Why did the Government say no to window scrappage?

Had the Government agreed to introducing a window scrappage scheme, it would have allowed UK property owners and landlords to scrap any existing old poorly insulated windows for a cash incentive of £1,000 to be used against the purchase of new professionally installed energy rated energy efficient windows.

Had the Government not said no to a window scrappage scheme, it would have enabled the UK’s existing housing stock to be improved, thereby reducing carbon and CO2 emissions, whilst also cutting household energy bills. The idea behind the scheme was that it would only be available from companies who professionally install windows that have a WER of “C” (Window Energy Rating) or above and who do re-cycle the existing windows that are removed.

Sadly this was the official Government response to the window scrappage scheme proposal: “The Government agrees that energy efficiency has an important part to play if we are to achieve our carbon reduction targets. The benefits of energy efficiency for households are clear: saving money on energy bills, reducing reliance on imported energy and helping householders reduce their carbon emissions.

However given the high cost of replacement windows (typically £5,000 to £10,000 for a small home), the marginal improvement in performance, particularly when replacing like-for-like double glazed windows; and given that band C windows will be the minimum standard permitted by building regulations from October 2010, a window scrappage scheme is unlikely to be cost effective on energy efficiency and carbon savings grounds.

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from energy efficiency measures and the energy bill savings they can bring. However, we also recognise that the cost to retrofit homes can be substantial — our ‘Green Deal’ will allow consumers to fund the upfront cost out of energy bill savings. It is expected that double glazing will be one of the measures that can be installed under the Green Deal.”

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