New Rating System for Enhancing Window Energy Performance

May 18, 2015

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Window attachments, such as these exterior solar shades at Lake Area High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, do not include a rating system to inform consumers about their energy efficiency. Photo courtesy of National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Window attachments, such as these exterior solar shades at Lake Area High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, do not include a rating system to inform consumers about their energy efficiency. Photo courtesy of National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Window attachments, such as awnings, shutters, drapes, and solar shades, are often used for cosmetic purposes and to help control the amount of light entering a room. However, many Americans aren’t aware that identifying energy conserving window strategies are cost effective in homes and commercial buildings.

Unlike  ENERGY STAR or EnergyGuide labels, where consumers can identify the most efficient models, currently no rating mechanism exists to rate window attachments and products.

Enter the Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC). The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) will cost-share Energy Department funding to help consumers realize potential energy savings from window attachments through the creation of a comprehensive energy ratings and certification program. Over the next four years, AERC will develop a program that results in a consistent set of energy performance-based rating and certification standards and program procedures.

To launch this project, AERC held a membership meeting April 8-9 in Alexandria, Virginia. The event included presentations on the project’s historical background, discussions on organizational structure, and a joint technical and marketing committee meeting. More than 40 industry leaders attended from AERC’s 27 diverse member entities, which include window attachment manufacturers, public interest groups, and technical experts.

In the coming months, the council will work on the design of an AERC label that informs consumers about window ratings. It will also develop a publicly accessible database of window attachment products.

For more information about AERC and its activities, visit http://wcmanet.org/aerc.