Energy-efficient windows make up only about 35% of the U.S. residential window market, even though they are cost-effective in approximately 80% or more of all applications. To ensure that efficient windows reach their optimum potential in homes throughout the U.S., the Department of Energy and key players in the U.S. window industry have formed the Efficient Window Collaborative (EWC). The EWC's goal is doubling the market share of efficient windows by 2005. With 31 charter members from the window and glass industries, the EWC is managed jointly by the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance to Save Energy and the Center for Building Science's Windows and Daylighting Group. The EWC serves as a focal point for voluntary public/private-sector efforts to promote energy-efficient products.
The Alliance to Save Energy will lead communications and marketing activities, and the Windows and Daylighting Group will lead technical support efforts. Members of the collaborative have made a commitment to promote energy-efficient products through specific actions, including labeling a majority of their products with objective, accurate, credible ratings provided by the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) [Spring 1994, p.8], supporting the recently unveiled U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Energy Energy Star® Windows program, and participating in EWC sponsored initiatives and sales staff training.
Communications and education efforts aimed at window purchasers are a key activity of the EWC. Half of the residential window market consists of customers who retrofit their homes with new windows; consequently, the EWC will target both homeowners making decisions about window replacements and manufacturer sales staff promoting products to these customers. The EWC will promote energy-efficient mortgages to these buyers and salespeople, since these mortgages provide attractive financing packages for energy-efficient measures. Outreach activities to builders and contractors will focus on teaching them how to sell the energy and comfort benefits of energy-efficient products.
The EWC will work with other public and private entities who promote energy-efficient windows, including utilities launching market transformation programs and state government voluntary programs. An important step in developing ties to these groups will be establishing partnerships with federal agencies such as the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) [Spring 1995, p.1], whose goal is to ensure that all products purchased by the Federal sector are energy-efficient.
Technical activities by the Center's Windows and Daylighting Group in support of the EWC include:
EWC/Alliance to Save Energy
Building Technologies Program
This work is supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Building Technology, State and Community Programs; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and the Alliance to Save Energy.
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