AAMA Responds to Proposed ENERGY STAR Changes

Feb. 1, 2008
AAMA recommends the development of a two-tier ENERGY STAR program

Proposed ENERGY STAR® program revisions for fenestration products were discussed when the Schaumburg, IL-based American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) met with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) last year. The two groups agreed that improving energy efficiency is a national priority.

John Lewis, AAMA's technical director, says, "The DOE estimates that ENERGY STAR windows now make up over 50 percent of the market; this degree of market penetration would not have been possible without the direct participation of the fenestration industry." He adds that "it is imperative that 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 the goals of informed consumers and improved energy efficiency, AAMA's recommendations for revisions to the ENERGY STAR program include:

  • 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.
  • If the two-tier program is not feasible, then AAMA could support increasing the stringency of the current single-tier program by a reasonable amount, such as a U-factor reduction on the order of 10 percent.
  • For any revisions, AAMA supports a phased-in implementation of 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.
The DOE plans to announce its ENERGY STAR program targets for 2009, 2012, and 2015 in the near future.

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