy and money, better the lives of our citizens, and improve the energy security of our nation,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. “We look forward to sharing our weatherization success and experience using super-insulating windows throughout the Midwest and across America.”

Serious officials noted that a key effort enabling the first installation of SeriousWindows into CEDA Weatherization projects was to update the rigorous energy assessment and economic analysis software, WeatherWorks, used by the State of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently updated the software, which previously could not assess high-insulating windows. The updated model is now available to all weatherization agencies in Illinois.

The ability to evaluate super-insulating windows was added to WeatherWorks because windows are the biggest source of heating and cooling energy loss in buildings. Earlier this year, the National Energy Audit Tool (NEAT), developed by DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to support weatherization efforts, was also updated to account for super-insulating windows. According to the NEAT, super-insulating windows can create up to 12 times more energy savings per household than other common weatherization measures, Serious officials also point out.