Andy Jones, Managing Director of the leading warm edge technology supplier Edgetech has been busy again rallying support for the 5% VAT campaign on Energy Saving Recommended windows. While the GGF has been lobbying in Brussels, Andy has been talking to Neil Schofield, Head of Sustainable Development of Worcester, Bosch Group, to see what the glazing industry can learn from the heating and ventilation sector.
Andy comments: “All sectors within building have been impacted by the drive for higher thermal efficiency across their products. We’ve worked closely with the GGF, EST, the EEPH and the industry at large to try to convince Government and Europe to allow us to enjoy the same VAT relief of ESR windows. But we thought it would be a useful exercise to see what we can learn from other sectors in the building industry - namely ones that are further advanced in communicating the benefits of their energy efficient products to Government and homeowners.”
Neil highlighted some key differences in the way the sectors have developed pro-actively, but also been driven to change by carrot and stick: “For us, it all started around ten years ago when the Energy Saving Trust led the way by introducing grants for condensing boilers. Shortly after this, in September 1999, the SEDBUK efficiency scale was introduced. SEDBUK was developed under the Government's Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme with the co-operation of boiler manufacturers, and provides a basis for fair comparison of the energy performance of different boilers. This little blue book of boilers had clear winners and losers and it went a long way to creating a healthy competition between manufacturers to make their products more energy efficient. Since, legislation has come in to make it mandatory for domestic heating to be more environmentally friendly. It has proven that if you want significant changes the Government has to be brave.” Neil adds: “I believe the reason the changes have been so successful is because everyone was in support of the plan and the communication between the whole supply chain was well considered.”
While Andy supports Neil’s view that Government needs to be brave to commit change, he also points out how glazing could learn from the experiences of the heating and ventilation sector and act together in a more cohesive way. “We have a limited time to take advantage of the differentiation energy efficient windows can provide to those companies willing to market them now. We can wait for Government to legislate just as it has done in heating, but I believe this would remove the attackers’ advantage – and potential sales and profits - for us as an industry.”
To read the full discussion visit superspacer.co.uk