EPA Issues Draft 2 for New Energy Star Criteria

January 7, 2013

A number of revisions in the criteria for doors, as well as clarifications in the installation instruction requirement, are among the changes in Draft 2 of the Energy Star for Windows, Doors, and Skylights Version 6.0 specification just issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.  EPA now is seeking written comments on the latest revisions, to be received no later than February 8, 2013.

Draft 1 of Energy Star Version 6.0 was issued last July. In a letter to stakeholders, Douglas Anderson, EPA's Energy Star windows program manager, notes that while the thermal performance criteria proposed in Draft 2 are largely unchanged from Draft 1, EPA has made several revisions based on stakeholder comments. Key changes found in Draft 2 include:

  • EPA revised the door glazing level definitions to match those found in the National Fenestration Rating Council 100-2010.
  • EPA changed the U-factor for ≤ ½-lite doors from ≤ 0.23 to ≤ 0.25. The full-lite SHGC criteria are now based on climate zones, with the Northern and North-Central Zones requiring an SHGC ≤ 0.40 and the Southern and South-Central Zones requiring an SHGC ≤ 0.25.
  • Equivalent Energy Performance criteria in the Northern Zone now include three trade-offs. In addition to the U-factor = 0.28/SHGC ≥ 0.32 criteria proposed in Draft 1, Draft 2 would allow windows with U-factor = 0.29/SHGC ≥ 0.37 and U-factor = 0.30/SHGC ≥ 0.42 to qualify.
  • EPA made revisions to the installation instructions requirement, primarily to clarify purpose. The latest draft allows disclaimers to limit liability for manufacturers and others.  It also notes that generic instructions covering the most common situations are acceptable to fulfill the requirement.

With the latest draft, EPA reports that it remains on a tentative schedule for the new criteria to go into effect January 1, 2014.  The comment period for Draft 2 closes February 8.  EPA then plans to review comments and finalize criteria, with the new requirements to be published sometime in April. 

Comments on the latest version of the Energy Star window, door and skylight criteria can be submitted via email to windows@energystar.gov. Updates on the program, comments submitted from stakeholders and other details can be found on the Energy Star website.