Canada: Ontario Green Energy Act now includes windows

Members of Fenestration Canada were informed during a recent webinar regarding changes in the Ontario Green Energy Act, which will, as of 1 January 2014, include windows.

Fenestration Canada held a webinar on 26 March to inform its members of changes in the Ontario Green Energy Act, specifically, that it now includes windows, and will go into effect 1 January 2014.
The act, which covers residential housing and the remodelling market, does have exemptions including stained glass, decorative glass, wrought iron and blinds between glass. Additionally, if the glass is just being replaced it is not required.
Regarding performance a .20 U factor or lower or an energy rating of 17 or higher is required. “This is well below Energy Star for Ontario,” said Jeff Baker, WestLab. “So in a sense the Energy Act requirements are not stringent and are not a large concern.”
What is a large concern, said Baker, is the certification requirements. All products have to be independently verified, and in order to prove compliance a temporary label on the product or a permanent National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label is required.
“Certification won’t be a problem for those in NFRC programme as their products have already been certified,” he said. “It’s a big problem if you don’t have certification.”
When it comes to enforcement Baker said that will be up to the building officials and self-regulation.
“If you see a competitor’s windows are not meeting the requirements you can contact the programme administrator,” said Baker. “There are stiff penalties which are much tougher than what is in the building code. Negotiating with a building official is not an option.”
Although windows are the only product category now covered, Baker said the industry should be prepared for this to change.
“My view on this down the road is that skylights, doors and other fenestration products will be covered in the future. They can change it whenever they want with sufficient notice.”
Baker ended the webinar with another urge to manufacturers to not delay in meeting the requirements.