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A leading manufacturer of custom window treatments, Hunter Douglas, received the first-ever energy performance rating from the Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC) for its cellular shades and cellular roller shades window coverings. In 2019, Larson Manufacturing’s storm windows were the first to receive an AERC certification of any kind; Hunter Douglas now becomes the first company to rate interior window covering products.

AERC is a rating and certification program for window shades, blinds, storm windows or other types of window attachments that are some of the most cost-effective ways to manage a building’s energy use through its windows. DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and the Window Coverings Manufacturing Association (WCMA) helped establish the AERC.

AERC provides unbiased, third-party certifications of the energy-saving potential of various window attachment products. For AERC to have a sound infrastructure on which to base its ratings and certification programs, DOE’s LBNL developed, validated, standardized, and harmonized simulation models and test procedures for characterizing a wide range of window attachments.

Window attachments can offer consumers a cost-effective option to improve the energy performance of residential and commercial windows when window replacements are not practical. Prior to the development of the AERC, there was no consistent and credible rating mechanism to help consumers make informed decisions about the energy performance of window attachments. With the AERC rating available on the market, manufacturers can enable customers to make informed choices that fit with their comfort needs and budget while saving energy.

Building the infrastructure for performance product ratings is key to increasing the adoption of energy-efficient technologies, and to spur innovation. New performance ratings for additional brands and lines of window attachments are expected to continue to enter the market, including products that are in the “big box” stores.