Will 2011 be a happier year than 2010?

Happy New Year – I hope! What with the snow in 2010, the continuing War in Iraq/Afghanistan, the General Election, the Global Recession, the massive Government public spending cuts, one can only sincerely hope that 2011 will be a better year for the United Kingdom, even if we are now living in an “age of austerity”.

The terror threat remains Worldwide, with mankind’s hatred of one another seemingly generally on the increase, so I do fear for society, in what seems an increasingly politically correct, yet immoral planet. As my dear old mum used to say “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.” But hey ho, onwards and upwards into 2011, as I sincerely hope I am proved wrong and it ends up being a happier year for all, the recovery starts in earnest, jobs are created and the UK economy leads the way with sustained steady growth.

Looking back at 2010, the double glazing industry I work in went through enormous changes due to the introduction of far more stringent new building regulations on 1st October 2010, which made so many products obsolete overnight. It wasn’t that these products weren’t any good (as I have them in my own home!), it is just that the technological advances in energy efficient glazing, combined with the drive to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions, thereby saving energy, meant that they could not perform to the new higher standards required by the new legislation.

The good news is that double glazing is now so thermally efficient it really does cut down heat loss and save property owners money on their energy bills. The slightly bad news is that these products do cost more to produce/buy than the old obsolete ones, plus VAT from 4th January 2011 is 20%, so sadly the capital costs of all home improvements will go up overnight. Despite this slight negative, the return on investment in home improvement is far cheaper than moving house, so whilst there needs to be upfront expenditure in say properly insulating a property, the short term saving on running costs, combined with a more pleasant living environment and eventual long term return is surely well worth the investment?

As to whether 2011 will be a happier year than 2010 for us here in the UK, well it seems to be that’s rather up to all of us to approach it in a positive, tolerance manner. One of my favourite sayings is “Champions don’t give up, they get up”, so lets hope 2011 is a year of new champions in both UK society and commerce.

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