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Making it easier to buy highly insulating windows

Next phase of DOE's High Performance Windows Volume Purchase Program offers expanded website, product selection for residential and commercial buyers

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May 02, 2011 Share This!

  • Highly insulating windows, like this triple pane window, can help reduce heat loss in residential and commercial buildings by as much as 30 percent in heating-dominated climate zones, like Salt Lake City. The Department of Energy's High Performance Windows Volume Purchase Program recently expanded, to include more highly insulating windows and an upgraded website, to encourage consumers to purchase these windows.

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SALT LAKE CITY — 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 expanded program will offer windows for commercial and residential buildings, and an expanded website that will make finding window products, prices and vendors easier.  The volume purchase program was launched in May 2010 to bring new and emerging technologies to the market at competitive prices. Although highly insulating windows have been available for several years they have existed primarily as niche products that have been too expensive for widespread market adoption.

With a minimum order requirement of only 20 windows, buyers can select an appropriate window or low-E storm window from more than 30 vendors who have met the requirements of the program. Buyers interested in pricing and specifying highly insulating windows simply need to access the website and begin their search.

"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.

Program managers will officially launch the expanded website and announce new products and vendors during a 5 p.m. kickoff event and educational session at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Team members also will talk about the program earlier in the day during a brief discussion at the show's Product Demonstration Area, from 12 noon - 12:20 p.m.

Then, on May 4, the team will host a daylong workshop in conjunction with the state of Utah at the Intermountain Weatherization Training Center in Clearfield. The event is open to the public and those interested in attending should contact Jason Bogovich at or 410-953-6257.

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.

Manufacturers participating in the program include: Amerimax Windows and Doors; Atrium Windows and Doors; BF Rich Windows and Doors; Bonded Insulated Products; Cascade Windows, Champion Windows Manufacturing, Inc.; Gilkey Window Company; Gorell Windows and Doors; Jantek Industries, LLC; Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors; Kasson and Keller, Inc.; Larson Manufacturing Company; Mathews Brothers Company; MI Windows and Doors; National Vinyl, LLC; Ply Gem; Soft Lite, LLC; and Thermal Industries, Inc.

For more information about high performance windows and to download technical information, visit or

This effort is supported by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Building Technologies Program.

Tags: Energy, Energy Efficiency

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