Spring/Summer 2019       |      David Fogt, Registrar      |      Gavin Newsom, Governor


email alerts button

What Contractors Should Know about Fenestration Product Labels

photo of contractor installing windows on a second floor home

Californians will reach out to a contractor for installing new fenestration fixtures like windows, exterior doors, or skylights hoping to save energy in their home. But, in the case of low-rise residential buildings, there are labeling requirements that contractors need to follow when installing manufactured fenestration products.

According to Section 110.6 of California's 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Standards), prescribed by the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission), contractors need to make sure the appropriate fenestration labels are visible upon installation.

Licensed contractors need to look for one of two approved fenestration product labels listing energy performance values.

  1. Labels from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), the responsible entity for certifying manufactured fenestration products; and
  2. A temporary label listing the Energy Commission or "CEC" default values.

A manufactured product that is NFRC certified would have both a permanent and non-permanent label. The non-permanent label cannot be removed until a local building department inspector has verified its adequacy; all fenestration installations can be put on hold by the inspector if the appropriate labels are not available on site.

NFRC labels list values for the U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), Visible Transmittance (VT), and Air Leakage.

The NFRC's website has a database of manufacturers who participate in its program, making it easier for contractors to find certified products.

Another option for meeting the Energy Standards criteria for fenestration labels would be to incorporate a temporary label which lists the CEC default values for U-factor, SHGC, and VT in table 110.6-A of the Energy Standards.

It's important to also note that manufacturer-generated labels and performance values do not comply with California's Energy Standards and will not be accepted by building inspectors (i.e. non-NFRC values).

The label options are explained in detail in Section 10-111 of the Energy Standards.

For additional information regarding California's Energy Standards, contact the Energy Standards Hotline at (800) 772-3300 (in California), or (916) 654-5106 (out of state), or email title24@energy.ca.gov.

Helpful Resources:

  • California Energy Commission Regulatory Advisory: Fenestration Labeling

  • 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings (Title 24, Parts 1 and 6)
  • California Energy Commission
  • National Fenestration Rating Council

  • right arrow

    License Revocations     |      Past Issues