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CEDA Uses Serious Materials' Insulating Windows for Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program

CEDA uses high R-value SeriousWindows to deliver greater energy and cost savings for income-eligible households in Illinois

Serious Materials, a leading energy-saving building materials company in the U.S., today announced that the largest weatherization agency in the United States, the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA), is using its super-insulating, high R-value SeriousWindows for the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program. Use of SeriousWindows will increase savings for income-eligible families on their heating and cooling costs. SeriousWindows are being installed to demonstrate the enhanced energy efficiency that can be achieved in income-eligible multi-family projects administered by CEDA in Chicago and suburban Cook County. CEDA now plans to install super-insulating windows in most or all multi-family housing units that qualify for weatherization. By including super-insulating windows in CEDA’s weatherization program, hundreds of new local manufacturing and installation jobs can be created. If all weatherization agencies nationwide were to include super-insulating windows in weatherization programs, thousands of jobs would be created.

“I commend the dedication and shared aspirations of CEDA, Serious Materials, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the U.S. Department of Energy, and all agencies involved in this project to create jobs, save energy and money, better the lives of our citizens, and improve the energy security of our nation,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. “We look forward to sharing our weatherization success and experience using super-insulating windows throughout the Midwest and across America.”

CEDA’s use of SeriousWindows demonstrates that super-insulating windows are a cost-effective measure as part of the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). WAP’s mission is to reduce energy costs for low-income families by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 allocated $242.5 million in weatherization funding to the State of Illinois over the next two years. With the additional funding, CEDA says it expects to triple the number of homes it can weatherize annually over the next two years, increasing its production from 3,000 to 9,000 households.

A key effort enabling the first installation of SeriousWindows into CEDA Weatherization projects was to update the rigorous energy assessment and economic analysis software, WeatherWorks, used by the State of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) recently updated the software, which previously could not assess high-insulating windows. The updated model is now available to all weatherization agencies in Illinois.

“We are pleased to work with Serious Materials to help make homes more energy efficient,” said CEDA President/CEO Robert L Wharton. “They supply a product that is unique to weatherization, and we believe this will greatly benefit not only the families we serve, but the local economy as well through job creation.”

“CEDA is leading the nation in adopting advanced energy-saving technologies in weatherization programs,” said Kevin Surace, CEO, Serious Materials. “With CEDA’s commitment, we expect to supply large volumes of our cost-effective, super-insulating SeriousWindows and create more jobs in our Chicago factory. Efforts like CEDA’s have the potential to create thousands of US manufacturing and skilled labor jobs. This is exactly what we need to do across the country to save energy, save money, and rebuild America’s economy based on home-grown manufacturing innovation and leadership.”

The ability to evaluate super-insulating windows was added to WeatherWorks because windows are the biggest source of heating and cooling energy loss in buildings. Earlier this year, the National Energy Audit Tool (NEAT) was also updated to account for super-insulating windows. Serious Materials launched SeriousWindows WAP Series in July, the first high-performing replacement window designed specifically for WAP needs as a cost-effective, high energy savings solution.

“The single greatest immediate impact on the environment that we can have as a nation, and the world can have, is weatherization. That’s the immediate biggest bang for the buck. It has the advantage of creating jobs, jobs right here in America,” said Vice President Joe Biden while speaking at Serious Materials Chicago window factory in April 2009. “This is a story about how we inspire a better tomorrow. You’re making some of the most energy-efficient windows in the world, I would argue, the most energy-efficient windows in the world.”

According to NEAT, SeriousWindows WAP Series can create up to twelve times more energy savings per household than other common weatherization measures. By replacing existing windows with super-insulating, high R-value SeriousWindows, families can dramatically reduce their heating and cooling bills. R-value measures the thermal insulation of, for instance, windows and walls.


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