Reps Speak Before DOE
Several industry representatives spoke before representatives from
the Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday, October 26, about the
upcoming changes to the criteria for ENERGY STAR® windows.
Among these representatives were Margaret Webb, executive director
of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA), and John
Lewis, technical director for the American Architectural Manufacturers
Association (AAMA). Webb presented electronically via the web for
an hour and a half.
"They wanted information on insulating glass [IG] certification,
which of course the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)
is looking at," she says. "It's basically the same presentation
and the same results the task group that NFRC had offered. It's
not like this is new and they haven't had this information before."
In addition, she provided an overview of what IG certification
is and the various roles it plays.
"For the most part it was just an overview of IG," Webb says. "They
wanted information from the 25-year field correlation study."
Along with representing IGMA, Webb, who originally was supposed
to only speak for 20 minutes, also presented on behalf of the Insulating
Glass Industry Durability Advisory Group (IGIDAG), a group that
"There had been some back and forth between IGIDAG and DOE and
I addressed the questions that we could and some of the information
I couldn't provide because it doesn't exist," she says. "They wanted
an exact number of windows that are manufactured without certified
insulating glass units [IGUs]."
Webb says this number is one that hasn't been discovered as far
as she is aware.
"The NFRC conducted a survey of their members. They sent out 400
surveys and got 106 back and at that point they estimated that 40
percent of manufacturers don't purchase or fabricate certified IGUs.
But [the survey] doesn't consider volume of the manufacturers."
She notes that most large window manufacturers do utilize certified
IGUs, and if they're the ones that responded to the survey that
they do-then the percentage of total windows that utilize certified
IGUs (as opposed to manufacturers) could be much higher.
"Typically we find large window manufacturers do use certified
IGUs and the survey didn't differentiate between residential and
commercial," Webb says. "Most of the large residential manufacturers
do use certified IGUs, [but] smaller companies may not."
She says IGIDAG has requested this information from NFRC, but hasn't
received a response.
Webb says the DOE was also looking for information about the failure
rate of non-certified IGUs, but that there are currently no field
studies available about non-certified IGUs.
The DOE was looking for information on the energy loss of IGUs
that fail and was hoping that IGIDAG might undertake research into
"[We suggested that] the DOE could request this work from a national
lab," she says. "[IGIDAG] is an advisory group, not a group that
Replacement costs (and therefore the energy involved) were also
"The replacement cost could be based on the sale price, but you'd
also have to take into account the labor cost," she says. "If it
was a curtainwall in a 100-story building and the failure occurred
on the 70th floor, all of a sudden you've got to get staging and
all that, to have to order it after the fact, that would also make
the cost to replace it quite high. So what we recommended to DOE
is that they conduct a market survey in various regions to provide
Lewis said the DOE's main interest from AAMA was how its members
responded to the group's initial letter to industry stakeholders
about the upcoming changes to the program.
"We took that letter and distributed it to the membership and we
discussed this at length at our Orlando conference," he says. "They
agreed that updating the ENERGY STAR requirements was something
that needed to happen, but my message was from the members to the
DOE was that we wanted to be sure that this is done in kind of a
phased approach and that any of the changes that would be implemented
could be done without total re-design of the fenestration systems."
Overall, Lewis says the meeting was successful as far as he was
"[The DOE representatives] were quite interested in what the opinions
were and we got some feedback as far as the timelines," he says.
"I think it was a positive meeting. Some of their thoughts were
on a phased-in approach. We had some things we posed that piqued
their interest and we'll have to see where this goes."
Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for further updates.
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