AAMA Responds to Latest ENERGY STAR® Criteria
April 16, 2009
The Department of Energy (DOE) revisions to the ENERGY STAR®
program for windows, doors and skylight performance criteria were
finalized April 7, 2009, and will take effect January 1, 2010. Prior
to this announcement, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association
(AAMA) and its members provided comments to the DOE regarding the
proposed revisions and offered recommendations regarding performance
criteria, categorization and timing that aligned with current economic
"The DOE has made ongoing efforts to include the industry
in the development of ENERGY STAR criteria and in particular to
revisions made to the proposed criteria as a result of stakeholder
feedback. AAMA members understand the fine balance between the promotion
of superior energy performance, technology incentives and providing
an affordable purchase option for the consumer," says Rich
Walker, AAMA president and CEO. "AAMA members also recognize
that the ENERGY STAR for Windows program is a very effective vehicle
for easy identification and understanding of energy-efficient products
by the consumer. Our members are unanimous in their support of the
more interactive approach, which encourages input from all industry
stakeholders, clarifies DOE's goals and clearly fosters a cooperative
He continues, "AAMA believes that a reaching, yet achievable
elevation of energy-saving parameters will have the biggest impact
and sustainable improvement. Setting the bar so high that it requires
enormous investment in either technology or plant retooling could
prolong a fragile economic recovery and delay the opportunity to
replace the staggering number of leaky and energy-inefficient windows
in the existing housing stock."
To facilitate understanding and promotion in the marketplace, AAMA
encouraged DOE to consider changing the criteria to include three
climate zones instead of four. However, four zones will continue
to be used according to the recently released final criteria. AAMA
also sought to align window Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) for
Climate Zone 1 with the tax credit for doors and skylights at a
value of 0.30.
In addition, AAMA's members requested that all doors be considered
as one category, regardless of their operation; sliding glass doors
will now be part of the door category.
In addition, AAMA requested a U-factor stretch of 0.03 for high
altitude applications, where a breather tube may negate the thermal
performance improvements provided by inert gas fill. DOE plans to
compile data and determine whether this should be included in the
Phase 2 proposal.
For the Northern Zone, the majority of AAMA members agreed that
the alternative SHGC trade off criteria (>0.40) for a
U-factor of 0.32 be reduced to a SHGC of >0.20 or >0.25
to allow for the use of higher-performing glass that is currently
available. DOE chose to retain the criteria levels and limited tradeoffs
as previously proposed.
"Through ongoing discussion with the DOE, our members and
other industry leaders, AAMA will continue to push the envelope
to ensure manufacturers are able to provide products that support
the nation's energy-saving programs and achieve the intended economic
and environmental goals," says Walker.
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