Friday, October 30, 2009

Interim Executive Director for NESEA to Attend White House Clean Energy Forum

The Interim Executive Director for the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) will attend the White House Clean Energy Forum on November 2 in Washington D.C.

Jennifer Marrapese, JD, MA will participate in the forum, where a select group of regional national energy leaders to discuss the following:

  • The ongoing debate over our energy future
  • How we respond to the realities of climate change
  • How we can all contribute to a positive outcome

More Details

NFRC to Exhibit at ICC Annual Conference in Baltimore Next Week

NFRC will exhibit at the International Code Conference's Annual Meeting in Baltimore, November 1 until November 3.

According to the ICC Website, "The Conference is a uniquely efficient opportunity to reach a large and diverse group of code officials, contractors, architects, inspectors, builders, design professionals, fire service professionals, plans examiners, and engineers to share your knowledge and expertise."

Show Hours: Sunday, November 1, 2009 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Monday, November 2, 2009 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2009 1:00 pm – 6:30 pm Welcoming Reception: Sunday, November 1, 2009 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm .

If you happen to be in Baltimore next week, be sure to stop by and see us. We'll be happy to answer your questions.

More Details

Thursday, October 29, 2009

NFRC to Celebrate 20 Years of Fairness, Accuracy, and Credibility at its Fall Membership Meeting in November

Media Contact:Tom Herrontherron@nfrc.org301-589-1776, x205

GREENBELT, Md. (October 29, 2009) – The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year with special events, including live music and other surprises, at its upcoming 2009 Fall Membership Meeting. The meeting will take place November 16-19 at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

“Since its creation in 1989, the NFRC has become the recognized leader for independent and credible rating and certification programs for fenestration product energy performance,” said Jim Benney, NFRC’s executive director. “NFRC is excited to be celebrating its anniversary with members and staff in San Antonio.”

NFRC’s rating and certification system has expanded over the years to include both residential and commercial applications as well as glazing products and window films. Today, the NFRC Certified Products Directory contains energy performance information for more than 1.67 million fenestration products listed by close to 800 manufacturers.

Most recently, NFRC addressed the needs of the commercial fenestration industry by developing the Component Modeling Approach (CMA), which is in a pilot phase. CMA enables whole-product energy performance ratings for commercial fenestration projects using data from the three primary components of fenestration: frames, spacers, glazing.

NFRC members will convene in San Antonio to debate and move forward important issues relating to the energy ratings of the fenestration industry, with 26 ballots up for membership review and comment. Other highlights include a presentation by Anita Ledbetter, executive director of the residential green building program Build San Antonio Green, who will present during the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee (RAM) session.

The deadline for discounted registration is Monday, November 2, after which prices will increase.

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

VPP Team Accepting Comments on Revised Final Draft Specifications for R-5 Windows

The original Draft R-5 windows and low-e storm windows specifications were released for comment in July 2009. Comments and suggestions were accepted until September 4th.

Following a thorough assessment of the input received, the material was incorporated by the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) team over the next several weeks. This led to the revised Final Draft specifications.

Suggestions on the (VPP) Final Draft Specifications as well as comments on the VPP Bid and Reporting Forms should be submitted by 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time on November 13th, 2009.
Furthermore, a conference, which is open to all interested parties, will be held on Tuesday, November 10th at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

This call will provide an opportunity to ask questions directly to the VPP team.

Full Details

Green’ Building Retrofits to reach 20%-30%

According to a recent report issued by McGraw-Hill Construction, green building currently accounts for approximately 5% to 8% percent of the retrofit and renovation market. This represents a $2 billion to $4 billion marketplace for major projects.

The report further states that by 2014, this share will grow to 20% to 30%, making it a $10 billion to $15 billion market. Furthermore, researchers say indicators suggest higher levels of activity long-term for retrofits and renovations overall, reaching a tipping point in about 10 to 15 years.

McGraw-Hall says 70% of owners who have engaged in green retrofit or renovation activities are planning to continue for over 15% of future projects and 24% will do so on over 60 % of projects.

Full Story

Monday, October 26, 2009

President Obams Addresses Clean Energy at MIT

President Obama spoke about clean energy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, Massachusetts on October 23.

The president's speech appears verbatim below:

"Thank you very much. Please, have a seat. Thank you. Thank you, MIT. I am -- I am hugely honored to be here. It's always been a dream of mine to visit the most prestigious school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Hold on a second -- certainly the most prestigious school in this part of Cambridge, Massachusetts. And I'll probably be here for a while -- I understand a bunch of engineering students put my motorcade on top of Building 10.

This tells you something about MIT -- everybody hands out periodic tables. What's up with that?

I want I want to thank all of you for the warm welcome and for the work all of you are doing to generate and test new ideas that hold so much promise for our economy and for our lives. And in particular, I want to thank two outstanding MIT professors, Eric Lander, a person you just heard from, Ernie Moniz, for their service on my council of advisors on science and technology. And they have been hugely helpful to us already on looking at, for example, how the federal government can most effectively respond to the threat of the H1N1 virus. So I'm very grateful to them.

We've got some other special guests here I just want to acknowledge very briefly. First of all, my great friend and a champion of science and technology here in the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, my friend Deval Patrick is here. Our Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray is here. Attorney General Martha Coakley is here. Auditor of the Commonwealth, Joe DeNucci is here. The Mayor of the great City of Cambridge, Denise Simmons is in the house. The Mayor of Boston, Tom Menino, is not here, but he met me at the airport and he is doing great; he sends best wishes.

Somebody who really has been an all-star in Capitol Hill over the last 20 years, but certainly over the last year, on a whole range of issues -- everything from Afghanistan to clean energy -- a great friend, John Kerry. Please give John Kerry a round of applause. And a wonderful member of Congress -- I believe this is your district, is that correct, Mike? Mike Capuano. Please give Mike a big round of applause.

Now, Dr. Moniz is also the Director of MIT's Energy Initiative, called MITEI. And he and President Hockfield just showed me some of the extraordinary energy research being conducted at this institute: windows that generate electricity by directing light to solar cells; light-weight, high-power batteries that aren't built, but are grown -- that was neat stuff; engineering viruses to create -- to create batteries; more efficient lighting systems that rely on nanotechnology; innovative engineering that will make it possible for offshore wind power plants to deliver electricity even when the air is still.

And it's a reminder that all of you are heirs to a legacy of innovation -- not just here but across America -- that has improved our health and our wellbeing and helped us achieve unparalleled prosperity. I was telling John and Deval on the ride over here, you just get excited being here and seeing these extraordinary young people and the extraordinary leadership of Professor Hockfield because it taps into something essential about America -- it's the legacy of daring men and women who put their talents and their efforts into the pursuit of discovery. And it's the legacy of a nation that supported those intrepid few willing to take risks on an idea that might fail -- but might also change the world.

Even in the darkest of times this nation has seen, it has always sought a brighter horizon. Think about it. In the middle of the Civil War, President Lincoln designated a system of land grant colleges, including MIT, which helped open the doors of higher education to millions of people. A year -- a full year before the end of World War II, President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill which helped unleash a wave of strong and broadly shared economic growth. And after the Soviet launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, the United States went about winning the Space Race by investing in science and technology, leading not only to small steps on the moon but also to tremendous economic benefits here on Earth.

So the truth is, we have always been about innovation, we have always been about discovery. That's in our DNA. The truth is we also face more complex challenges than generations past. A medical system that holds the promise of unlocking new cures is attached to a health care system that has the potential to bankrupt families and businesses and our government. A global marketplace that links the trader on Wall Street to the homeowner on Main Street to the factory worker in China -- an economy in which we all share opportunity is also an economy in which we all share crisis. We face threats to our security that seek -- there are threats to our security that are based on those who would seek to exploit the very interconnectedness and openness that's so essential to our prosperity. The system of energy that powers our economy also undermines our security and endangers our planet.

Now, while the challenges today are different, we have to draw on the same spirit of innovation that's always been central to our success. And that's especially true when it comes to energy. There may be plenty of room for debate as to how we transition from fossil fuels to renewable fuels -- we all understand there's no silver bullet to do it. There's going to be a lot of debate about how we move from an economy that's importing oil to one that's exporting clean energy technology; how we harness the innovative potential on display here at MIT to create millions of new jobs; and how we will lead the world to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. There are going to be all sorts of debates, both in the laboratory and on Capitol Hill. But there's no question that we must do all these things.

Countries on every corner of this Earth now recognize that energy supplies are growing scarcer, energy demands are growing larger, and rising energy use imperils the planet we will leave to future generations. And that's why the world is now engaged in a peaceful competition to determine the technologies that will power the 21st century. From China to India, from Japan to Germany, nations everywhere are racing to develop new ways to producing and use energy. The nation that wins this competition will be the nation that leads the global economy. I am convinced of that. And I want America to be that nation. It's that simple.

That's why the Recovery Act that we passed back in January makes the largest investment in clean energy in history, not just to help end this recession, but to lay a new foundation for lasting prosperity. The Recovery Act includes $80 billion to put tens of thousands of Americans to work developing new battery technologies for hybrid vehicles; modernizing the electric grid; making our homes and businesses more energy efficient; doubling our capacity to generate renewable electricity. These are creating private-sector jobs weatherizing homes; manufacturing cars and trucks; upgrading to smart electric meters; installing solar panels; assembling wind turbines; building new facilities and factories and laboratories all across America. And, by the way, helping to finance extraordinary research.

In fact, in just a few weeks, right here in Boston, workers will break ground on a new Wind Technology Testing Center, a project made possible through a $25 million Recovery Act investment as well as through the support of Massachusetts and its partners. And I want everybody to understand -- Governor Patrick's leadership and vision made this happen. He was bragging about Massachusetts on the way over here -- I told him, you don't have to be a booster, I already love the state. But he helped make this happen.

Hundreds of people will be put to work building this new testing facility, but the benefits will extend far beyond these jobs. For the first time, researchers in the United States will be able to test the world's newest and largest wind turbine blades -- blades roughly the length of a football field -- and that in turn will make it possible for American businesses to develop more efficient and effective turbines, and to lead a market estimated at more than $2 trillion over the next two decades.

This grant follows other Recovery Act investments right here in Massachusetts that will help create clean energy jobs in this commonwealth and across the country. And this only builds on the work of your governor, who has endeavored to make Massachusetts a clean energy leader -- from increasing the supply of renewable electricity, to quadrupling solar capacity, to tripling the commonwealth's investment in energy efficiency, all of which helps to draw new jobs and new industries. That's worth applause.

Now, even as we're investing in technologies that exist today, we're also investing in the science that will produce the technologies of tomorrow. The Recovery Act provides the largest single boost in scientific research in history. Let me repeat that: The Recovery Act, the stimulus bill represents the largest single boost in scientific research in history. An increase -- that's an increase in funding that's already making a difference right here on this campus. And my budget also makes the research and experimentation tax credit permanent -- a tax credit that spurs innovation and jobs, adding $2 to the economy for every dollar that it costs.

And all of this must culminate in the passage of comprehensive legislation that will finally make renewable energy the profitable kind of energy in America. John Kerry is working on this legislation right now, and he's doing a terrific job reaching out across the other side of the aisle because this should not be a partisan issue. Everybody in America should have a stake -- everybody in America should have a stake in legislation that can transform our energy system into one that's far more efficient, far cleaner, and provide energy independence for America -- making the best use of resources we have in abundance, everything from figuring out how to use the fossil fuels that inevitably we are going to be using for several decades, things like coal and oil and natural gas; figuring out how we use those as cleanly and efficiently as possible; creating safe nuclear power; sustainable -- sustainably grown biofuels; and then the energy that we can harness from wind and the waves and the sun. It is a transformation that will be made as swiftly and as carefully as possible, to ensure that we are doing what it takes to grow this economy in the short, medium, and long term. And I do believe that a consensus is growing to achieve exactly that.

The Pentagon has declared our dependence on fossil fuels a security threat. Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are traveling the country as part of Operation Free, campaigning to end our dependence on oil -- we have a few of these folks here today, right there. The young people of this country -- that I've met all across America -- they understand that this is the challenge of their generation.

Leaders in the business community are standing with leaders in the environmental community to protect the economy and the planet we leave for our children. The House of Representatives has already passed historic legislation, due in large part to the efforts of Massachusetts' own Ed Markey, he deserves a big round of applause. We're now seeing prominent Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham joining forces with long-time leaders John Kerry on this issue, to swiftly pass a bill through the Senate as well. In fact, the Energy Committee, thanks to the work of its Chair, Senator Jeff Bingaman, has already passed key provisions of comprehensive legislation.

So we are seeing a convergence. The naysayers, the folks who would pretend that this is not an issue, they are being marginalized. But I think it's important to understand that the closer we get, the harder the opposition will fight and the more we'll hear from those whose interest or ideology run counter to the much needed action that we're engaged in. There are those who will suggest that moving toward clean energy will destroy our economy -- when it's the system we currently have that endangers our prosperity and prevents us from creating millions of new jobs. There are going to be those who cynically claim -- make cynical claims that contradict the overwhelming scientific evidence when it comes to climate change, claims whose only purpose is to defeat or delay the change that we know is necessary.

So we're going to have to work on those folks. But understand there's also another myth that we have to dispel, and this one is far more dangerous because we're all somewhat complicit in it. It's far more dangerous than any attack made by those who wish to stand in the way progress -- and that's the idea that there is nothing or little that we can do. It's pessimism. It's the pessimistic notion that our politics are too broken and our people too unwilling to make hard choices for us to actually deal with this energy issue that we're facing. And implicit in this argument is the sense that somehow we've lost something important -- that fighting American spirit, that willingness to tackle hard challenges, that determination to see those challenges to the end, that we can solve problems, that we can act collectively, that somehow that is something of the past.
I reject that argument. I reject it because of what I've seen here at MIT. Because of what I have seen across America. Because of what we know we are capable of achieving when called upon to achieve it. This is the nation that harnessed electricity and the energy contained in the atom, that developed the steamboat and the modern solar cell. This is the nation that pushed westward and looked skyward. We have always sought out new frontiers and this generation is no different.

Today's frontiers can't be found on a map. They're being explored in our classrooms and our laboratories, in our start-ups and our factories. And today's pioneers are not traveling to some far flung place. These pioneers are all around us -- the entrepreneurs and the inventors, the researchers, the engineers -- helping to lead us into the future, just as they have in the past. This is the nation that has led the world for two centuries in the pursuit of discovery. This is the nation that will lead the clean energy economy of tomorrow, so long as all of us remember what we have achieved in the past and we use that to inspire us to achieve even more in the future.

I am confident that's what's happening right here at this extraordinary institution. And if you will join us in what is sure to be a difficult fight in the months and years ahead, I am confident that all of America is going to be pulling in one direction to make sure that we are the energy leader that we need to be."

NFRC to Hold ACE Certification Workshop Prior to Fall Membership Meeting

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) announced today that it will offer an Approved Calculation Entity (ACE) Workshop for its Component Modeling Approach (CMA) program on November 15 in San Antonio, Texas.

The all-day workshop is designed for those seeking certification to become an NFRC ACE. At the end of the workshop, a take-home exam will be provided for attendees to complete and submit after the training. A Certificate of Approval will be sent to those who successfully pass the exam.
NFRC ACEs will be certified to configure whole fenestration products and calculate U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Transmittance ratings in the Component Modeling Approach Software Tool (CMAST) for products seeking NFRC certification in the CMA Product Certification Program.

All training materials will be provided to attendees on, or before, the day of the workshop. Participants are required to bring their own laptops to the workshop, and it is recommended that registrants download the CMAST software prior to it. To download CMAST, visit Please note: you will need to download THERM 6 and WINDOW 6 before using CMAST.

The workshop is scheduled for the day before the 2009 NFRC Fall Membership Meeting. Both the workshop and the meeting will take place at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel. The workshop’s registration deadline is November 2, and the registration form can be found online at There is a registration discount for NFRC members and for those attending the NFRC Fall Membership Meeting.

For more information on the CMA program, including other training opportunities, visit

Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act Achieves Milestone

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today released the text of the Chairman's Mark of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.

According to Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the act has achieved yet another milestone toward a clean energy future. Boxer further noted that the act will ultimately create millions of jobs and protect future generations from pollutions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act will not have significant impact on the estimated cost to American families when compared to the recently passed Waxman-Markey legislation.

Full Story

Friday, October 23, 2009

San Antonio Green Executive Director to Speak at NFRC Meeting

Anita Ledbetter, Executive Director, of a residential green building program known as Build San Antonio Green will present her organization during NFRC’s Fall Membership Meeting, November 16-19.

The presentation will be held on Monday, November 16 at 2:30 pm during the Regulatory Affairs and Marketing Committee (RAM) Meeting.

San Antonio Green was designed specifically for use in the San Antonio climate. To date, the organization has certified 300 homes.

More information

Hunter Douglas to Sponsor NFRC at Fall Membership Meeting

Hunter Douglas will be one of the sponsors at NFRC's Fall Membership Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, November 16-19.

Headquartered in Upper Saddle River, NJ, Hunter Douglas offers a wide range of energy-efficient, custom-made window treatments.

More about Hunter Douglas

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Baton Rouge Dealer Talks About Capabilities of CMAST

During its first annual dealer meeting last month in New Orleans, Geoshield updated its dealers on the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) Component Modeling Approach (CMA) and its CMAST software.

Geoshield explained that the software enables an Accredited Calculation Entity (ACE) to print custom NFRC labels for specific windows.

Geoshield also mentioned that CMAST is compatible with EnergyPlus Software, which can be used to determine return on investment.

Full Story

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Bill Offers Help to Consumers, Makers of Energy-efficient Windows, Doors, and Skylights

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, have introduced legislation that would help consumers take advantage of a tax break found in the stimulus package.

The tax break is intended to encourage the purchase and manufacture of energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights.

Rockefeller and Grassley’s legislation changes the eligibility standard from a one-size-fits-all standard to the recently released new ENERGY STAR standard. This standard considers regional weather differences and is widely recognized. A change in the incentive will enable consumers to more easily determine if their windows qualify for the expanded tax credit.

Full Story

NFRC Board of Directors Election -- 2009

The website for the election is new this year. If you are the voting member of your organization, you should have received an email earlier this week with your username and password.

The deadline for voting is Monday, November 2, 2009.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Vice President Biden Reports on Green Jobs, Energy Savings

Vice President Biden today unveiled an idea known as Recovery Through Retrofit. This is a report focuses on expanding green jobs and boosting energy savings by making homes more efficient. The vice president has garnered considerable support for this initiative.

Recovery Through Retrofit is a plan designed to create good green jobs. These are jobs that cannot be outsourced. Biden believes the investments set forth in the Recovery Act provide unique opportunities for Americans to retrofit their homes, creating a healthier living environment.

Retrofitting existing homes across the nation may help save up to $21 billion annually.

Full Story

Friday, October 16, 2009

NFRC Updates its Certified Products Directory

NFRC has updated its Certified Products Directory (CPD) to be more user-friendly.

Users of the CPD can now search for fenestration products using one of two methods.

The first enables users to search by product type. With this option one specifies the product and searches only within Manufacturers that produce that type of product.

The second option lets users search by Manufacturer. With this option, users choose a specific manufacturer and then search for the fenestration product types that the manufacturer offers.

These updates to the CPD provide more versatility and ease of use for those researching fenestration products.

The CPD is available at

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

EPA to Serve as Brand Manager for ENERGY STAR

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will act as "the brand manager for the ENERGY STAR products program."

The Department of Energy (DOE) intends to expand both ENERGY STAR and the National Building Rating This partnership between the EPA and the DOE will result in the formation of a new governing council, which will be made up of the EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation and the DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

One of the key functions of the council will be to ensure that the EPA and the DOE are not duplicating efforts but working as a team.

Full Story

Thursday, October 8, 2009

EPA Provides Grants for Students to Design Sustainable Technologies

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded 43 grants to teams of college and university students across the country.

The grants are designed to enable the recipients design creative technologies to addresses sustainability challenges around the world. The People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Phase I awards for the 2009-2010 competition encourages students to work as teams to design and build sustainable technologies that improve quality of life and facilitate economic development while protecting the environment.

More information on EPA’s P3 program:
More information on 2009-2010 Phase I P3 Awards:

NFRC to Offer CMA Pilot Program

CMA Pilot Program Webinar Approaching; Register Now!The next scheduled monthly CMA Pilot Program Update Webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 from 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time. The webinar will cover recent developments in CMAST and the CMA product certification program. If you have topics related to CMA you'd like to discuss, please submit them to Jessica Ferris, CMA Program Manager ( Webinar registration can be found on the following CMA page of the NFRC website:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CMAST, Window 6, and THERM 6 Approved

CMAST along with WINDOW 6 and THERM 6 have been approved by the NFRC Board of Directors for use in the pilot project.

This means that frame and spacer components can now begin to be uploaded into CMAST by accredited labs for approval, and CMA Label Certificates can be generated accordingly by those organizations licensed by NFRC as “ACE Organizations.”

CMAST has been transferred to a production server. The new server address is .

a) On the production server, you will find an upgrade to the CMAST client, CMAST v. 1.0.14. For current software users, you will need to uninstall any previous version of the software prior to running the upgrade.

b) There is a support desk software application also available for use by software users for submitting software problems or recommendations to the help desk:

The following grandfathering protocol revision was approved by the Board of Directors last week: Product validation test reports dated between April 1, 2005 and December 31, 2010 shall be accepted for frame component validation in the CMA Program.

There will be an ACE Training Workshop held on Sunday, November 15, 2009 in San Antonio, Texas at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, a day before the NFRC Membership meetings to be held there that week. The workshop registration form and hotel information can be found on the NFRC website at

The next scheduled monthly CMA Pilot Program Update Webinar will be held on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 from 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern Time. The webinar will cover recent developments in CMAST and the CMA product certification program.

If you have topics related to CMA you'd like to discuss, please submit them to Jessica Ferris, CMA Program Manager ( Webinar registration can be found on the following CMA page of the NFRC website:

Jen Padgett, CMA Program Coordinator, recently joined the NFRC staff and will be assisting with CMA program processing. Jen Padgett can be reached at 301-589-1776, extension 215 and her email is