Tuesday, November 06, 2007

NFRC Day 2

Day 2… I gotta say this is the first time I am writing Blog posts and then seeing all the people that read them in the same room… kinda special in a way…

Like yesterday, a compliment to start off.. you know for all of the hammering I do at NFRC, I have to give them credit that they don’t strangle me on sight. Actually the opposite, the staff at NFRC have been nothing but nice and respectful. Hopefully they realize that my approach is nothing personal on their efforts but on a program that has major issues. Also the efforts being made by a few software folks have been legitimate for sure. I have gotten e-mails today on the CMA software and other softwares so obviously I appreciate that- because there's effort there to educate and inform.

Ok now back at it…

-- If you did not see it, there was a great comment left after the Day 1 post. Please scroll down and check that out after you read this.

-- I did get a lot of feedback, more than I expected honestly, so it’s good that people are following along via this forum. Thank you to all who chimed in. Many asked some interesting questions, which I will address both below and in future posts.

-- The big items from today were presentations by Potomac Communications (NFRC’s well paid PR firm) and some presentations by both the US DOE and their Canadian equal.

-- In the Potomac presentation it hit me again that for the residential market, NFRC does play an important role… all the more reason they are so miscast in the commercial world. They are good at what they do for the homeowner, they have it down to a science. But it still has not sunk in that COMMERCIAL is DIFFERENT than RESIDENTIAL. ((I am thinking bold and all caps may work to drive that home))

-- It’s a shame because for the NFRC the golden goose is residential and what could kill that golden goose is the SS Titanic itself… the CMA…

-- All in all Potomac’s piece was a self congratulatory fluff piece. They talked about all of the places that NFRC appeared (though they never did mention blogs… darn) and how they even are showing up on TV! So with so much work to be done here, this was a huge waste of people’s time. So great work guys, you rep a group that has a monopoly- man that has to be a bear to represent someone who has no competition…. If you pick up the IRS, you'll have the only 2 entities around that have such advantages.... I am simply in the wrong business…

Anyway on to the important stuff…

-- The DOE piece was mostly on the forthcoming updates to Energy Star on the residential side. It’s a very interesting process and one that will be very closely watched that’s for sure.
In the Q&A after that piece, Tom Culp of AEC asked about Energy Star for commercial since there’s confusion when it relates to high rise apartments etc. The DOE responded that “there is no such animal as Energy Star for commercial” and that they are looking at some commercial programs that could work but its not that simple, there’s a lot involved.

HALLELUJAH! Amen brother. Wow.

Then in his presentation the Canadian counterpart to DOE also backed up that point!


He noted that they have to be careful in dealing with commercial because there’s so much out there.

So there you go… the US DOE and the Canadian equivalent in the time span of approximately 30 minutes were able to back up what so many in our industry have been saying all along…


Wow that felt good. Just wish that message could sink in… but it doesn’t. Heck you have people in the room who believe that Vinyl should be used in skyscrapers, so for them this went in one ear…..

All right on to some questions from the e-mails-

You mention that 2 suppliers see NFRC Certification as a profit center, who are they?

You know I need to amend that- at least 1 is, 1 other lower level aluminum supplier wants NFRC badly because they believe it will legitimatize their product line. And people who are in the know, understand who these players are. The bottom line is there are people who see this as a service that they’ll charge and pass on.

There is no way they can be so clueless on the non res side. No way.

The people making the decisions and controlling the situation are. They ignore and have ignored so many items and angles- from AIA Boiler plate agreements to the usefulness of AAMA 507 to the tried and true legal process, they just do not want to hear about it. Their attitude is: We created a great system for residential dammit- and we’ll get one that works for commercial and we don’t care what has to happen to get there!

I am in California, and I can tell you the backlog will be insane. Do they realize this? Do they care?

I honestly think that some do care. I really do. But at the end of the day, the majority of the decision makers care more about Independence and Integrity than efficiency…. Oh wait, that’s almost an exact quote from NFRC Chair Marcia Falke…. Understand that the labs and IA’s do not care that there is or could be massive backlogs, as long as they protect their piece of the pie, they are dandy. Hey you can be independent and have integrity with a proposal like the one OVERWHELMINGLY approved at the last meeting (which was allowing manufacturers the ability to earn trust) but that situation would cut the profit out of the people who are in business solely to make money off of the programs they create.

These are people trying to make a living just like you. You really need to get off of your high horse and be real.

I don’t have a high horse and with as much weight as I have gained (even Bipin Shah commented that he did not recognize me because of my weight and sadly he’s right) I’d need a Clydesdale. And as for making a living? My job… is to sell glass and aluminum. The job of the labs and others is to inspect, validate etc. However they are the ones pushing to make rules that FORCE business their way (via the monopoly that is NFRC) and that’s where we differ. You may not agree with that, but at the end of the day, it is what it is.

(from same e-mail as the question right above) I just don’t see why you are so dead against a program that will reduce our energy consumption. Whether you like it or not, that’s where the world is going!

I am not against any program that reduces energy consumption. Heck I want it as bad as anyone. So does my company, so does GANA, IGMA, AEC and virtually everyone else. Plus I do see value in the software that is being done and have always said a way to rate whole systems is crucial. What I am against, and always have been against, is the money. Plain and simple. There is no excuse that a certification program in a professional industry should have so many steps and so much complexity- which equals- MONEY. I am against a group that has little to no understanding of an industry being the monopoly that could rule it. I am against people who say that the manufacturers are rich enough that we can foot the bill for this and I am against this underlying tone that we’re not smart enough people to be able to provide specified products on jobs with out tons of check and balances. And I am against a lot of other stuff, but I’ll stop there.

I want to promote energy efficient products. I want to develop them. I love products from Sage, Technoform, and Azon (as examples) that are cutting edge and great products to help in this process. But I fear that because we have to waste time, energy and resources in order to protect some notion of “independence” these advances will be lost in the shuffle.

All right, that’s the day- so much more out there but I’ll save for another time, like tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Max, keep up the good work! Your comments are very helpful in keeping us all informed!

Regards, Doug Sampsel

Max Perilstein said...


Thanks for reading and taking the time to post. We are going to follow this all the way through!