Energy & Environment News May 2018

June 27th, 2020 by Nathan Hobbs


Energy Star Canada Could See Significant Changes

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) recently proposed stringent changes to the country’s version of Energy Star that the agency says could disqualify approximately 75 percent of the fenestration products that currently meet the pro-gram’s criteria.

The proposed criteria for the new specification is a modified version of the current Energy Star Zone 3 levels and would apply to all of Canada (see chart). That means Canada will eliminate its three climate zones and put the nation under one unified Energy Star standard for doors and windows.

“Having the same criteria nation-wide will simplify the program for the industry, builders, and, most importantly, for the consumer,” NRCan said in a release. “It will also promote greater compliance and clarity as a model is either Energy Star certified or it is not regardless of where it is installed.”

NRCan also wants to set the Energy Star Most Efficient criteria for 2019 at a higher level. The standard would be a minimum Energy Rating of 39 and a maxi-mum U-factor of .23 or a minimum Energy Rating of 26 and a maximum U-factor of .18.

Steve Hopwood, the account manager for Energy Star at NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency, said there are two main reasons for the change.

“The first is that too many models sold today make the Energy Star criteria for much of Canada,” he said. “It has stopped being a market leader and has become commonplace: ‘every-thing is now Energy Star.’ The second is to help Canada meet its Paris agreement by raising the efficiency levels in the built environment both through retrofit and new homes.”

The pan-Canadian climate plan, which is the framework of the country’s efforts to meet Canada’s commitments under the Paris Accord agreement, became the policy of the federal and provincial governments in December 2016. It includes measures to increase energy efficiency in new and existing buildings.

NRCan says it conservatively estimates that the changes could save 60,000 gigajoules more per year than the current 2015 fenestration specification. That’s about 17 million kilo-watt hours of electricity.


Energy Star, Other Programs Get Full Funding

In late March, President Trump signed a spending bill for the 2018 fiscal year that included full funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Energy Star program. EPA is funded at $8.1 billion, the same as in 2017.(The White House had wanted to cut its budget by a third.) Energy Star gets $66 million, also the same as in 2017. The House appropriations bill that passed in the fall of 2017 aimed to cut Energy Star’s budget to $31 million.

Other agencies that affect the fenestration industry ended up with more money as well for 2018. The Department of Energy got a $3.77 billion boost for a total budget of $34.5 billion. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) received $2.32 billion and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) got $353 million. Both support research into energy-efficient windows, as well as programs to help low-income households upgrade to better-performing fenestration products.


Window Companies Earn Energy Star Partner of the Year Honors

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have named 163 Energy Star partners—including three door and window companies—Partners of the Year for being national leaders in energy efficiency.

Andersen, ProVia and Soft-Lite are the door and window companies being honored in the Sustained Excellence—Product Brand Owner category.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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