To “B” or not to “B”, that is the question?

The double glazing industry and UK homeowners await the outcome of the Government’s deliberations on whether or not to change the current replacement fenestration minimum thermal requirement from “C” rated to “B” rated, and whether or not these changes will come into effect as planned on 1st October 2013, or be delayed until 1st April 2014, hence why to B or not to B is the question!

There are those within the UK double glazing industry who believe there is a possibility that the current minimum Window Energy Rating of “C” (that since 1st October 2010 property owners have to install in their homes if replacing any of the windows) may not be increased to a “B” rating……..yet! There are others who think that it is likely that a new minimum standard of “B” rated windows might still be introduced on 1st October 2013, or at the latest by 1st April 2014.

These potential changes are all set against a backdrop of the possibility that from 1st October 2016, the minimum window energy rating required for all replacement windows in England and Wales might be increased to “A” rated. These changes have big implications for both homeowners and the double glazing industry, as there are some of today’s double glazing products that simply cannot currently achieve a genuine “A” rating.

The uncertainty is not only unhelpful to double glazing manufacturers, suppliers and installers, but also rather confusing for consumers, who are continually being asked it seems to pay more and more for better and better products in order to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, whilst helping the Government get nearer its targets for reducing carbon emissions. The real crazy thing is that performance wise, the amount of energy saving between a “C” and an “A” rated window over 20 years is not that great, so the actual gain by installing “B” rated windows, rather than perfectly acceptable thermally broken “C” rated windows, is minimal.

So, will it be October 2013 or April 2014 or another time altogether, and will it be “C” or “B” that is the question? Consumers and the double glazing industry continue to wait to find out. In the meantime, why not find out more about “A” rated UPVC windows


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