The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published final specifications for Energy Star 7.0 Thursday, handing manufacturers their final marching orders if they’re to keep the program’s sticker on their door and window products. The news arrived amid the final hours of GlassBuild America—a week in which some companies said they were shopping new glass packages and other solutions for meeting the new criteria. After issuing minor updates in its Draft 2 proposal in July, including a slight adjustment to U-factor requirements in the North-Central climate zone for windows and updated U-factor requirements for doors in the Southern and South-Central regions, program officials made one final tweak to performance requirements, changing the U-factor requirement for doors with greater than one half lite of glass from 0.25 to 0.26 in the Northern and North-Central climate zones. With that final adjustment, the requirement should be, “slightly easier for manufacturers to meet,” an EPA official tells USGlass.
Under new Version 7.0 criteria, beginning October 23, 2023, windows in the Northern climate zone must offer U-factor ratings of less than or equal to 0.22 and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) ratings of greater than or equal to 0.17. In the North Central, windows must offer U-factor ratings of less than or equal to 0.25 and SHGC of less than or equal to 0.40. Windows used in the South-Central zone must include U-factor ratings of less than or equal to 0.28 and SHGC ratings of less than or equal to 0.23. In the Southern region, they must offer U-factor ratings of less than or equal to 0.32 and SHGC ratings of less than or equal to 0.23.
The final draft of Version 7.0 elicited feedback from 21 companies, organizations and industry experts, including requests that the implementation date for new criteria be moved back in order to provide manufacturers with additional time to issue in new and improved products.
“The window and door industry is going through one of the more difficult times in our history. Supply chains have broken, inflation is raging, and demand is unstable,” wrote industry expert and president of Global Fenestration Advisors Ray Garries in comments provided to program officials. “With these payback concerns and the huge investment that must be made to products and machinery, the program adjustments must not start until December 2024.”
Similar feedback provided by door and window manufacturers failed to persuade EPA officials to deviate from implementing an October 23, 2023 deadline, though the yearlong period is longer than what’s mandated by the program (which calls for a minimum of nine months). Officials say they felt it was important to maintain consistency throughout the Energy Star program, by keeping implementation for doors, windows and skylights in sync with other product sectors.
Full Energy Star 7.0 requirements can be found HERE.