Energy Savings Pledges or Guaranties

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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Location: Illinois

Energy Savings Pledges or Guaranties

#1 Post by FenEx » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:15 pm

Hello pros and homeowners

It's not very often that I begin a new thread... I typically try to help with other concerns previously posted, however this is pretty important at this time. As most Americans are getting hit with substantial energy bills and as a country we are going through some pretty tough times with imported energy sources, debt and air pollution, I felt the desire to make this statement.

I see countless advertisements from building product manufacturers (including alot of window co's) and their sales people attempting to hit the "Hot Spot" with consumers by offering completely unsubstantiated pledges and guaranties... and quite frankly, it makes me sick. Others throw around EnergyStar and it's awards as if it's actually an endorsement of their products. Allow me to clarify a few things.

The EnergyStar program is a great entity, but it's a bit outdated and being updated as we speak. It's awards are issued for mass promotion of the ES logo and efforts, not to those reaching far above it's minimal guidelines for actual performance when installed in a home.

The energy savings promises are marketing efforts, plain and simple. For the homeowner, they deceive and give a completely innaccurate vision of what to count on... much like the guess-timation programs available on many websites. The pledges are written to give you a sense of security that does not exist... read them. In all my years dedicated to this industry I am not aware of a single one that has been paid and they are all limited to small amounts AFTER the purchase. It's worthless. When BPI or RESNET Certified raters test homes for government programs such as EnergyStar Homes, the windows are input by size, U-factor, exposure, geographic location, shading, installation and then are all subject to other variables such as air infiltration around them. There are maybe 1000 people in the entire country that are qualified to determine what the payback results will be with any degree of accuracy and even then it's after testing the entire house to provide the scientific data needed for each and every individual circumstance. Did your window salesman check anything in your house?? Yet they can guaranty results. Unless you see, "We guaranty to pay 40% of the difference for as long as you own your home"... it's a bogus deal. You will never see it, as they have NO CLUE where and why your house is losing energy other than a small percentage of very obvious areas. It's sales and marketing, period.

For those that care, there is a very serious schedule of protocols and efforts being developed by our government to help consumers get the CORRECT information that they need to make the best decisions. I know this for a fact as I sit on some of the technical advisory committies in DC. For most, the energy bill of 2005 is seen as a few tax incentives tossed like a bone to them from the feds. I'll enlighten you a bit. The bill is an attempt to help American homeowners reduce energy usage by 10% over the next 10 years. By properly addressing the issues, the results will be much higher... 30-60%.

Just to give you an idea of what the minimal 10% would be, here's a few fed facts.
- Savings of over $20 billion a year.
- Reduce demand for natural gas by more than 1 Quad.
- Avoid need for more than 40 (600 MW) power plants.
- Avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 25 MILLION vehicles.

I support efforts that improve the way we live. I DO NOT support bogus attempts that give the impression of doing the right things without validation. It will send us all in the wrong direction as individuals and as a country. If I have offended anyone out there offering an energy savings pledge, good. Get your boss or product manufacturer's engineers on the line and I'll be happy to address EVERY bogus claim.

I rest.

Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:21 pm

Well said!

#2 Post by Tru_blue » Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:13 pm

Thanks Fenex, great insight and good news to look forward to. The information you regularly share has been an inspiration to me and many of us. In my capacity as a mediator in the home improvement industry and with windows in particular, I cringe when I hear of companies that have a pledge of X amount of money back if the customer's energy bills are not reduced by X percent. With several cases brought to my attention just in the past year, none of those pledges were honored. There was always some reason, such as all of the windows were replaced, but not the door, and since it wasn't their energy-efficient door, they can not honor the guarantee. Or the furnace was too old, etc. Even if the guarantee of money back was honored, it might amount to a rebate of $100 for a $15,000 purchase.

I'd like to say HURRY UP and get those new standards in place, but I realize it takes time for these things. Committees . . .

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