Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC)


The U.S. Department of Energy funded the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) to establish the Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC). The AERC’s mission is to provide consumers with credible and relevant information about window attachments (blinds, shades, storm windows, shutters, and awnings) in order to compare the energy performance of products in the marketplace.

WCMA, run by Kellen Company, partnered with D+R International to address the following needs to develop the AERC program:

  • Establish the organization and develop membership and dues revenue
  • Develop product certification prioritization plan
  • Develop new technical rating procedures for window attachments
  • Develop certification policies and procedures
  • Develop a certified products database and consumer-facing certified products website
  • Develop program fee structure
  • Conduct outreach to utilities and efficiency organizations to develop awareness of window attachments as an energy-saving measure and plan window attachment utility incentive programs

The Solution

D+R facilitated the formation and funding of AERC by bringing together market stakeholders, including product and component manufacturers, retailers, utilities, efficiency organizations, the U.S. Department of Energy, and national and commercial labs to develop a product certification roadmap and program.

As AERC’s program manager, D+R is responsible for:

  • Planning, organizing, and monitoring organizational development
  • Developing organization and program policies
  • Organizing meetings and events
  • Developing communications policies
  • Recruiting new members
  • Supporting committee work
  • Coordinating the program management and implementation teams across D+R, Kellen Company, Intertek, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
  • Managing the organizational budget and forecasting revenue
  • Facilitating interactions among stakeholders

Under D+R’s leadership, AERC developed and launched its residential certification program on schedule in early 2018, which required development of new technical and certification standards in addition to a product label and marketing materials. D+R supported AERC’s consumer-oriented marketing efforts by consulting on the residential product label design process and aiding in the development of branding guidelines, consumer-facing educational materials and infographics, and the consumer-facing website,, which launched in November 2018. D+R supports ongoing industry-oriented marketing and communications which include management of the organizational website to ensure it is up-to-date on industry trends and research, as well as development and distribution of the monthly AERC bulletin.

D+R also leads an ongoing utility outreach campaign to build awareness of the AERC residential certification program launch among utility and efficiency organizations, which includes the development and dissemination of a utility window attachments briefing document, a utility program primer, webinar presentations, and conference papers and presentations.

The Impact

D+R continues to drive AERC forward by working closely with program stakeholders to certify products, raise awareness of the program, develop a commercial window attachment program, and achieve major milestones defined in the original roadmap, including:

  • Helping AERC launch its certification program, certified products database, and certified products website in 2018, just four years after the original DOE funding was awarded
  • Developing 5 technical standards, and 5 certification standards
  • Growing AERC to 45 members and 23 AERC certified products, as of April 2019
  • Coordinating the inclusion of AERC technical procedures in the new ENERGY STAR Storm Windows specification
  • Establishing 2 low-E storm window pilots for Efficiency Vermont and Focus on Energy Wisconsin. The Focus on Energy Pilot was converted into a full program.



"The D+R team has been an invaluable partner in developing AERC, particularly through membership development, utility outreach, and the creation of technical rating procedures for AERC’s certification program. The team’s wide-ranging experience in the utility space, technical capabilities, as well as experience from other certification programs has helped to provide comprehensive planning and execution for the organization."
—Ralph Vasami, Executive Director, AERC