The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final ENERGY STAR Version 6.0 Residential Windows, Doors, and Skylights Specification. In the final document, EPA has agreed to delay implementation of Version 6.0 Northern Zone requirements for windows until January 1, 2016. Until then, the current Version 5.0 requirements will remain in effect in the Northern Zone. Further, the final Northern Zone u-factor for skylights has been set at .50, which is a change from the last draft, which had it set at .48. Those requirements will go into effect in on January 1, 2015, along with the rest of Version 6.0.
EPA revised the implementation date for the Northern Zone window criteria in response to concerns expressed by some stakeholders about the industry’s ability to have cost-effective, qualifying windows available in the Northern Zone by the originally proposed effective date. EPA said it believes that providing additional time will allow industry to increase product availability and identify cost-saving measures to further reduce incremental costs for consumers.
The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) took part in the draft deliberations the window, door, and skylight industry during the development of Version 6.0. “While the final requirements for Version 6.0 are not everything that we sought, WDMA worked diligently over the past year with EPA and our supporters on Capitol Hill to achieve a middle ground that will increase energy efficiency allow manufacturers time to prepare, and provide consumers with a reasonable payback period. We appreciate EPA’s efforts to work with us to address our concerns,” said Michael O’Brien, WDMA President and CEO.
The final Version 6.0 specifications include changes from earlier drafts that increase ENERGY STAR qualification requirements of windows, doors and skylights while keeping those products more affordable for homeowners purchasing them. Further, the agency acknowledges the need to improve the process for future updates to the ENERGY STAR program to make the process more transparent and encourage greater industry participation, according to the WDMA.