Client News 10/30/09

AAMA encourages manufacturers to submit comments on the DOE R-5 Window Volume Purchase Program

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) is encouraging window manufacturers to provide comments related to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Highly Insulating (R-5) Window and Low-e Storm Window Volume Purchase Program. This program is intended to serve as a catalyst to ramp up market demand for higher performing energy-efficient windows and includes low-e storm windows.

Windows with an R-5 value (or a U-factor of 0.2) represent the top tier of energy-efficient windows for cooling and heating dominated climates, as well as for mixed climates, available today. Most available ENERGY STAR® windows have an R-value of 3. If R-5 windows were substituted for R-3 value windows, the DOE estimates that homeowners would reap significant savings on their energy bills based upon a 40% reduction in average heat loss through these superior performing products.

The department also reports that low-e storm windows can reduce the average heat loss through the windows by 25% to 50%. Storm windows help save even more energy by providing an additional insulating barrier and reducing infiltration. The low-e coatings are effective because they mitigate the loss of heat in the winter and block its entry in the summer.

“Even though the energy benefits of R-5 windows are exponential, their current cost inhibits their widespread acceptance. With the DOE’s goal of a price premium of $4/ft² compared to current typical ENERGY STAR windows, more R-5 windows will be affordable in the marketplace, thus stimulating demand,” said Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO.

“In order to overcome the principal cost barrier of R-5 windows, the DOE Building Technologies Program is making production engineering awards to window manufacturers to drive down the cost and improve the performance of R-5 windows,” as stated on the program’s Web site.

According to the DOE, windows in the U.S. account for 30% loss of building heating and cooling energy. Windows have an even larger impact on peak energy demand and on occupant comfort. In cold and mixed climates, R-5 windows offer significant energy savings compared to other high-performance windows and are cost effective when produced in volume.

“The DOE’s window volume purchase program for R-5 and low-e storm windows provides window manufacturers with an attractive incentive to produce these highly-insulated products,” according to Walker. “The majority of window manufacturers should consider submitting a proposal to be part of the program by the department’s deadline of December 2009.”

A full news releases is available online at AAMA’s online news room.

Please also visit AAMA’s Certified Products Directory, which showcases energy-efficient products.

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