AAMA responds to proposed ENERGY STAR® program changes.

Press Release Summary:

In October, AAMA met with Department of Energy to discuss proposed ENERGY STAR® Program revisions for fenestration products. Both agreed that improving energy efficiency is priority. AAMA recommended development of a 2-tier program, which would leave current program intact and allow for more aggressive program to target a small segment of the market. If a 2-tier Program is not feasible, then the Association could support increasing stringency of the current single-tier Program.

Original Press Release:

AAMA Responds to Proposed ENERGY STAR® Program Changes

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) met with the Department of Energy (DOE) in October to discuss the proposed ENERGY STAR® Program revisions for fenestration products. AAMA and the DOE agreed that improving energy efficiency is a national priority and "AAMA has recommended improvements to ensure their timing and changes are beneficial to both the consumer and the manufacturer," says John Lewis, AAMA's technical director.

"The DOE estimates that ENERGY STAR windows now make up over 50% of the market; this degree of market penetration would not have been possible without the direct participation of the fenestration industry, the majority of which AAMA has the privilege of representing," Lewis explains. "As ENERGY STAR gains market share and strives to increase the stringency of the Program, it is imperative the public understands that the U-factor and SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) values required by the Program are not absolute guarantees of performance, but benchmarks against which apples-to-apples comparisons between different products can be made."

Toward these goals of informed consumers and improved energy efficiency, AAMA's recommendations to the proposed ENERGY STAR Program revisions for fenestration products include:

o The development of a two-tier ENERGY STAR Program, which would leave the current program intact and allow for a more aggressive program to target a smaller segment of the market. According to Lewis, "This approach solves a number of issues such as uninterrupted supply for the 28 states currently mandating ENERGY STAR products because manufacturers' products that comply today will comply tomorrow."

o If the two-tier Program is not feasible, as AAMA believes it is, then the Association could support increasing the stringency of the current single-tier Program by a reasonable amount, such as U-factor reduction on the order of 10%. "We cannot support unrealistic targets," cautions Lewis. "If the most stringent values of the proposed range were adopted, a much smaller segment of the market would result because to achieve such dramatic reductions in U-factor would require the redesign and retooling of entire product lines for many manufacturers, and this is not possible in a matter of months."

o For any revisions, AAMA supports a phased-in implementation of Program changes over a multi-year period which provides the opportunity to monitor several key factors such as product availability in the marketplace, capacity to re-simulate and re-test all new and revised products, market demand for the products, and code adoption of the revised ENERGY STAR Program.

AAMA has submitted these recommendations and other comments for the DOE's review and will continue discussions as the Department plans to announce its ENERGY STAR Program targets for 2009, 2012 and 2015.

For more information on AAMA's leadership and activities, please visit www.aamanet.org or call 847-303-5664.

AAMA is the source of performance standards, product certification, and educational programs for the fenestration industry. (SM)

Angela Dickson, Senior Coordinator of Communications, AAMA
Email: adickson@aamanet.org 847-303-5859 Ext. 224

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