With the ever-increasing focus on reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, more consumers, home buyers and home owners want to do their part to help, and they are turning to ENERGY STAR products when purchasing appliances, electronics, lighting and building materials — including windows, doors and skylights.
Beginning with computers and displays in 1992, the ENERGY STAR program now includes more than 70 product categories. Most households in the United States now recognize the ENERGY STAR label and what it means; in fact, results from the latest U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR awareness survey show that:
- Ninety-one percent of households recognize the ENERGY STAR label when shown it.
- Seventy-five percent of households have a high understanding of the ENERGY STAR label, and another nine percent have at least a general understanding of the label.
- Among all households, 45 percent knowingly purchased an ENERGY STAR-labeled product within the past 12 months of the study.
- Overall customer satisfaction with ENERGY STAR-labeled products remains high, scoring a 4.2 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “very satisfied.” Of households that recognized the ENERGY STAR label, 65 percent agree with the statement, “If I see the ENERGY STAR label, I know I’m getting a more energy-efficient product.”
The ENERGY STAR program has become the most well-known guide in the United States for easily selecting products proven to be among the most highly energy-efficient within a product type.
This is particularly true for windows, doors and skylights, which — unlike other ENERGY STAR-certified products — must also be selected according to one of four ENERGY STAR climate zones for the United States. Understanding the complexities of selecting the right U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), and Visual Transmittance (VT) values for each of these zones is otherwise very challenging.
ENERGY STAR-certified windows, doors and skylights meet significantly more stringent energy efficiency requirements than those of national model energy codes, and they must meet a robust third-party independent certification through the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), and ongoing periodic verification through NFRC’s FenStarTM Certification Program.
In addition, ENERGY STAR windows, doors and skylights provide increased indoor comfort, protection against UV damage to valuables, and — especially important — they lower the cost of heating and cooling, and ease the energy consumption burden on the environment.
As a builder, remodeler or architect, by selecting or specifying ENERGY STAR windows, doors and skylights, you can be assured you are providing the right high-performance, energy-efficient products for your customer’s location. And, because of the wide recognition of the ENERGY STAR label and what it means, your customers, too, can feel reassured they’re doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint.
A full list of ENERGY STAR-certified windows, doors and skylights by region can be found on EPA’s ENERGY STAR.gov.
Jeff Inks is WDMA Senior Vice President of Advocacy.
Understanding Window, Door, And Skylight Certification Webinar
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