Window of opportunity: Retrofits produce savings

BY Ken Clark

A report titled, "Saving Windows, Saving Money: Evaluating the Energy Performance of Window Retrofit and Replacement," concludes that upgrading windows (specifically older, single-pane models) with exterior storm windows and insulating shades can result in substantial energy savings across a variety of climate zones.    

The study was commissioned by the Preservation Green Lab and funded by The National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. 

It analyzes decades of research about the performance of double hung windows, comparing the relative energy, carbon and cost savings of various choices in multiple cities across the United States.

"A number of existing window retrofit strategies come very close to delivering the energy benefits of high-performance replacement windows — at a fraction of the cost," said Mark Huppert, technical director of the Preservation Green Lab. "From weather stripping and sealing, to installing exterior storm windows or interior cellular shades, almost every retrofit option offers a better return on investment than outright replacement."      

These findings have important environmental and economic ramifications for consumers. Residential buildings are responsible for approximately 20% of total U.S. energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. Many of these buildings are single-family homes where heating and cooling represent the largest uses of energy, and where windows are an important factor in home energy efficiency. Americans spend over $17 billion annually on heating and cooling.      

"Homeowners and designers who want to upgrade existing windows have many choices: from simple, low-cost, do-it-yourself solutions to complete replacement, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars," said David Brown, executive VP and chief preservation officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "This report provides the context and data to help budget conscious consumers make sound decisions."    

Research support for the study was provided by Cascadia Green Building Council and Ecotope, a consultancy focused on energy efficiency and sustainability.     

The full report and an overview of key findings are at  


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How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?

Unemployment numbers: Too good to be true?


Several readers responded with incredulity to the data in the article titled, “Unemployment rate declines to 7.8%.”

They are not alone.

Business guru Jack Welch was one of the first to cry foul at the rate. He tweeted: “Unbelievable job numbers. Those Chicago guys will do anything." The Bureau of Labor Statistics bristles at the suggestion that the data was politically motivated, or that it was altered to cast the incumbent president’s policies in the finest light possible. Click here for the article. 

Here are some of the comments about the employment situation report from HCN readers: 

“I am not trusting this data. Why? Because the government tracks and may easily manipulate the information to serve their political goals.” 
— Ed Sims 

“Complete political manipulation. How is it that once unemployment has run out, those people are not counted anymore, even though they are still not working? If I were Romney (at the next debate), I would drill Obama until he admits the data is wrong.”
— Name withheld

“Certainly coincidence four weeks [before] a general election. Need to see how many stopped looking for work and how the definition of ’employment to population’ allows a 40-basis point change after being flat year to date. All too suspicious and vague from the department of labor.”
— Mike Howser 

"The numbers are fudged to make Obama look better. Way too big of a jump to be credible."
— Paul Gilpin



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s.lanier says:
Oct-20-2012 06:24 pm

Can't wait to know who is the
Can't wait to know who is the winning candidate for presidential elections,but for those who will win,hopefully our economy rise again so that the numbers of unemployed will decrease and can create more job for those who are jobless and please stop manipulation!

Oct-10-2012 02:15 pm

The decrease doesn't seem
The decrease doesn't seem excessive. It is following the general trend for the last year or so. I think your're being irrationally paranoid.

J.Machowicz says:
Oct-09-2012 04:54 pm

That's right, the employment
That's right, the employment numbers ARE getting better. It should not surprise anyone, the unemployment rate has dropped the last three years in September, housing prices are getting better and the automakers are selling more cars. However, if you get your economic news from FOX, I can understand the doom and gloom outlook!

J.Andrews says:
Oct-09-2012 04:35 pm

Worse yet, no one mentions
Worse yet, no one mentions the people dropping income from a $50k job to an under $27k job. Happening all over the place. What growth there has been is in the under $27k silo. $28k-$60k almost zero growth. What was that about growing the middle class?

N.Withheld says:
Oct-09-2012 03:37 pm

"BLS is not manipulating
"BLS is not manipulating data. Evidence of such would be a scandal of enormous proportions & loss of credibility," Tony Fratto, former deputy press secretary to President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter. Steve Haugen, an economist at the BLS who has been involved in the process of analyzing jobs data for nearly 30 years, flatly dismissed the idea that there was any way the White House or Obama campaign could have had a hand in how the numbers turned out. "The data are not manipulated for political reasons. I've been involved in the process myself for almost three decades. There's never been any political manipulation of the data, period," Haugen told



How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?

Sold: Stanley’s HHI Group to Spectrum Brands

BY HBSDealer Staff

Stanley Black & Decker agreed to sell its Hardware & Home Improvement Group (HHI) to Sectrum Brands Holdings for $1.4 billion in cash.

Part of Stanley’s Security segment, the HHI division makes residential locksets, builders hardware and plumbing fixtures under the brands of Kwikset, Weiser, Baldwin, Stanley, National and Pfister. HHI had 2011 revenues of $940 million. 

"The sale of HHI is consistent with our strategy of strengthening our position as a diversified industrial company while maintaining the significant upside potential of a housing market recovery through our $5 billion CDIY portfolio," said John Lundgren, Stanley Black & Decker CEO.

The deal brings after-tax proceeds of $1.3 billion to Stanley, which said it intends to use it for share repurchases, a previously announced Infastech acquisition and deleveraging. 


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How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?