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ABOUT ENERGY STAR



WHAT IS ENERGY STAR?

ENERGY STAR is best known as a label for products, such as appliances, that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). But the ENERGY STAR also identifies superior energy performance for America's commercial and industrial buildings. Whether a school, hospital, small business, or large corporation, ENERGY STAR can help reduce energy use, save money, and help protect the environment.

ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Results are already adding up. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2010 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 33 million cars — all while saving nearly $18 billion on their utility bills.

ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

The ENERGY STAR label was established to:

• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy; and
• Make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort.

Did You Know?

ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors, and skylights can reduce your energy bills up to 15% while helping protect the environment. Thanks to advances in technology, today's ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors, and skylights offer greater savings than ever before. Just look for the ENERGY STAR label Save energy and money.

Replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR qualified windows lowers household energy bills by 7-15 percent. Lower energy consumption also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and shrinks a house's carbon footprint.

Benefits of ENERGY STAR Qualified Windows & Doors

• Save money — and more

Installing ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors, and skylights lowers energy bills and saves you money. With more efficient windows, you also use less energy, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Feel your carbon footprint shrinking?

• Get comfortable

Put an end to cold drafts and overheated spaces. ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors, and skylights keep your home’s temperature consistently comfortable. Even your loveseat right by the window can be cozy with ENERGY STAR.

• Protect your valuables

Many ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors, and skylights have a special coating on the glass that is like sunscreen for your house.


WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING WINDOWS & DOORS?


Every ENERGY STAR qualified window, door, and skylight is independently certified to perform at levels that meet or exceed energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. EPA. But how do you know which windows work in your climate? The following tips will help you buy with confidence. Purchasing Steps Shopping for new windows, doors, and skylights can be a confusing process. ENERGY STAR makes it simple! Follow these five steps to ensure your windows, doors, and skylights deliver savings and comfort you'll enjoy.

• Determine your ENERGY STAR Climate Zone.
• Find a retailer. Find a retailer of ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors, or skylights.
• Look for the ENERGY STAR label for your climate zone. All ENERGY STAR qualified products must display the ENERGY STAR label.

Check the label to make sure the product you are considering qualifies in your area.


How Does EPA Choose which Products Earn the Label?


Products can earn the ENERGY STAR label by meeting the energy efficiency requirements set forth in ENERGY STAR product specifications. EPA establishes these specifications based on the following set of key guiding principles:

• Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.

• Qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.

• If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.

• Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.

• Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.

• Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.


How Does EPA decide when to Revise Specifications?

Generally, a market share of ENERGY STAR qualified products in a particular category of 50 percent or higher will prompt consideration for a specification revision. However, there are other factors that weigh into the decision, such as:

• A change in the Federal minimum efficiency standards.

• Technological changes with advances in energy efficiency which allow a revised ENERGY STAR specification to capture additional savings.

• Product availability

• Significant issues with consumers realizing expected energy savings

• Performance or quality issues

• Issues with Test Procedures

 

ENERGY STAR QUALIFIED WINDOWS
Protect the Home and Increase Comfort

Windows provide natural daylight and views, but homeowners often use drapes or blinds to cover them because of comfort concerns. ENERGY STAR qualified windows and skylights allow owners to enjoy the light and views while saving money on utility bills and protecting valuable furnishings and finishes from sun damage. Independently tested for superior energy performance, ENERGY STAR qualified windows and skylights are also better for the environment because lowering energy use helps reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants at the source.

BENEFITS OF ENERGY STAR QUALIFIED WINDOWS AND DOORS

• Energy Savings.
ENERGY STAR qualified windows and skylights feature advanced technologies such as invisible glass coatings, vacuum-sealed spaces filled with inert gas between the panes, improved framing materials, better weather stripping, and warm edge spacers, all of which reduce undesirable heat gain and loss.

• Improved Comfort.
Compared to less efficient windows, ENERGY STAR qualified windows help keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This is because they can block 70 percent or more of the solar heat gain in the summer and reflect radiant heat indoors during winter.

• Protection of Your Home's Interior.
Photographs, furniture, flooring, and window treatments can fade or discolor after repeated exposure to direct sunlight. An ENERGY STAR qualified window with special (Low-E) coatings can reduce fading. These coatings can reduce fading by up to 75 percent.

• Reduced Condensation.
If an inefficient window or window frame gets too cold, water can condense (or even freeze) on the interior surface and then pool on the sill. Over time, chronic condensation can damage window sills, cause paint to crack, and encourage the growth of mold. Advanced frames, glass coatings, spacers, and other technologies enable ENERGY STAR qualified windows to keep the inner surface of the glass and frame warmer, reducing the potential for condensation and ensuring a clearer view on winter mornings.

LOOK FOR THE ENERGY STAR

To find energy-efficient windows and skylights, simply look for the ENERGY STAR. The ENERGY STAR guidelines for windows and skylights are tailored to four climate zones. For example, windows in the North are optimized to reduce heat loss in the winter, while windows in the South are optimized to reduce heat gain during the summer. This explains why windows that are energy efficient in Florida will not necessarily be energy efficient in Michigan.

INDEPENDENT TESTING FOR ENERGY PERFORMANCE

The energy performance of all ENERGY STAR qualified windows and skylights is independently tested and certified according to procedures established by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). NFRC is a third party, non-profit organization that sponsors certified rating and labeling programs to help consumers compare the energy and performance features of windows and skylights.

A BETTER FUTURE
ENERGY STAR is a voluntary partnership between the government and more than 9,000 organizations, including more than 3,500 of the nation’s home builders. Together with home buyers and their families, we are working to achieve a common goal—protecting the environment for future generations by changing to more energy-efficient practices and products today.

ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. It identifies new homes, buildings, and more than 50 types of products that are energy efficient and offer the features, quality, and performance that today’s consumers expect. Products that can earn the ENERGY STAR include windows, heating and cooling equipment, lighting, and appliances. To learn more about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov.


CLIMATE ZONES FOR ENERGY STAR WINDOWS AND DOORS


For ENERGY STAR®, there are four climate zones in Canada (A, B, C and D), based on an average annual temperature indicator called a heating degree-day (HDD).
Zone A is the mildest, and Zone D is the coldest. Colder areas require windows, doors or skylights that are more energy efficient. The climate zones for which a window, door or skylight is ENERGY STAR qualified will be shown on a label on the product and in the sales literature.

MAP OF CANADAS CLIMATE ZONES

Zone D: > 8000 Heating Degree Days (HDDs)

Zone C: > 5500 to <= 8000 Heating Degree Days (HDDs)

Zone B: > 3500 to <= 5500 Heating Degree Days (HDDs)

Zone A: <= 3500 Heating Degree Days (HDDs)

Many window, doors and skylights qualify for more than one zone in Canada. The more zones a product qualifies for, the more energy efficient it is. So you can save even more on your energy costs by purchasing a product that is qualified for a zone that is colder than where you live.

If you live in a location that is significantly higher in elevation than the surrounding area, get a product rated for a zone at least one level colder than indicated on the map. This applies especially to areas in southern and central British Columbia, where energy efficiency levels have been determined for major urban centres that are normally located in valleys.

An HDD is the annual sum of the degrees of the average daily temperature for all days below 18°C. This accumulated sum is averaged over a 30-year period to provide a good indication of the average temperature in a given location. The higher the average HDD value, the colder a location and the longer the heating season.

For more information please visit:

http://www.energystar.gov/

By Email (Preferred & fastest method to submit questions.)
Find/Ask a Question about ENERGY STAR
Search Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or submit your own question or comment.

By Phone (9:00 am - 5:00 pm Eastern time)
ENERGY STAR Hotline (888) STAR-YES / (888-782-7937) or 703-412-3086

By Mail (Please include a phone and email address for a faster response.)
US EPA - OAR
ENERGY STAR Hotline (6202J)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20460