Since its inception we have been talking about the BC Energy Efficiency Act. In 2009 this law was established that set specific thermal performance requirements on glazing across BC. If you are in the fenestration industry and are not familiar with it, I suggest you check it out. We are about four years into this law and the level of understanding and industry acceptance would make one think it arrived last week. If you are familiar with my earlier writings you are already aware I am actively involved in trying to keep the light shining on this topic. Why would someone in this industry want to promote regulation on itself you might wonder.
I am a firm believer that industry must move forward in a constant improvement motion. This motion is often fueled with regulation, think about the late 70's, if it wasn't for regulation we might still be doing single glazed aluminum windows. So as painful as it is, with regulation we improve the industry.
Here is the down side to this regulation. Government is very good at providing regulation to industry, but fenestration has had a fairly easy ride if we consider more life reliant products. So let's imagine for a moment, we are not making windows, but maybe pacemakers. Government institutes a law on our pacemaker industry that says all pacemakers need to keep the user alive via an energy efficient energy source. As a pacemaker manufacturer you must have your product tested and verified your energy source is compliant. This of course is expensive and time
consuming, but that is the rule so that is what you do.
Then you go out to market to sell your compliant pacemaker. Your potential customers tell you, your price is too high, they can get pacemakers much cheaper from brand X. So you investigate, how can this be so, you have very good prices for the value. Your customer tells you that he gets his pacemakers 30% cheaper from a company that doesn't bother with testing or compliance because the government does not bother to check to see if these pacemakers are following the rules. You complain, you follow the rules, you provide information to the regulators about these manufacturers, you try to take the high road, and still you are faced with trying to sell your pacemakers to market, but often your price is simply too high.
So you go back to that first customer to see how his non-compliant pacemaker is doing.
Regulation without enforcement kills manufacturers.
Terry Adamson, Westeck Windows and Doors
FEN-BC Vice Chair, Residential