The US Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the new ENERGY STAR rating (7.0) for residential doors, windows, and skylights. The new changes went into effect on October 23, 2023. All products that meet the new ENERGY STAR 7.0 criteria are eligible for early certification as of the 23rd, and many of the windows and doors offered by Unified meet the new ENERGY STAR 7.0 criteria.
Interestingly, there was much debate surrounding introducing a new ENERGY STAR level. For four years, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, the EPA, and the US Department of Energy debated whether or not a new rating was needed. During this debate, many tests were conducted until it was determined that a new energy rating could bring forth better door and window products for consumers.
This article discusses everything you need to know about the new ENERGY STAR Standards for windows and doors in 2023, including what the changes mean for you as a consumer.
What Is ENERGY STAR 7.0?
Before discussing the ENERGY STAR v7 changes 2023, you must know more about its governance. First and foremost, the ENERGY STAR program is a joint collaboration between the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency. This program (ENERGY STAR) was created to protect the environment by finding and promoting energy-efficient products and to promote energy efficiency.
Products that meet the ENERGY STAR energy-saving criteria are given specific labels, which makes it easier for individuals to buy energy-efficient products for their homes. These products included items like windows, doors, cooling systems, appliances, electronics, and heating systems.
Why do manufacturers adhere to energy ratings and create new products that can meet these standards every few years? The answer is simple. Manufacturers can demonstrate their dedication to sustainability by offering their clients beneficial energy-saving products. Through energy-efficient products, manufacturers that produce doors and windows are helping create a more energy-efficient future while reducing greenhouse gasses.
Moreover, according to some officials, if all residential windows and doors were certified to comply with the updated ENERGY STAR requirements, the potential cost savings could reach over $156 billion annually. Such a shift could also result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by fifty-three billion pounds.
What Are The New ENERGY STAR 7.0 Window And Door Changes?
Market saturation is one of the biggest reasons a new ENERGY STAR standard has been implemented. EPA data released in 2020 showcased that 79 percent of hinged entry doors, 85 percent of residential windows, 72 percent of skylights, and 85 percent of residential windows met current requirements.
This meant that alongside market saturation was market stagnation. By implementing a new ENERGY STAR rating, the new standard drives change and innovation toward a more sustainable and energy-efficient future.
What are these changes? Although much debate surrounds what should and shouldn’t be changed, there are primarily two changes. The following energy efficiency criteria must be met for windows, skylights, and doors to achieve an ENERGY STAR of 7.0 and for these products to qualify for federal tax credits:
- Windows and skylights must meet the more demanding ENERGY STAR Most Efficient certification criteria, with U-Factor ≤ 0.20 and SHGC ≤ 0.25. It’s important to note that these specifications are stricter than the previous standard.
- Exterior doors must comply with ENERGY STAR standards, with U-Factor not exceeding 0.28 and SHGC not surpassing 0.23.
It’s important to note that in 2023, the ENERGY STAR program for skylights, windows, and doors is undergoing a significant overhaul, introducing fresh standards and modifications to tax credits. This shift raises the bar for energy efficiency, demanding manufacturers to exert extra effort to meet the updated criteria.
With regard to these changes, consumers need to remember that traditional reinforcement methods involving steel or aluminum will no longer suffice to achieve the reduced U values mandated by the new standards. This means that manufacturers must explore novel approaches to seamlessly integrate the frame and glass, thus minimizing the U value.
Moreover, while the glass package and spacer system remain pivotal, relying solely on low-cost technologies may not yield the desired outcomes. To bypass this hurdle, manufacturers may need to explore innovative solutions like employing glass-reinforced pultrusions for reinforcement.
To learn more about these changes and how to navigate them, individuals can speak with an expert at Unified about their window or door needs.
What ENERGY STAR 7.0 Changes Mean For Consumers
So, with these changes in effect, what does this mean for consumers? Ultimately, it means that consumers will need to upgrade their doors, windows, and skylights to benefit from tax benefits and meet the new ENERGY STAR 7.0 standards.
However, this isn’t all. Consumers who upgrade their skylights, windows, and doors to meet the new standard can expect significant energy savings. According to projections, a home could use less gas or electricity for heating and cooling with 7.0-rated doors and windows.
In fact, a 7.0-rated home can expect to use up to 25 percent less energy than a 6.0-rated home. Moreover, the more energy-efficient a home is, the more comfortable it is to live in, which is something those looking for doors and windows should keep in mind.
What Does The New ENERGY STAR 7.0 Standards In 2023 Mean For Tax Credits?
To qualify for a tax credit on your new windows or doors, they must meet the updated standards starting October 23rd. Essentially, making changes to your home windows and doors doesn’t only boost their efficiency but also makes you eligible for the following tax credit:
- For Windows, Doors, and Skylights: Replacing or installing new windows, doors, or skylights with the new ENERGY STAR 7.0 label can qualify you for a 10 percent tax credit on the cost (excluding installation), up to $200 for windows and skylights, and up to $500 for doors. The credit is also applicable if you added a window or door where none existed before.
When filing your tax return, use IRS Form 5695: Residential Energy Credits to apply for these tax credits. Alternatively, you can contact your tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service for help if you have inquiries.
Speak With Unified To Get Your Doors And Windows ENERGY STAR 7.0 Rated
Now you know more about the new ENERGY STAR 7.0 standards and what they mean for consumers with regard to home savings, comfort levels, and tax credits. Although a new star rating can make things difficult, it paves the way for a more innovative and energy-efficient future.
So, if you’ve decided to improve your home’s energy efficiency by upgrading your home doors or windows in New York or Long Island, you should connect with Unified for a free consultation.
We can ensure your doors and windows meet the innovative ENERGY STAR 7.0 standards. So why not experience cost savings and environmental benefits by upgrading intelligently? Speak with Unified for a brighter, greener future by calling (888) 631-2131!