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USGNN Original StoryClimate Change Legislation Could Impact ENERGY STAR® Program
July 2, 2009

The American Clean Energy and Security Act, which will next be voted on by the Senate, will mean many changes for the glass and glazing industry if it becomes law (CLICK HERE and HERE for related articles). In addition to its potential impact on glass manufacturers and commercial design and construction, the bill would also impact the ENERGY STAR program.

The legislation calls for the establishment and implementation of a rating system for ENERGY STAR products "to provide consumers with the most helpful information on the relative energy efficiency, including cost effectiveness from the consumer's perspective, and relative length of time for consumers to recover costs attributable to the energy-efficient features of those products."

The rating system would be developed within 18 months of the enactment of the bill, "unless the Administrator and the Secretary communicate to Congress that establishing such a system would diminish the value of the ENERGY STAR brand to consumers."

The bill also would require a review of the ENERGY STAR product criteria for the ten product models in each product category with the greatest energy consumption at least once every three years, and, based on this review, the criteria would be reviewed, updated and published for each category as necessary.

Likewise, the bill also requires periodic verification of compliance with the ENERGY STAR product criteria by products identified as ENERGY STAR products.

The legislation requests the allotment of $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2010 and each fiscal year thereafter for these changes.

Other provisions included in the bill that could provide opportunities for increased use and specification of energy-efficient glass and windows include:

  • The Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance program, which supports the creation of retrofitting initiatives throughout the country for residential and nonresidential buildings that may offer a variety of incentives, including credit enhancements, interest rate subsidies, and initial capital for public revolving loan funds;
  • The Green Resources for Energy Efficient Neighborhoods Act (H.R. 2336), which provides incentives to lenders and financial institutions to provide lower interest loans and other benefits to consumers who build, buy or remodel their homes in ways that improve energy efficiency; and
  • The Building Energy Performance Labeling Program, which directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create model building energy performance labels for new construction.

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