WCMA Launches the Attachments Energy Rating Council

New York, New York (January 26, 2015) – In collaboration with the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) has launched the Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC).
Window attachments, such as applied films, drapes/curtains, awnings, and shutters, are a cost-effective means of reducing energy use in both the residential and commercial buildings and have the potential to save approximately 800 tBTU by 2030 due to their low cost and the rapid turnover of the installed base, according to DOE analysis.
“This project allows members of the window attachments industry to be on the cutting edge of energy efficiency,” said Ralph Vasami, Executive Director of WCMA, “as well as collaborate with a diverse set of stakeholders, and, most importantly, present consumers with reliable product information.”
WCMA has been awarded cost-shared funding from DOE to develop a certification and rating program for residential and commercial fenestration attachment products. To that end, WCMA has established the AERC, a new council that will design and administer a new energy rating and certification program for the fenestration attachment products. Under this council key market and technical data will be gathered to develop credible rating, certification, labeling, and performance verification procedures that will be adopted by the attachments industry. This will provide consumers with the information they need to differentiate between products based on their energy performance.

The AERC has constructed a 4-year program based on a 3-pronged technical approach:

– Prioritization of product types and performance indices, phasing in a wider array of attachment products as the program builds and sustains itself
– Characterization of the key material properties (i.e. transmittance, reflectance, and emissivity)
– Simulation of product ratings, cost-effectively widening the range of products being rated and driving the development of the technically valid procedures to be applied to a broad array of products

A 2014 poll revealed that 94 percent of Americans support using energy efficient products, and 70 percent “strongly” support these products. American consumers are squarely behind a push for energy efficient products, and labeling and certification play a central role in informed consumer decisions. Despite this substantial opportunity, at present there is no accurate method to assess the performance of individual products or for consumers to distinguish between the relative energy saving performance of competing window attachment products. The AERC’s work will fill this gap and pave the way for potentially billions of dollars in energy cost savings for U.S. households and businesses.

January 26, 2015