It was with much surprise that I read news in industry publications this week of certain companies expressing their pride at becoming among the first to register on the BFRC’s Door Energy Ratings (DER) scheme. This has rattled many industry players, but any ruffled feathers are not borne out of envy. Rather, they stem from the fact that the announcement is simply too premature; these companies are implying that they have achieved the as-yet unachievable.
At the time of writing, the BFRC hasn’t actually issued all the calculation methods for DERs. Once the BFRC’s simulation group, on which Spectus sits, has confirmed the DER calculation methods and formulae, these will be distributed to all certified simulators. There will then be a two week period before any DER certificates will be issued.
How companies have registered for a scheme that doesn’t exist yet, and what’s more have been allowed to announce that registration, therefore, is interesting. But what I find more surprising is that the BFRC’s marketing team ‘launched’ the scheme on 1st September before the BFRC had chance to finalise the scheme itself. DERs are a significant, and long-awaited, step forward for our industry; I hope that industry peers will celebrate and support the scheme when it does launch for real and that this initial period of controversy doesn’t undermine the excellent work that the BFRC has done to develop the DER scheme.
Going forwards, it’s crucial that the BFRC properly polices its DER scheme, to ensure that companies are using it and promoting it properly. WERs have unfortunately been subject to criticism over the years, with people keen to find loopholes and identify their shortcomings without really coming up with a satisfactory solution. I’d urge the industry to get behind the DER scheme, and to work together to make it the successful, effective and well-known framework for easily comparing the energy efficiency of doors on a fair and equal basis that it’s intended to be.
Technical Director, Spectus Window Systems