Lets have a national windows scrappage scheme

There has been a lot of online activity from consumers to find out whether or not there is in fact a government national windows scrappage scheme. Such a financially helpful scheme would not only assist hard pressed householders, during these recessionary times, but also act as an incentive to property owners to fit the latest technologically advanced energy efficient energy saving double glazed windows, as well as be a much needed boost to double glazing installers, challenged by rising raw material costs and a mature declining market.

Two national double glazing companies currently have their own sales and marketing “discount” schemes to try and generate new sales under a “national scrappage scheme” banner. However as Renegade Conservatory Guy points out on his blog it was only a matter of time before they “created their own window scrappage scheme”, and going by some of the comments by consumers on his blog on the subject, some seem very unimpressed by such clear marketing ploys.

Sadly, there is no government windows scrappage scheme……yet, but you can join the campaign led by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) by signing up the the number 10 petition submitted by Nigel Rees of the GGF. So far 1,730 have signed the following petition, which has a closing date of 24th March 2010. “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to introduce a window scrappage scheme in the UK to improve the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock.” Sign the petition

Obviously, if a government funded national windows scrappage scheme did ever come into being, it would hopefully act as an incentive to install energy efficient energy saving “green” windows. Under the proposed GGF scheme it is hoped that householders will be encouraged to scrap their old poorly insulated windows in return for a £1,000 grant towards the installation costs of new, professionally installed, energy efficient double glazed ones. The benefits to consumers would include the £1,000 saving, a facelift for their property, lower energy bills and a reduction in their carbon footprint as a consequence of more energy efficient homes. Both the environment and Government carbon reduction targets would also benefit with the reduction of emissions from the existing housing stock.

Consequently, the Buckinghamshire based Hazlemere Window Company fully support the GGF’s call for a national window scrappage scheme, particularly after the proven success of the national car scrappage scheme, which reportedly has accounted for one in five of all new car sales over recent months!

The GGF is a recognised authority for employers and companies within the flat glass, glazing, window and home improvement industries and is a trade association for companies that make, supply or fit flat glass and related products. The GGF also provides helpful information for homeowners, professional specifiers and anyone seeking professional and unbiased information on any aspect of glass and glazing in the UK. The GGF is a promoter of energy efficient glazing and the GGF’s Carbon Calculator enables homeowners and others to see how much money and carbon can be saved by installing new energy efficient windows.

Energy efficient windows (EEWs) can make a massive difference by improving the thermal performance of the existing UK housing stock. Nigel Rees, Chief Executive of the GGF, commented recently that “Energy Efficient Windows (EEWs) have a huge role to play in improving the thermal performance of the existing housing stock”. “EEWs can reduce emissions by 10% from dwellings nationally and reduce national domestic energy expenditure by 10%.”

In a recent online press release entitled “Will the GGF proposed national scrappage scheme save our planet” the issue of dealing with PVCu waste was rightly raised, suggesting that if the proposed scheme is adopted, it is anticipated that this would trigger an upturn in demand for the latest generation of double glazed windows and doors. No doubt any upturn in sales would trigger questions about the disposal of old PVC windows and doors in an environmentally responsible way. Despite the fact that it is often said that PVC is not recyclable, this is not the case. Firms like Ecoplas recycle PVC. As the press release states “There is a range of methods already available for deriving residual value from used plastics products. In fact, PVC, like all other thermoplastic materials, can be recycled relatively straightforwardly.”

Managing Director of Ecoplas, Ian Tippett commented on the recent proposal. “Whilst I feel it is a good idea to incentivise homeowners to make energy efficient changes, it is equally as important to prevent post consumer windows and doors going to landfill. Our company specialises in this area and it is both environmentally beneficial and cost effective. At Ecoplas we have the capability to process old window frames and convert them to reusable material which can be used as a raw material in the manufacture of new building products. We are keen to expand our operations in this area and to support companies wishing to show a real commitment to deal with their post consumer waste responsibly”.

Whilst the GGF proposed window scrappage scheme will obviously not save the planet, it would, if introduced, send the right signal to consumers that the government is committed to encouraging and supporting energy efficiency, reducing the UK’s carbon emmissions and helping homeowners save energy. So, lets have a government national windows scrappage scheme please!


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