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USGNN Original StoryLaFrance Urges Industry to Support Highly Insulating Windows and Move Beyond Double Pane
June 10, 2009

In fiscal year 2010 the administration is requesting $10.5 million for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Windows program--a $5.5. million increase from last year. This is according to the DOE's Marc LaFrance who spoke before members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association last week during the association's summer meeting in Minneapolis.

"That's a very significant increase," said LaFrance. And it's one that creates a lot of opportunities for manufacturers. He also mentioned that the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is requesting $2 billion for research.

"We're anticipating a large amount of that money to go toward windows research," he said. (For more info on these research activities, go to http://www.netl.doe.gov/).

LaFrance, who only had a half hour to speak to attendees, quickly went through a variety of subjects relating to the DOE's programs, including new products coming down the pipeline.

"In the future we're looking at an R10 window, maybe vacuum glazing as well," he said. "We will see dynamic windows as a viable option in the years to come."

He pointed out though that for the near term the DOE's goal is an affordable R5 window in the marketplace.

"We're trying to identify and organize buyer groups in the government and private sector," he said. (For more information, go to http://www.r-5windowsvolumepurchase.com/).

He also said that while the industry speaks in terms of U factors, "for the layman, Congress, etc. they understand an R-Value better."

In an interesting statement, LaFrance said that he disagrees with his colleague at the DOE, Richard Karney, program manager for the ENERGY STAR Windows program, concerning phase 2 of ENERGY STAR.

"I personally think we should hold off on phase 2," said LaFrance. He said doing so would allow the "triple-pane market to mature."

"It's time to move beyond double-pane," he added. "We need to support highly insulating windows beyond the tax credits."

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