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USGNN Original StoryNFRC Day Two: DOE Reports Efforts Continue to Revise ENERGY STAR Criteria

The Department of Energy (DOE) is continuing to move forward with revising the ENERGY STAR criteria for doors, windows and skylights. Richard Karney with the DOE provided a progress report today during the National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) spring meeting taking place this week in Nashville, Tenn. The update was part of the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee meeting.

According to Karney, the DOE is currently evaluating the technology, market, costs and energy-savings data, and the earliest effective date of the new criteria will be April 2009. Some of the guiding principles in changing the ENERGY STAR criteria included significant energy savings, cost effectiveness, measurable energy savings and a meaningful differentiation.

Karney explained that one reason they needed to change the criteria is the fact that in some areas codes have superseded ENERGY STAR, and that ENERGY STAR performance needs to be above that of the codes. He also added that ENERGY STAR now has 53-percent market share.

"That number is too high for the label to have meaning in the marketplace," said Karney.

Also as part of the presentation, Karney shared some common misconceptions about ENERGY STAR. For example, one misconception is that ENERGY STAR is a "seal of approval" that identifies all reasonably efficient products. The truth, explained Karney, is that ENERGY STAR is intended to distinguish the most efficient products. Another misconception is that lowering market share will impede rather than accelerate ENERGY STAR energy savings. According to Karney, sales of ENERGY STAR-labeled products may decline, but aggressive performance levels will increase.

Karney also shared a few other elements under consideration, including separate ENERGY STAR criteria for doors, air leakage requirements and a longer transition period between old and new criteria.

Meetings continue today with the NFRC's technical committee block, which includes the air-leakage subcommittee, the U-factor subcommittee; and the Component Modeling Approach (technical) subcommittee.

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