News Analysis

DOE Launches Website for Affordable, High-Efficiency Windows

Hoping to make high-efficiency windows more affordable and to expand their market, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has created a bulk-purchasing program aimed at homeowners and builders in northern climates. It has arranged with over 30 manufacturers to list windows with insulation values of R-5 or better through a DOE website, www.WindowsVolumePurchase.org. Spurred by this spotlight, DOE hopes that manufacturers will offer their windows at relatively affordable rates, although they are not required to do so.

Anyone can buy, but options limited to vinylThe program is intended for anyone purchasing at least 15 to 20 windows. Included in the lineup of windows are windows for new construction, retrofits, low-emissivity (low-e) storm windows, and patio doors—the latter are available with no minimum purchase. All the windows listed on the site at press time were white and vinyl-framed—a limited selection that may deter some buyers. The limited selection appears to be a result of the cost-competitiveness of vinyl, and not because of a DOE criterion.

Published June 10, 2010