Changes to 2023 Energy Star Program - Windows & Doors
by Tencom Ltd.
The Energy Star program is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that aims to promote energy efficiency and protect the environment by identifying and promoting energy-efficient products. The program provides a label for products that meet specific energy-saving criteria, making it easier for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products. The Energy Star program covers a wide range of products, including appliances, electronics, heating and cooling systems, windows, and doors.
The program's standards and criteria are updated regularly to ensure that products continue to meet the latest energy efficiency requirements. By participating in the Energy Star program, manufacturers can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and offer their customers the benefits of energy-saving products. The program plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping to create a more energy-efficient future.
With the introduction of the new Version 7.0 standards and the Energy Star Most Efficient (ESME) 2023 windows criteria, the bar has been raised for energy efficiency in windows and doors. This transformation presents new challenges for manufacturers, but it also opens up opportunities for those who are able to meet the requirements. By participating in the Energy Star program, manufacturers can showcase their commitment to sustainability and offer their customers the benefits of energy-saving products. Let's discuss these changes and how manufacturers can take advantage of these changes.
Changes to the 2023 Energy Star Program
The Energy Star program for windows and doors is undergoing a major transformation in 2023, bringing new standards and changes to tax credits. This change means that the bar has been raised for energy efficiency, and manufacturers will have to work harder to meet the requirements.
Current reinforcement techniques using steel or aluminum will no longer be sufficient in achieving the lower U values required by the new standards. To reach the desired level of energy efficiency, manufacturers will need to find new ways to bring the frame and glass together to reduce the U value. The glass package and spacer system will continue to be critical components, but low e technologies may not deliver the desired results on their own.
The frame and glass must work in harmony to achieve the lower U values, meaning that any kind of steel or aluminum reinforcement may actually prevent windows from meeting the new Energy Star standards. To overcome this challenge, manufacturers may turn to innovative solutions, such as using glass-reinforced pultrusions for reinforcement, which could play a significant role in meeting the new requirements.
The Deadline is Quickly Approaching
The Energy Star program is raising the bar for energy efficiency with its Version 7.0 standards, set to take effect on October 23rd, 2023. However, window and door manufacturers must be prepared to meet these new standards by April 1st, 2023, with the necessary labels and testing, reports to be included on the Energy Star list for 2023.
Many manufacturers will still be able to meet the 7.0 standard numbers with a dual-pane Low-E product, utilizing the 4th surface for maximum efficiency. Meeting the lower Energy Star standard offers a small yet valuable reward for customers, with a $250 tax credit available for purchasing Energy Star-certified windows.
In a world where energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important, the Energy Star program is setting the standard for high-performing, energy-efficient products. By meeting the Version 7.0 standards, manufacturers can showcase their commitment to sustainability and offer their customers the benefits of energy-saving products. The April 1st, 2023 deadline is quickly approaching, and manufacturers must be ready to take advantage of this opportunity to lead the way in energy-efficient products.
Inflation Reduction Act
The Energy Star program is taking a big step forward with the introduction of the Energy Star Most Efficient 2023 windows criteria, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed by Congress in late 2022. While the current Energy Star program, with its small one-time tax credit, is still available, the ESME program offers window manufacturers a chance to participate in a more stringent and rewarding program.
The criteria for ESME windows is more demanding, but it also opens up the opportunity for multi-year tax credits and reductions of up to $1200 per year. Window manufacturers who aim to participate in the ESME program may have to shift to triple glazing to reach the +/- 0.20 U-Factor required for all four zones, making it possible for homeowners or dealers to qualify for larger rebates.
Windows companies whose windows just miss the new requirements may still achieve their goals by exploring alternative methods, such as eliminating all metal reinforcements or foam filling every cavity in the master frame. Fiberglass reinforcements have been instrumental in helping manufacturers reach the current standards, and those who have not yet adopted this technology may need to re-evaluate their options and consider FRP pultrusions going forward.
The rebates technically go into effect on January 1st, 2023, and there are ongoing discussions about the potential to apply for the rebate/tax credit to sales after January 1st, 2022. This has not been fully decided, but the ESME program offers a promising opportunity for window manufacturers to take their energy-efficient products to the next level and offer their customers the benefits of advanced technology and multi-year tax credits.
The April 1st, 2023 deadline is fast approaching, and manufacturers must be ready to take advantage of this opportunity to lead the way in energy-efficient products. With the right solutions, such as using glass-reinforced pultrusions or fiberglass reinforcements, manufacturers can reach the desired level of energy efficiency and participate in the more stringent and rewarding ESME program.