Builders, contractors, architects, schools and universities, lodging, public and senior housing, 2nd weatherization and public agencies in search of more energy efficient windows at cost-effective prices now have additional options available to them as the Department of Energy’s High Performance Windows Volume Purchase Program expands.
Program managers will announce new products and vendors, and launch the next phase of the program on Tuesday, May 3, at the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City. High performance windows, such as triple pane windows, can reduce a building’s heat loss through windows, improving occupant comfort and overall energy efficiency.
“The high performance windows and low-E storm windows in the program can offer significant energy efficiency at attractive prices that make them cost effective in heating-dominate climate zones,” said Graham Parker, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory senior staff engineer who manages the program for DOE’s Building Technologies Program. The high performance windows also qualify for federal and utility incentives and rebates being offered across the country, he said. In addition, the program has been expanded to offer commercial windows that also are high performance.
In Utah, both Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Gas Company have rebates for high performance residential windows that are offered by vendors in the volume purchase program. In addition, the State of Utah has a revolving loan fund for energy efficient projects in school districts that can include the retrofit of windows.
Double-pane, low-E, R-3 (U-factor 0.33) windows have typically been considered the standard for energy efficiency for residential construction more than a decade. But recent studies have shown that highly insulating, primarily triple-pane, windows (typically R-5/U-factor 0.2) reduce average heat loss through the window by more than 30 percent when compared to R-3 windows in residential buildings situated in heating-dominated climate zones. In situations where full window replacement is not an option, low-E storm windows can be installed over current windows (fixed or operable) to reduce heat loads by up to 20 percent, allowing them to pay for themselves in just five years in climates such as Salt Lake City.