DOE to Toughen Energy Star Window Rating

Katy Devlin
August 1, 2007

The Department of Energy has plans to revise its criteria for Energy Star windows, now that 53 percent of new products in the residential market tout the label, Richard Karney, DOE Energy Star program manager, said during the summer meeting for the National Fenestration Rating Council. The meeting was held July 23-26 in Denver.

The new ratings will be more stringent. “We want to have 20 [percent] to 25 percent of the market using the Energy Star label, so we keep the value of the Energy Star name. We want to show consumers that Energy Star means something,” Karney said.

Windows under new ratings will satisfy six criteria:

  • Show significant energy savings
  • Remain cost effective
  • Have energy savings that can be measured
  • Have equivalent functionality and performance to other products in the market
  • Require no proprietary technology
  • Have a label that provides meaningful differentiation to other products in the market
DOE officials are monitoring the progress of NFRC’s work on IG certification. “We’re looking very closely at the work that’s being done in the task group and will likely require IGU certification in the program,” Karney said. The program also will take into account emerging technologies such as dynamic glazing, he said. “We’d like to leap frog from where we are.” Karney says.

The DOE is currently conducting research about the new criteria and should have an initial analysis published and distributed by December 2007. Optimistically, Karney said, the criteria will be presented to stakeholders in February 2008 and finalized by March 2008. The new ratings will go into effect in January 2009 at the earliest, he said.