Energy Star V6 Nearing Completion

Window & Door
November 5, 2013
Meetings & Events

After several rounds of revisions, the final draft of Energy Star Version 6.0 for Windows, Doors and Skylights is nearing completion, said Doug Anderson, project manager for the EPA's Energy Star Home Improvement Program, during the recent American Architectural Manufacturers Association Fall Conference. "We received a lot of stakeholder comments, and the final responses were received September 13," Anderson told the group gathered in Baltimore.

In response to the most requested change from stakeholders―more time―the EPA has extended the implementation date to January 2015. "Manufacturers told EPA that additional transition time will help improve product availability and reduce transition costs," Anderson said. The extended implementation date also aligns with the Canadian Energy Star Window, Door and Skylight specification revision timeline.

Energy Star V6 increases stringency with the goal to "stay ahead of the code," Anderson said. As such, the U-factor criteria is tightening across the country in the new version. One change in the final draft is the window U-factor criteria for the North-Central and the South-Central Zones, which has been adjusted to 0.30. According to the EPA's market research the 0.30 U-factor in these regions allows for wide product availability, offers shorter payback for customers, and simplifies the specification for manufacturers, Anderson said.

The skylight U-factor criteria for the North and North-Central Zones was also adjusted to 0.48 to allow for improved product availability.

Despite some stakeholder concern, the EPA opted to maintain the U-factor criteria of 0.27 in the Northern Zone, Anderson said. The 0.27 U-factor offers shorter payback for customers. Additionally, "manufacturers can use a variety of equivalent energy performance tradeoffs to meet the criteria with products at U-factor levels above 0.27," he said.

Anderson also addressed the EPA's Most Efficient 2013 program, which recognizes the highest performing residential windows on the market. The program identifies windows that are highly insulating (U-factor of 0.20 or lower in all climate zones), meet a minimum solar heat gain coefficient in the North of 0.20, and are structurally sound. The EPA intends to maintain the same criteria for the Most Efficient 2014 program, he reported.