A New Perspective
by Trey Barrineau
April 21st, 2016

Big or Small, WDMA Gets it Done

One thing that stood out at this week’s Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) legislative conference in Washington, D.C., was the smaller-than-usual group of attendees. A surprise congressional recess forced WDMA to reschedule the event from April 4-6 to April 18-20. Because of that, only about 30 members showed up, compared to around 45 in 2015.

But this year’s group, while not as large, clearly punched above its weight.

The Senate approved the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012) by a vote of 85-12 on Tuesday — the very day that WDMA members visited congressmen on Capitol Hill to advocate for that legislation. While the last-minute lobbying effort certainly helped, WDMA has been working on this bill for years, and it includes an amendment that could have a huge impact on the door and window industry. The provision requires the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to use energy-efficiency savings from products such as doors, windows and skylights to help determine a home buyer’s eligibility for an FHA-insured mortgage.

WDMA members also lobbied in support of another amendment, which is part of a House energy bill that could end up in the final legislation. That measure would clearly define the role of the Department of Energy (DOE) in developing energy codes and guarantee that some products and technologies don’t receive preferential treatment.  It also would prevent DOE from supporting any code or standard change that has a payback period of more than ten years.

These are big legislative victories for the industry, but WDMA president and CEO Michael O’Brien says it’s not the time to ease off the accelerator.

“Our work is not yet done,” he said. “We will still need WDMA members to remain engaged and active during the conference process.”

And remember — there’s strength in numbers.


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